Epilepsy induced collateral sprouting of hippocampal mossy fibers: does it induce the development of ectopic synapses with granule cell dendrites?

Hippocampus. 1993 Jul;3(3):257-68. doi: 10.1002/hipo.450030303.


In the present study, using Golgi and electron microscopy techniques, experimentally induced epilepsy (kindling and kainate treatment) elicited collateral sprouting of mossy fibers in rat hippocampus. Collateral branches invade the hilus, cross the granule cell layer, and distribute throughout the inner third of the molecular layer. These newly developed collaterals may acquire the typical features of mossy fibers including giant fiber varicosities (mousses), although the mean surface of these mousses was thinner in these collaterals than in terminal branches. Granule cell dendrites may develop giant thorny excrescences, suggesting that the targets of these collaterals are granule cells. Giant synaptic boutons appear in the inner third of molecular layer of epileptic rats. These boutons acquire the morphological features of mossy fiber boutons and made multiple synaptic contacts with dendritic spines. The analysis of the profile types suggests that some of the newly developed collateral mossy fibers made hypotrophic synaptic contacts.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dendrites / physiology*
  • Dendrites / ultrastructure
  • Epilepsy / pathology
  • Epilepsy / physiopathology*
  • Golgi Apparatus / drug effects
  • Golgi Apparatus / ultrastructure
  • Granulocytes / physiology*
  • Granulocytes / ultrastructure
  • Hippocampus / growth & development*
  • Hippocampus / pathology
  • Kainic Acid / pharmacology
  • Kindling, Neurologic
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Nerve Fibers / physiology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Synapses / physiology*


  • Kainic Acid