We tested the hypothesis that presynaptic GABA(B) receptors on glutamatergic terminals (GABA(B) heterosynaptic receptors) decreased in efficacy after partial hippocampal kindling. Rats were implanted with chronically indwelling electrodes and 15 hippocampal afterdischarges were evoked by high-frequency electrical stimulation of hippocampal CA1. Control rats were implanted with electrodes but not given high-frequency stimulations. One to 21 days after the last afterdischarge, excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs) were recorded in CA1 of hippocampal slices in vitro, following stimulation of the stratum radiatum. Field EPSPs (fEPSPs) were recorded in CA1 stratum radiatum and intracellular EPSPs (iEPSPs) were recorded from CA1 pyramidal cells. GABA(B) receptor agonist +/- baclofen (10 microM) in the bath suppressed the fEPSPs significantly more in control than kindled rats, at 1 or 21 days after kindling. Similarly, baclofen (10 microM) suppressed iEPSPs more in the control than the kindled group of neurons recorded at 1 day after kindling. Suppression of the fEPSPs by 1 microM N(6)-cyclopentyladenosine, which acted on presynaptic A1 receptors, was not different between kindled and control rats. Activation of the GABA(B) heteroreceptors by a conditioning burst stimulation of CA3 afferents suppressed the iEPSPs evoked by a test pulse. The suppression of the iEPSPs at 250-500 ms condition-test interval was larger in control than kindled groups of neurons. It was concluded that the efficacy of presynaptic GABA(B) receptors on the glutamatergic terminals was reduced after partial hippocampal kindling. The reduction in heterosynaptic presynaptic GABA(B) receptor efficacy will increase glutamate release and seizure susceptibility, particularly during repeated neural activity.
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