Seizure spread through the life cycle: optical imaging in combined brain slices from immature, adult, and senile rats in vitro

Neurobiol Dis. 2005 Jun-Jul;19(1-2):84-95. doi: 10.1016/j.nbd.2004.11.013.


The semiology of epileptic seizures changes during the lifetime. Hence, it can be assumed that age-related changes in brain plasticity influence the patterns of seizure onset, spread and propagation velocity. We employed the 4-aminopyridine model of epilepsy to study seizure-like events in vitro. Combined entorhinal cortex-hippocampus brain slices from juvenile (10-13 days), adult (2-3 months), and senile (24-27 months) rats were examined using electrophysiological recordings and imaging of intrinsic optical signals. In the juvenile group, seizure onset was multifocal in all slice regions including the hippocampus. Onset in adult animals was confined to the entorhinal cortex and to neocortical regions. In slices from senile animals, there was a preponderance of seizure onsets in the neocortex. Spread patterns were highly variable in the juvenile group and became gradually more monomorph with increasing age. Propagation velocities were highest in the adult group, with maximum values of 1.51 +/- 0.68 mm/s. In the juvenile group, they amounted to 0.97 +/- 0.39 mm/s, and to 1.18 +/- 0.42 mm/s in senile slices. The results of this study indicate that age-related changes in brain plasticity profoundly affect spread patterns, which may contribute to the clinically observed changes in seizure semiology during early childhood, adulthood and senescence.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aging / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Female
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Life Cycle Stages / physiology
  • Male
  • Optics and Photonics
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Seizures / metabolism*