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Authors: Chen, Rongqing
Title: Modulation of network excitability and epileptiform activity in the hippocampus of immature rats by the activation of GlyRs
Online publication date: 6-Aug-2014
Year of first publication: 2014
Language: english
Abstract: Epileptic seizures are the manifestations of epilepsy, which is a major neurological disorder and occurs with a high incidence during early childhood. A fundamental mechanism underlying epileptic seizures is loss of balance between neural excitation and inhibition toward overexcitation. Glycine receptor (GlyR) is ionotropic neurotransmitter receptor that upon binding of glycine opens an anion pore and mediates in the adult nervous system a consistent inhibitory action. While previously it was assumed that GlyRs mediate inhibition mainly in the brain stem and spinal cord, recent studies reported the abundant expression of GlyRs throughout the brain, in particular during neuronal development. But no information is available regarding whether activation of GlyRs modulates neural network excitability and epileptiform activities in the immature central nervous system (CNS). Therefore the study in this thesis addresses the role of GlyRs in the modulation of neuronal excitability and epileptiform activity in the immature rat brain. By using in vitro intact corticohippocampal formation (CHF) of rats at postnatal days 4-7 and electrophysiological methods, a series of pharmacological examinations reveal that GlyRs are directly implicated in the control of hippocampal excitation levels at this age. In this thesis I am able to show that GlyRs are functionally expressed in the immature hippocampus and exhibit the classical pharmacology of GlyR, which can be activated by both glycine and the presumed endogenous agonist taurine. This study also reveals that high concentration of taurine is anticonvulsive, but lower concentration of taurine is proconvulsive. A substantial fraction of both the pro- and anticonvulsive effects of taurine is mediated via GlyRs, although activation of GABAA receptors also considerably contributes to the taurine effects. Similarly, glycine exerts both pro- and anticonvulsive effects at low and high concentrations, respectively. The proconvulsive effects of taurine and glycine depend on NKCC1-mediated Cl- accumulation, as bath application of NKCC1 inhibitor bumetanide completely abolishes proconvulsive effects of low taurine and glycine concentrations. Inhibition of GlyRs with low concentration of strychnine triggers epileptiform activity in the CA3 region of immature CHF, indicating that intrinsically an inhibitory action of GlyRs overwhelms its depolarizing action in the immature hippocampus. Additionally, my study indicates that blocking taurine transporters to accumulate endogenous taurine reduces epileptiform activity via activation of GABAA receptors, but not GlyRs, while blocking glycine transporters has no observable effect on epileptiform activity. From the main results of this study it can be concluded that in the immature rat hippocampus, activation of GlyRs mediates both pro- and anticonvulsive effects, but that a persistent activation of GlyRs is required to prevent intrinic neuronal overexcitability. In summary, this study uncovers an important role of GlyRs in the modulation of neuronal excitability and epileptiform activity in the immature rat hippocampus, and indicates that glycinergic system can potentially be a new therapeutic target against epileptic seizures of children.
DDC: 570 Biowissenschaften
570 Life sciences
Institution: Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Department: FB 10 Biologie
Place: Mainz
URN: urn:nbn:de:hebis:77-38138
Version: Original work
Publication type: Dissertation
License: In Copyright
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Extent: 90 S.
Appears in collections:JGU-Publikationen

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