Spatiotemporal alterations of central alpha 1-adrenergic receptor binding sites following amygdaloid kindling seizures in the rat: autoradiographic studies using [3H]prazosin

Brain Res. 1995 Feb 20;672(1-2):214-27. doi: 10.1016/0006-8993(94)01338-i.


Noradrenergic neurons are thought to be involved in the process of seizure development and long-term central nervous system plasticity associated with kindling and epilepsy. These processes involve actions of noradrenaline at alpha 1-, alpha 2- and beta 1-adrenergic receptors. In this study, quantitative in vitro autoradiography was used to investigate possible changes in the density of brain alpha 1-adrenergic receptors in a kindling model of epilepsy in the rat. Kindling was produced by daily unilateral stimulation of the amygdala. The alpha 1A+alpha 1B subtypes of adrenergic receptors were labelled with the alpha 1-selective antagonist, [3H]prazosin and alpha 1B receptors, detected in the presence of 10 nM WB4101 to selectively occupy alpha 1A receptors, accounted for 50% of total alpha 1 receptors in cerebral cortex. Autoradiographic studies identified significant and long-lasting, ipsilateral increases in specific [3H]prazosin binding throughout layers I-III of the cortex in sham-operated, unstimulated rats, presumably caused by the surgical implantation of the stimulating electrode within the basolateral amygdaloid nucleus. Binding to alpha 1A + alpha 1B receptors and alpha 1B receptors was increased by an average of 35 and 60%, respectively under these conditions. Stimulation-evoked seizures produced dramatic bilateral increases in specific [3H]prazosin binding to alpha 1A + alpha 1B receptors and particularly to alpha 1B receptors in layers I-III of all cortical areas examined. These changes were rapidly induced and the largest increases (range alpha 1A + alpha 1B 80-340%; alpha 1B 165-380%) occurred at 0.5-2 h after the last stage 5 kindled seizure. At 1 and 3 days after the last seizure, increases were measured for both alpha 1A + alpha 1B and alpha 1B receptors in layers I-III of particular cortical regions, but not overall (e.g. 60-210% increase in perirhinal cortex at both times, with increases also in retrosplenial, hindlimb, occipital, parietal and temporal cortices). Between 2-8 wk post-stimulation specific receptor binding levels were equivalent to those in sham-operated, unstimulated rats. In contrast to the large and widespread increases in outer cortical [3H]prazosin binding, smaller increases were detected in the inner cortex (layer V-VI) at individual times (65-75% increase at 30 min), while no significant changes occurred in several other brain regions examined, including thalamus, which contained a high density of alpha 1A and alpha 1B receptors, or hippocampus which has a low density of both alpha 1 receptor subtypes.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amygdala / physiology
  • Amygdala / physiopathology*
  • Animals
  • Autoradiography
  • Binding Sites
  • Cerebral Cortex / metabolism
  • Diencephalon / metabolism
  • Kindling, Neurologic*
  • Male
  • Mesencephalon / metabolism
  • Prazosin / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Receptors, Adrenergic, alpha / metabolism*
  • Reference Values
  • Seizures / etiology
  • Seizures / metabolism*
  • Time Factors
  • Tissue Distribution
  • Tritium


  • Receptors, Adrenergic, alpha
  • Tritium
  • Prazosin