Fluorocitrate-mediated astroglial dysfunction causes seizures.
ABSTRACT A role for astroglia in epileptogenesis has been hypothesised but is not established. Low doses of fluorocitrate specifically and reversibly disrupt astroglial metabolism by blocking aconitase, an enzyme integral to the tricarboxylic acid cycle. We used cerebral cortex injections of fluorocitrate, at a dose that we demonstrated to inhibit astroglial metabolism selectively, to determine whether astroglial disturbances lead to seizures. Rats were halothane-anesthetized, and 0.8 nmol of sodium fluorocitrate was injected into the cerebral cortex. Extradural electroencephalogram (EEG) electrodes were implanted, after which the anesthesia was ceased and the animals were observed. In all experiments, 14 of 15 fluorocitrate-treated animals exhibited epileptiform EEG discharges, with some animals exhibiting convulsive seizures. Discharges commenced as early as 30 min postfluorocitrate injection. Intraperitoneal octanol, but not halothane by inhalation, given to test the possible participation of gap junctions in EEG discharge generation, blocked or delayed the occurrence of discharges after fluorocitrate. These results indicate that focal cerebrocortical astroglial dysfunction leads to focal epileptiform discharges and sometimes to convulsive seizures and that the process possibly depends on effects mediated by gap junctions.
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ABSTRACT: Gap junctions are highly conductive channels that allow the direct transfer of intracellular messengers such as Ca2+ and inositol triphosphate (IP3) between interconnected cells. In brain, astrocytes are coupled extensively by gap junctions. We found here that gap junctions among astrocytes in acutely prepared brain slices as well as in culture remained open during ischemic conditions. Uncoupling first occurred after the terminal loss of plasma membrane integrity. Gap junctions therefore may link ischemic astrocytes in an evolving infarct with the surroundings. The free exchange of intracellular messengers between dying and potentially viable astrocytes might contribute to secondary expansion of ischemic lesions.Journal of Neuroscience 04/1998; 18(7):2520-37. · 6.91 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Incubation of hippocampal slices in zero-Ca(2+) medium blocks synaptic transmission and results in spontaneous burst discharges. This seizure-like activity is characterized by negative shifts (bursts) in the extracellular field potential and a K(+) wave that propagates across the hippocampus. To isolate factors related to seizure initiation, propagation, and termination, a number of pharmacological agents were tested. K(+) influx and efflux mechanisms where blocked with cesium, barium, tetraethylammonium (TEA), and 4-aminopyridine (4-AP). The effect of the gap junction blockers, heptanol and octanol, on zero-Ca(2+) bursting was evaluated. Neuronal excitability was modulated with tetrodotoxin (TTX), charge screening, and applied electric fields. Glial cell function was examined with a metabolism antagonist (fluroacetate). Neuronal hyperpolarization by cation screening or applied fields decreased burst frequency but did not affect burst amplitude or duration. Heptanol attenuated burst amplitude and duration at low concentration (0.2 mM), and blocked bursting at higher concentration (0.5 mM). CsCl(2) (1 mM) had no effect, whereas high concentrations (1 mM) of BaCl(2) blocked bursting. TEA (25 mM) and low concentration of BaCl(2) (300 microM) resulted in a two- to sixfold increase in burst duration. Fluroacetate also blocked burst activity but only during prolonged application (>3 h). Our results demonstrate that burst frequency, amplitude, and duration can be independently modulated and suggest that neuronal excitability plays a central role in burst initiation, whereas potassium dynamics establish burst amplitude and duration.Journal of Neurophysiology 11/1999; 82(5):2262-70. · 3.30 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Fluoroacetic and fluorocitric acid toxicity is often characterized by seizures, however the mechanism of this activity is unknown. Intrathecal (i.t.) injection of fluorocitrate in mice resulted in seizures after an average latency of 15 s, while intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) injection produced seizures after 36.5 min, and required higher doses to achieve this effect. This indicates the probable site of fluoroacetate and fluorocitrate neurotoxicity is the spinal cord. To mimic citrate accumulation, characteristic of fluoroacetate and fluorocitrate poisoning, citric acid was injected i.t. and also found to produce seizures. The structurally unrelated compounds EDTA, EGTA, glutamic acid and lactic acid also produced seizures identical to fluorocitrate. The ability of these compounds to chelate Ca2+ correlates well with their ability to cause seizures when administered i.t. and coadministration of calcium greatly attenuated the neurotoxicity of these compounds as well as fluoroacetate and fluorocitrate. In contrast, Ca2+ was unable to inhibit seizures elicited by strychnine, suggesting calcium's ability to inhibit chelators of divalent cations is not due to a general anticonvulsant effect. These results suggest that changes in Ca2+ concentration in the spinal cord may be responsible for some forms of seizure activity.European Journal of Pharmacology 05/1990; 179(3):307-13. · 2.59 Impact Factor