Baclofen suppresses hippocampal epileptiform activity at low concentrations without suppressing synaptic transmission.
Baclofen is used clinically to treat spasticity, but has received little attention as a potential antiepileptic agent. To explore the antiepileptic potential of baclofen further, we tested its effect on stimulus train-induced bursting, an in vitro model of hippocampal epileptiform activity. In hippocampal slices prepared from male rats, extracellular field potentials were recorded in stratum pyramidale of CA3, and electrical stimuli were delivered to s. radiatum of CA3. After stable responses to single stimuli were established, stimulus trains were delivered every 5 min until stable triggered and spontaneous population bursting were elicited. (+/-)-Baclofen was bath-applied to the slices at varying concentrations to study its ability to suppress synaptic transmission and epileptiform activity. EC50 values for suppression of orthodromic population spike amplitude, of triggered burst duration and of spontaneous burst frequency were 2300, 355 and 26.9 nM, respectively; all statistically significantly different. These findings suggest that baclofen suppresses epileptiform electrical activity in the hippocampus at concentrations well below those which suppress normal synaptic transmission, and support renewed consideration of baclofen as an antiepileptic agent.
Swartzwelder, HS; Bragdon, AC; Sutch, CP; Ault, B; Wilson, WA
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