Paul S Buckmaster

Stanford Medicine, Stanford, California, United States

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Publications (73)322.24 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Numerous hypotheses of temporal lobe epileptogenesis have been proposed, and several involve hippocampal mossy cells. Building on previous hypotheses we sought to test the possibility that after epileptogenic injuries surviving mossy cells develop into super-connected seizure-generating hub cells. If so, they might require more cellular machinery and consequently have larger somata, elongate their dendrites to receive more synaptic input, and display higher frequencies of miniature excitatory synaptic currents (mEPSCs). To test these possibilities pilocarpine-treated mice were evaluated using GluR2-immunocytochemistry, whole-cell recording, and biocytin-labeling. Epileptic pilocarpine-treated mice displayed substantial loss of GluR2-positive hilar neurons. Somata of surviving neurons were 1.4-times larger than in controls. Biocytin-labeled mossy cells also were larger in epileptic mice, but dendritic length per cell was not significantly different. The average frequency of mEPSCs of mossy cells recorded in the presence of tetrodotoxin and bicuculline was 3.2-times higher in epileptic pilocarpine-treated mice compared to controls. Other parameters of mEPSCs were similar in both groups. Average input resistance of mossy cells in epileptic mice was reduced to 63% of controls, which is consistent with larger somata and would tend to make surviving mossy cells less excitable. Other intrinsic physiological characteristics examined were similar in both groups. Increased excitatory synaptic input is consistent with the hypothesis that surviving mossy cells develop into aberrantly super-connected seizure-generating hub cells, and soma hypertrophy is indirectly consistent with the possibility of axon sprouting. However, no obvious evidence of hyperexcitable intrinsic physiology was found. Furthermore, similar hypertrophy and hyper-connectivity has been reported for other neuron types in the dentate gyrus, suggesting mossy cells are not unique in this regard. Thus, findings of the present study reveal epilepsy-related changes in mossy cell anatomy and synaptic input but do not strongly support the hypothesis that mossy cells develop into seizure-generating hub cells.
    Hippocampus 01/2015; · 5.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Previous studies suggest spontaneous seizures in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy might be preceded by increased action potential firing of hippocampal neurons. Preictal activity is potentially important because it might provide new opportunities for predicting when a seizure is about to occur and insight into how spontaneous seizures are generated. We evaluated local field potentials and unit activity of single, putative excitatory neurons in the subiculum, CA1, CA3, and dentate gyrus of the dorsal hippocampus in epileptic pilocarpine-treated rats as they experienced spontaneous seizures. Average action potential firing rates of neurons in the subiculum, CA1, and dentate gyrus, but not CA3, increased significantly and progressively beginning 2-4 min before locally recorded spontaneous seizures. In the subiculum, CA1, and dentate gyrus, but not CA3, 41-57% of neurons displayed increased preictal activity with significant consistency across multiple seizures. Much of the increased preictal firing of neurons in the subiculum and CA1 correlated with preictal theta activity; whereas, preictal firing of neurons in the dentate gyrus was independent of theta. In addition, some CA1 and dentate gyrus neurons displayed reduced firing rates preictally. These results reveal that different hippocampal subregions exhibit differences in the extent and potential underlying mechanisms of preictal activity. The finding of robust and significantly consistent preictal activity of subicular, CA1, and dentate neurons in the dorsal hippocampus, despite the likelihood that many seizures initiated in other brain regions, suggests the existence of a broader neuronal network whose activity changes minutes before spontaneous seizures initiate.
    Journal of Neuroscience 12/2014; 34(50):16671-16687. · 6.91 Impact Factor
  • Ruth Yamawaki, Khushdev Thind, Paul S Buckmaster
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    ABSTRACT: Inhibiting the mTOR signaling pathway with rapamycin blocks granule cell axon (mossy fiber) sprouting after epileptogenic injuries, including pilocarpine-induced status epilepticus. However, it remains unclear whether axons from other types of neurons sprout into the inner molecular layer and synapse with granule cell dendrites despite rapamycin treatment. If so, other aberrant positive-feedback networks might develop. To test this possibility stereological electron microscopy was used to estimate numbers of excitatory synapses in the inner molecular layer per hippocampus in pilocarpine-treated control mice, in mice 5 d after pilocarpine-induced status epilepticus, and after status epilepticus and daily treatment beginning 24 h later with rapamycin or vehicle for 2 months. The optical fractionator method was used to estimate numbers of granule cells in Nissl-stained sections so that numbers of excitatory synapses in the inner molecular layer per granule cell could be calculated. Control mice had an average of 2280 asymmetric synapses in the inner molecular layer per granule cell, which was reduced to 63% of controls 5 d after status epilepticus, recovered to 93% of controls in vehicle-treated mice 2 months after status epilepticus, but remained at only 63% of controls in rapamycin-treated mice. These findings reveal that rapamycin prevented excitatory axons from synapsing with proximal dendrites of granule cells and raise questions about the recurrent excitation hypothesis of temporal lobe epilepsy. J. Comp. Neurol., 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    The Journal of Comparative Neurology 09/2014; · 3.66 Impact Factor
  • Paul S Buckmaster
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    ABSTRACT: Many patients with temporal lobe epilepsy display structural changes in the seizure initiating zone, which includes the hippocampus. Structural changes in the hippocampus include granule cell axon (mossy fiber) sprouting. The role of mossy fiber sprouting in epileptogenesis is controversial. A popular view of temporal lobe epileptogenesis contends that precipitating brain insults trigger transient cascades of molecular and cellular events that permanently enhance excitability of neuronal networks through mechanisms including mossy fiber sprouting. However, recent evidence suggests there is no critical period for mossy fiber sprouting after an epileptogenic brain injury. Instead, findings from stereological electron microscopy and rapamycin-delayed mossy fiber sprouting in rodent models of temporal lobe epilepsy suggest a persistent, homeostatic mechanism exists to maintain a set level of excitatory synaptic input to granule cells. If so, a target level of mossy fiber sprouting might be determined shortly after a brain injury and then remain constant. Despite the static appearance of synaptic reorganization after its development, work by other investigators suggests there might be continual turnover of sprouted mossy fibers in epileptic patients and animal models. If so, there may be opportunities to reverse established mossy fiber sprouting. However, reversal of mossy fiber sprouting is unlikely to be antiepileptogenic, because blocking its development does not reduce seizure frequency in pilocarpine-treated mice. The challenge remains to identify which, if any, of the many other structural changes in the hippocampus are epileptogenic.
    Advances in experimental medicine and biology 01/2014; 813:161-8. · 1.83 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) are abundant human-sized carnivores with large gyrencephalic brains. They develop epilepsy after experiencing status epilepticus when naturally exposed to domoic acid. We tested whether sea lions previously exposed to DA (chronic DA sea lions) display hippocampal neuropathology similar to that of human patients with temporal lobe epilepsy. Hippocampi were obtained from control and chronic DA sea lions. Stereology was used to estimate numbers of Nissl-stained neurons per hippocampus in the granule cell layer, hilus, and the pyramidal cell layer of CA3, CA2, and CA1 subfields. Adjacent sections were processed for somatostatin-immunoreactivity or Timm-stained, and the extent of mossy fiber sprouting was measured stereologically. Chronic DA sea lions displayed hippocampal neuron loss in patterns and extents similar but not identical to those reported previously for human patients with temporal lobe epilepsy. Similar to human patients, hippocampal sclerosis in sea lions was unilateral in 79% of cases, mossy fiber sprouting was a common neuropathological abnormality, and somatostatin-immunoreactive axons were exuberant in the dentate gyrus despite loss of immunopositive hilar neurons. Thus, hippocampal neuropathology of chronic DA sea lions is similar to that of human patients with temporal lobe epilepsy. J. Comp. Neurol., 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    The Journal of Comparative Neurology 11/2013; · 3.66 Impact Factor
  • Kathleen Heng, Megan M Haney, Paul S Buckmaster
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    ABSTRACT: The role of granule cell axon (mossy fiber) sprouting in temporal lobe epileptogenesis is unclear and controversial. Rapamycin suppresses mossy fiber sprouting, but its reported effects on seizure frequency are mixed. The present study used high-dose rapamycin to more completely block mossy fiber sprouting and to measure the effect on seizure frequency. Mice were treated with pilocarpine to induce status epilepticus. Beginning 24 h later and continuing for 2 months, vehicle or rapamycin (10 mg/kg/day) was administered. Starting 1 month after status epilepticus, mice were monitored by video 9 h per day, every day, for 1 month to measure the frequency of spontaneous motor seizures. At the end of seizure monitoring, a subset of mice was prepared for anatomic analysis. Mossy fiber sprouting was measured as the proportion of the granule cell layer and molecular layer that displayed black labeling in Timm-stained sections. Extensive mossy fiber sprouting developed in mice that experienced status epilepticus and were treated with vehicle. In rapamycin-treated mice, mossy fiber sprouting was blocked almost to the level of naive controls. Seizure frequency was similar in vehicle-treated and rapamycin-treated mice. These findings suggest that mossy fiber sprouting is not necessary for epileptogenesis in the mouse pilocarpine model. They also reveal that rapamycin does not have antiseizure or antiepileptogenic effects in this model.
    Epilepsia 07/2013; · 3.96 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Temporal lobe epilepsy is the most common form of epilepsy in adults. The pilocarpine-treated rat model is used frequently to investigate temporal lobe epilepsy. The validity of the pilocarpine model has been challenged based largely on concerns that seizures might initiate in different brain regions in rats than in patients. The present study used 32 recording electrodes per rat to evaluate spontaneous seizures in various brain regions including the septum, dorsomedial thalamus, amygdala, olfactory cortex, dorsal and ventral hippocampus, substantia nigra, entorhinal cortex, and ventral subiculum. Compared with published results from patients, seizures in rats tended to be shorter, spread faster and more extensively, generate behavioral manifestations more quickly, and produce generalized convulsions more frequently. Similarities to patients included electrographic waveform patterns at seizure onset, variability in sites of earliest seizure activity within individuals, and variability in patterns of seizure spread. Like patients, the earliest seizure activity in rats was recorded most frequently within the hippocampal formation. The ventral hippocampus and ventral subiculum displayed the earliest seizure activity. Amygdala, olfactory cortex, and septum occasionally displayed early seizure latencies, but not above chance levels. Substantia nigra and dorsomedial thalamus demonstrated consistently late seizure onsets, suggesting their unlikely involvement in seizure initiation. The results of the present study reveal similarities in onset sites of spontaneous seizures in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy and pilocarpine-treated rats that support the model's validity.
    Journal of Neuroscience 07/2013; 33(27):11100-15. · 6.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Down's syndrome (DS) is a common genetic cause of intellectual disability yet there are no drug therapies. Mechanistic studies in a model of DS (Ts65Dn mice) demonstrated that impaired cognitive function is due to excessive neuronal inhibitory tone. These deficits can be normalized by low doses of GABAA receptor (GABAA R) antagonists in adult animals. In this study, we explore the therapeutic potential of pentylenetetrazole (PTZ), a GABAA R antagonist which has a history of safe use in man. EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH: Long-term memory was assessed by the Novel Object Recognition (NOR) test in different cohorts of Ts65Dn mice after a delay following a short-term chronic treatment with PTZ. Seizure susceptibility, as an index of treatment safety, was studied by means of EEG, behavior and hippocampus morphology. EEG spectral analysis was used as a biometric of the treatment. RESULTS: PTZ has a broad therapeutic window (0.03-3mg.kg(-1) ) that is >10-1000 fold below the seizure threshold for this drug, and chronic PTZ treatment does not lower the seizure threshold. Remarkably, short-term, low, chronic dose regimens of PTZ elicit long-lasting (>1week) normalization of cognitive function in young and aged mice. PTZ effectiveness is time of day dependent: cognitive performance improves when PTZ is delivered during the light (inactive) phase, but not during the dark (active) phase. Chronic PTZ treatment results in EEG power normalization. CONCLUSIONS: PTZ at very low dosage can be administered safely, produces long lasting cognitive improvements and has the potential of fulfilling an unmet therapeutic need in DS.
    British Journal of Pharmacology 03/2013; · 5.07 Impact Factor
  • Paul S Buckmaster, Megan M Haney
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    ABSTRACT: Pilocarpine-treated mice are an increasingly used model of temporal lobe epilepsy. However, outcomes of treatment can be disappointing, because many mice die or fail to develop status epilepticus. To improve animal welfare and outcomes of future experiments we analyzed results of previous pilocarpine treatments to identify factors that correlate with development of status epilepticus and survival. All treatments were performed by one investigator with mice of the FVB background strain. Results from 2413 mice were evaluated for effects of sex, age, body weight, and latency between administration of atropine methyl bromide and pilocarpine. All parameters correlated with effects on outcomes. Best results were obtained from male mice, 6-7 weeks old, and 21-25g, with pilocarpine administered 18-30min after atropine methyl bromide. In that group only 23% failed to develop status epilepticus, and 64% developed status epilepticus and survived. Those results are substantially better than that of the total sample in which 31% failed to develop status epilepticus and only 34% developed status epilepticus and survived.
    Epilepsy research 06/2012; · 2.48 Impact Factor
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    Paul S Buckmaster
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    ABSTRACT: Mossy cells are likely to contribute to normal hippocampal function and to the pathogenesis of neurologic disorders that involve the hippocampus, including epilepsy. Mossy cells are the least well-characterized excitatory neurons in the hippocampus. Their somatic and dendritic morphology has been described qualitatively but not quantitatively. In the present study rat mossy cells were labeled intracellularly with biocytin in vivo. Somatic and dendritic structure was reconstructed three-dimensionally. For comparison, granule cells, CA3 pyramidal cells, and CA1 pyramidal cells were labeled and analyzed using the same approach. Among the four types of hippocampal neurons, granule cells had the smallest somata, fewest primary dendrites and dendritic branches, and shortest total dendritic length. CA1 pyramidal cells had the most dendritic branches and longest total dendritic length. Mossy cells and CA3 pyramidal cells both had large somata and similar total dendritic lengths. However, mossy cell dendrites branched less than CA3 pyramidal cells, especially close to the soma. These findings suggest that mossy cells have dendritic features that are not identical to any other type of hippocampal neuron. Therefore, electrotonic properties that depend on soma-dendritic structure are likely to be distinct in mossy cells compared to other neurons.
    Epilepsia 06/2012; 53 Suppl 1:9-17. · 3.96 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Neurons encode information by firing spikes in isolation or bursts and propagate information by spike-triggered neurotransmitter release that initiates synaptic transmission. Isolated spikes trigger neurotransmitter release unreliably but with high temporal precision. In contrast, bursts of spikes trigger neurotransmission reliably (i.e., boost transmission fidelity), but the resulting synaptic responses are temporally imprecise. However, the relative physiological importance of different spike-firing modes remains unclear. Here, we show that knockdown of synaptotagmin-1, the major Ca(2+) sensor for neurotransmitter release, abrogated neurotransmission evoked by isolated spikes but only delayed, without abolishing, neurotransmission evoked by bursts of spikes. Nevertheless, knockdown of synaptotagmin-1 in the hippocampal CA1 region did not impede acquisition of recent contextual fear memories, although it did impair the precision of such memories. In contrast, knockdown of synaptotagmin-1 in the prefrontal cortex impaired all remote fear memories. These results indicate that different brain circuits and types of memory employ distinct spike-coding schemes to encode and transmit information.
    Neuron 03/2012; 73(5):990-1001. · 15.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Preclinical research has facilitated the discovery of valuable drugs for the symptomatic treatment of epilepsy. Yet, despite these therapies, seizures are not adequately controlled in a third of all affected individuals, and comorbidities still impose a major burden on quality of life. The introduction of multiple new therapies into clinical use over the past two decades has done little to change this. There is an urgent demand to address the unmet clinical needs for: (1) new symptomatic antiseizure treatments for drug-resistant seizures with improved efficacy/tolerability profiles, (2) disease-modifying treatments that prevent or ameliorate the process of epileptogenesis, and (3) treatments for the common comorbidities that contribute to disability in people with epilepsy. New therapies also need to address the special needs of certain subpopulations, that is, age- or gender-specific treatments. Preclinical development in these treatment areas is complex due to heterogeneity in presentation and etiology, and may need to be formulated with a specific seizure, epilepsy syndrome, or comorbidity in mind. The aim of this report is to provide a framework that will help define future guidelines that improve and standardize the design, reporting, and validation of data across preclinical antiepilepsy therapy development studies targeting drug-resistant seizures, epileptogenesis, and comorbidities.
    Epilepsia 03/2012; 53(3):571-82. · 3.96 Impact Factor
  • Wei Zhang, John R Huguenard, Paul S Buckmaster
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    ABSTRACT: One potential mechanism of temporal lobe epilepsy is recurrent excitation of dentate granule cells through aberrant sprouting of their axons (mossy fibers), which is found in many patients and animal models. However, correlations between the extent of mossy fiber sprouting and seizure frequency are weak. Additional potential sources of granule cell recurrent excitation that would not have been detected by markers of mossy fiber sprouting in previous studies include surviving mossy cells and proximal CA3 pyramidal cells. To test those possibilities in hippocampal slices from epileptic pilocarpine-treated rats, laser-scanning glutamate uncaging was used to randomly and focally activate neurons in the granule cell layer, hilus, and proximal CA3 pyramidal cell layer while measuring evoked EPSCs in normotopic granule cells. Consistent with mossy fiber sprouting, a higher proportion of glutamate-uncaging spots in the granule cell layer evoked EPSCs in epileptic rats compared with controls. In addition, stimulation spots in the hilus and proximal CA3 pyramidal cell layer were more likely to evoke EPSCs in epileptic rats, despite significant neuron loss in those regions. Furthermore, synaptic strength of recurrent excitatory inputs to granule cells from CA3 pyramidal cells and other granule cells was increased in epileptic rats. These findings reveal substantial levels of excessive, recurrent, excitatory synaptic input to granule cells from neurons in the hilus and proximal CA3 field. The aberrant development of these additional positive-feedback circuits might contribute to epileptogenesis in temporal lobe epilepsy.
    Journal of Neuroscience 01/2012; 32(4):1183-96. · 6.91 Impact Factor
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    Felicia H Lew, Paul S Buckmaster
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    ABSTRACT: Dentate granule cell axon (mossy fiber) sprouting creates an aberrant positive-feedback circuit that might be epileptogenic. Presumably, mossy fiber sprouting is initiated by molecular signals, but it is unclear whether they are expressed transiently or persistently. If transient, there might be a critical period when short preventative treatments could permanently block mossy fiber sprouting. Alternatively, if signals persist, continuous treatment would be necessary. The present study tested whether temporary treatment with rapamycin has long-term effects on mossy fiber sprouting. Mice were treated daily with 1.5 mg/kg rapamycin or vehicle (i.p.) beginning 24 h after pilocarpine-induced status epilepticus. Mice were perfused for anatomic evaluation immediately after 2 months of treatment ("0 delay") or after an additional 6 months without treatment ("6-month delay"). One series of sections was Timm-stained, and an adjacent series was Nissl-stained. Stereologic methods were used to measure the volume of the granule cell layer plus molecular layer and the Timm-positive fraction. Numbers of Nissl-stained hilar neurons were estimated using the optical fractionator method. At 0 delay, rapamycin-treated mice had significantly less black Timm staining in the granule cell layer plus molecular layer than vehicle-treated animals. However, by 6-month delay, Timm staining had increased significantly in mice that had been treated with rapamycin. Percentages of the granule cell layer plus molecular layer that were Timm-positive were high and similar in 0 delay vehicle-treated, 6-month delay vehicle-treated, and 6-month delay rapamycin-treated mice. Extent of hilar neuron loss was similar among all groups that experienced status epilepticus and, therefore, was not a confounding factor. Compared to naive controls, average volume of the granule cell layer plus molecular layer was larger in 0 delay vehicle-treated mice. The hypertrophy was partially suppressed in 0 delay rapamycin-treated mice. However, 6-month delay vehicle- and 6-month delay rapamycin-treated animals had similar average volumes of the granule cell layer plus molecular layer that were significantly larger than those of all other groups. Status epilepticus-induced mossy fiber sprouting and dentate gyrus hypertrophy were suppressed by systemic treatment with rapamycin but resumed after treatment ceased. These findings suggest that molecular signals that drive mossy fiber sprouting and dentate gyrus hypertrophy might persist for >2 months after status epilepticus in mice. Therefore, prolonged or continuous treatment might be required to permanently suppress mossy fiber sprouting.
    Epilepsia 11/2011; 52(12):2326-32. · 3.96 Impact Factor
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    Paul S Buckmaster, Xiling Wen
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    ABSTRACT: In temporal lobe epilepsy many somatostatin interneurons in the dentate gyrus die. However, some survive and sprout axon collaterals that form new synapses with granule cells. The functional consequences of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic synaptic reorganization are unclear. Development of new methods to suppress epilepsy-related interneuron axon sprouting might be useful experimentally. Status epilepticus was induced by systemic pilocarpine treatment in green fluorescent protein (GFP)-expressing inhibitory nerurons (GIN) mice in which a subset of somatostatin interneurons expresses GFP. Beginning 24 h later, mice were treated with vehicle or rapamycin (3 mg/kg intraperitoneally) every day for 2 months. Stereologic methods were then used to estimate numbers of GFP-positive hilar neurons per dentate gyrus and total length of GFP-positive axon in the molecular layer plus granule cell layer. GFP-positive axon density was calculated. The number of GFP-positive axon crossings of the granule cell layer was measured. Regression analyses were performed to test for correlations between GFP-positive axon length versus number of granule cells and dentate gyrus volume. After pilocarpine-induced status epilepticus, rapamycin- and vehicle-treated mice had approximately half as many GFP-positive hilar neurons as did control animals. Despite neuron loss, vehicle-treated mice had over twice the GFP-positive axon length per dentate gyrus as controls, consistent with GABAergic axon sprouting. In contrast, total GFP-positive axon length was similar in rapamycin-treated mice and controls. GFP-positive axon length correlated most closely with dentate gyrus volume. These findings suggest that rapamycin suppressed axon sprouting by surviving somatostatin/GFP-positive interneurons after pilocarpine-induced status epilepticus in GIN mice. It is unclear whether the effect of rapamycin on axon length was on interneurons directly or secondary, for example, by suppressing growth of granule cell dendrites, which are synaptic targets of interneuron axons. The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathway might be a useful drug target for influencing GABAergic synaptic reorganization after epileptogenic treatments, but additional side effects of rapamycin treatment must be considered carefully.
    Epilepsia 08/2011; 52(11):2057-64. · 3.96 Impact Factor
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    Paul S Buckmaster, Felicia H Lew
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    ABSTRACT: Temporal lobe epilepsy is prevalent and can be difficult to treat effectively. Granule cell axon (mossy fiber) sprouting is a common neuropathological finding in patients with mesial temporal lobe epilepsy, but its role in epileptogenesis is unclear and controversial. Focally infused or systemic rapamycin inhibits the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathway and suppresses mossy fiber sprouting in rats. We tested whether long-term systemic treatment with rapamycin, beginning 1 d after pilocarpine-induced status epilepticus in mice, would suppress mossy fiber sprouting and affect the development of spontaneous seizures. Mice that had experienced status epilepticus and were treated for 2 months with rapamycin displayed significantly less mossy fiber sprouting (42% of vehicle-treated animals), and the effect was dose dependent. However, behavioral and video/EEG monitoring revealed that rapamycin- and vehicle-treated mice displayed spontaneous seizures at similar frequencies. These findings suggest mossy fiber sprouting is neither pro- nor anti-convulsant; however, there are caveats. Rapamycin treatment also reduced epilepsy-related hypertrophy of the dentate gyrus but did not significantly affect granule cell proliferation, hilar neuron loss, or generation of ectopic granule cells. These findings are consistent with the hypotheses that hilar neuron loss and ectopic granule cells might contribute to temporal lobe epileptogenesis.
    Journal of Neuroscience 02/2011; 31(6):2337-47. · 6.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Seizure-induced hilar basal dendrites on dentate granule cells are observed in several rodent models of temporal lobe epilepsy. Ultrastructural evidence showed that basal dendrites receive predominantly excitatory synapses, including many from mossy fibers. Such highly interconnected granule cells with basal dendrites are suggested to enhance hyperexcitability within the dentate network. For an expanded treatment of this topic see Jasper’s Basic Mechanisms of the Epilepsies, Fourth Edition (Noebels JL, Avoli M, Rogawski MA, Olsen RW, Delgado-Escueta AV, eds) published by Oxford University Press (available on the National Library of Medicine Bookshelf [NCBI] at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books).
    Epilepsia 12/2010; 51(s5):43 - 43. · 3.96 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The density of somatostatin (SOM)-containing GABAergic interneurons in the hilus of the dentate gyrus is significantly decreased in both human and experimental temporal lobe epilepsy. We used the pilocarpine model of status epilepticus and temporal lobe epilepsy in mice to study anatomical and electrophysiological properties of surviving somatostatin interneurons and determine whether compensatory functional changes occur that might offset loss of other inhibitory neurons. Using standard patch-clamp techniques and pipettes containing biocytin, whole cell recordings were obtained in hippocampal slices maintained in vitro. Hilar SOM cells containing enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) were identified with fluorescent and infrared differential interference contrast video microscopy in epileptic and control GIN (EGFP-expressing Inhibitory Neurons) mice. Results showed that SOM cells from epileptic mice had 1) significant increases in somatic area and dendritic length; 2) changes in membrane properties, including a small but significant decrease in resting membrane potential, and increases in time constant and whole cell capacitance; 3) increased frequency of slowly rising spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (sEPSCs) due primarily to increased mEPSC frequency, without changes in the probability of release; 4) increased evoked EPSC amplitude; and 5) increased spontaneous action potential generation in cell-attached recordings. Results suggest an increase in excitatory innervation, perhaps on distal dendrites, considering the slower rising EPSCs and increased output of hilar SOM cells in this model of epilepsy. In sum, these changes would be expected to increase the inhibitory output of surviving SOM interneurons and in part compensate for interneuronal loss in the epileptogenic hippocampus.
    Journal of Neurophysiology 10/2010; 104(4):2214-23. · 3.30 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Coping with intermittent social stress is an essential aspect of living in complex social environments. Coping tends to counteract the deleterious effects of stress and is thought to induce neuroadaptations in corticolimbic brain systems. Here we test this hypothesis in adult squirrel monkey males exposed to intermittent social separations and new pair formations. These manipulations simulate conditions that typically occur in male social associations because of competition for limited access to residency in mixed-sex groups. As evidence of coping, we previously confirmed that cortisol levels initially increase and then are restored to prestress levels within several days of each separation and new pair formation. Follow-up studies with exogenous cortisol further established that feedback regulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis is not impaired. Now we report that exposure to intermittent social separations and new pair formations increased hippocampal neurogenesis in squirrel monkey males. Hippocampal neurogenesis in rodents contributes to spatial learning performance, and in monkeys we found that spatial learning was enhanced in conditions that increased hippocampal neurogenesis. Corresponding changes were discerned in the expression of genes involved in survival and integration of adult-born granule cells into hippocampal neural circuits. These findings support recent indications that stress coping stimulates hippocampal neurogenesis in adult rodents. Psychotherapies designed to promote stress coping potentially have similar effects in humans with major depression.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 08/2010; 107(33):14823-7. · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Many patients with temporal lobe epilepsy display neuron loss in the dentate gyrus. One potential epileptogenic mechanism is loss of GABAergic interneurons and inhibitory synapses with granule cells. Stereological techniques were used to estimate numbers of gephyrin-positive punctae in the dentate gyrus, which were reduced short-term (5 days after pilocarpine-induced status epilepticus) but later rebounded beyond controls in epileptic rats. Stereological techniques were used to estimate numbers of synapses in electron micrographs of serial sections processed for postembedding GABA-immunoreactivity. Adjacent sections were used to estimate numbers of granule cells and glutamic acid decarboxylase-positive neurons per dentate gyrus. GABAergic neurons were reduced to 70% of control levels short-term, where they remained in epileptic rats. Integrating synapse and cell counts yielded average numbers of GABAergic synapses per granule cell, which decreased short-term and rebounded in epileptic animals beyond control levels. Axo-shaft and axo-spinous GABAergic synapse numbers in the outer molecular layer changed most. These findings suggest interneuron loss initially reduces numbers of GABAergic synapses with granule cells, but later, synaptogenesis by surviving interneurons overshoots control levels. In contrast, the average number of excitatory synapses per granule cell decreased short-term but recovered only toward control levels, although in epileptic rats excitatory synapses in the inner molecular layer were larger than in controls. These findings reveal a relative excess of GABAergic synapses and suggest that reports of reduced functional inhibitory synaptic input to granule cells in epilepsy might be attributable not to fewer but instead to abundant but dysfunctional GABAergic synapses.
    The Journal of Comparative Neurology 03/2010; 518(5):647-67. · 3.66 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

3k Citations
322.24 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2000–2012
    • Stanford Medicine
      • Department of Comparative Medicine
      Stanford, California, United States
  • 1999–2012
    • Stanford University
      • • Department of Comparative Medicine
      • • Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
      Stanford, CA, United States
  • 1997–2005
    • University of California, Davis
      • • School of Veterinary Medicine
      • • Center for Neuroscience
      Davis, CA, United States
  • 1996–1999
    • Colorado State University
      • Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology
      Fort Collins, CO, United States
    • CSU Mentor
      Long Beach, California, United States
  • 1992–1997
    • University of Washington Seattle
      • • Department of Neurological Surgery
      • • Department of Physiology and Biophysics
      Seattle, WA, United States