Induction of paroxysmal discharges in the dentate gyrus: frequency dependence and relationship to afterdischarge production

J Neurophysiol. 1989 Jul;62(1):126-35. doi: 10.1152/jn.1989.62.1.126.


1. Electrical-stimulus trains activated hippocampal circuits in urethan-anesthetized rats. Responses were monitored with recordings of extracellular potentials and with measurements of the extracellular potassium ([K+]o). Stimulating electrodes were placed in the CA3 region contralateral to the recording electrode (cCA3) and in the ipsilateral angular bundle (AB) while recording in the CA1 pyramidal-cell layer or the granule-cell layer of the dentate gyrus. Patterns of maximal activation were identified. 2. In the CA1 region, maximal activation was indicated by the presence of 10- to 15-mV population spikes, a smooth rise in [K+]o of 5-6 mM above base-line levels of 3 mM, and a negative shift of the sustained DC potential of 2-4 mV. The dentate gyrus was considered to be maximally activated when bursts of large-amplitude (20-40 mV) population spikes were present. These population spikes were associated with a secondary rise in [K+]o to 6-8 mM above base line and an abrupt negative shift of the DC potential of 5-8 mV. 3. Maximal activation depended on the stimulus intensity, frequency, and duration. Trains of 10-Hz stimuli were used to determine the lowest stimulus intensity needed to elicit complete activation in CA1 and in the dentate gyrus. At this intensity, afterdischarges were not produced, and these responses could be elicited repeatedly. 4. By the use of this threshold stimulus intensity, cCA3 stimulation produced a rapid and progressive augmentation of CA1 responses until maximal activation was reached. In comparison, stimulation of the AB could produce the same end result, but the appearance of CA1 population spikes was delayed. Stimulation of the AB produced a steady increase in the evoked granule-cell population spike until the appearance of the paroxysmal large-amplitude population spikes. In contrast, cCA3 stimulation produced two positive evoked responses in the dentate gyrus before the paroxysms of population spikes began. 5. The frequency dependence of the responses was determined by giving stimulus trains ranging from 2 to 100 Hz. Stimulation of cCA3 produced population spikes in CA1 up to 100 Hz that were all associated with the same peak rise in [K+]o. AB stimulation only produced CA1 responses with stimulation frequencies between 15 and 25 Hz. The paroxysmal dentate population spikes were generated by stimulus frequencies between 15 and 30 Hz with both AB and cCA3 stimulation. 6. Unilateral colchicine injections caused a loss of dentate granule cells and a loss of maximal dentate activation on the side of the injection.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Colchicine / pharmacology
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Epilepsy / physiopathology
  • Hippocampus / drug effects
  • Hippocampus / physiology*
  • Male
  • Membrane Potentials
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Sensory Thresholds


  • Colchicine