Facilitation of granule cell epileptiform activity by mossy fiber-released zinc in the pilocarpine model of temporal lobe epilepsy.
Recurrent mossy fiber synapses in the dentate gyrus of epileptic brain facilitate the synchronous firing of granule cells and may promote seizure propagation. Mossy fiber terminals contain and release zinc. Released zinc inhibits the activation of NMDA receptors and may therefore oppose the development of granule cell epileptiform activity. Hippocampal slices from rats that had experienced pilocarpine-induced status epilepticus and developed a recurrent mossy fiber pathway were used to investigate this possibility. Actions of released zinc were inferred from the effects of chelation with 1 mM calcium disodium EDTA (CaEDTA). When granule cell population bursts were evoked by mossy fiber stimulation in the presence of 6 mM K(+) and 30 microM bicuculline, CaEDTA slowed the rate at which evoked bursting developed, but did not change the magnitude of the bursts once they had developed fully. The effects of CaEDTA were then studied on the pharmacologically isolated NMDA receptor- and AMPA/kainate receptor-mediated components of the fully developed bursts. CaEDTA increased the magnitude of NMDA receptor-mediated bursts and reduced the magnitude of AMPA/kainate receptor-mediated bursts. CaEDTA did not affect the granule cell bursts evoked in slices from untreated rats by stimulating the perforant path in the presence of bicuculline and 6 mM K(+). These results suggest that zinc released from the recurrent mossy fibers serves mainly to facilitate the recruitment of dentate granule cells into population bursts.
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