Pilocarpine seizures cause age-dependent impairment in auditory location discrimination.
Children who have status epilepticus have continuous or rapidly repeating seizures that may be life-threatening and may cause life-long changes in brain and behavior. The extent to which status epilepticus causes deficits in auditory discrimination is unknown. A naturalistic auditory location discrimination method was used to evaluate this question using an animal model of status epilepticus. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were injected with saline on postnatal day (P) 20, or a convulsant dose of pilocarpine on P20 or P45. Pilocarpine on either day induced status epilepticus; status epilepticus at P45 resulted in CA3 cell loss and spontaneous seizures, whereas P20 rats had no cell loss or spontaneous seizures. Mature rats were trained with sound-source location and sound-silence discriminations. Control (saline P20) rats acquired both discriminations immediately. In status epilepticus (P20) rats, acquisition of the sound-source location discrimination was moderately impaired. Status epilepticus (P45) rats failed to acquire either sound-source location or sound-silence discriminations. Status epilepticus in rat causes an age-dependent, long-term impairment in auditory discrimination. This impairment may explain one cause of impaired auditory location discrimination in humans.
Neill, JC; Liu, Z; Mikati, M; Holmes, GL
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