Chronic changes in synaptic responses of entorhinal and hippocampal neurons after amino-oxyacetic acid (AOAA)-induced entorhinal neuron loss. J. Neurophysiol. 80: 3031-3046, 1998. Synaptic responses of entorhinal cortical and hippocampal neurons were examined in vivo and in vitro, 1 mo to 1.5 yr after a unilateral entorhinal lesion caused by a focal injection of amino-oxyacetic acid (AOAA). It has been shown previously that injection of AOAA into the medial entorhinal cortex produces cell loss in layer III preferentially. Although behavioral seizures stopped approximately 2 h after AOAA treatment, abnormal evoked responses were recorded as long as 1.5 yr later in the entorhinal cortex and hippocampus. In the majority of slices from AOAA-treated rats, responses recorded in the superficial layers of the medial entorhinal cortex to white matter, presubiculum, or parasubiculum stimulation were abnormal. Extracellularly recorded responses to white matter stimulation were prolonged and repetitive in the superficial layers. Intracellular recordings showed that residual principal cells in superficial layers produced prolonged, repetitive excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs) and discharges in response to white matter stimulation compared with brief EPSPs and a single discharge in controls. Responses of deep layer neurons of AOAA-treated rats did not differ from controls in their initial synaptic response. However, in a some of these neurons, additional periods of excitatory activity occurred after a delay. Abnormal responses were recorded from slices ipsilateral as well as contralateral to the lesioned hemisphere. Recordings from the entorhinal cortex in vivo were abnormal also, as demonstrated by prolonged and repetitive responses to stimulation of the area CA1/subiculum border. Evoked responses of hippocampal neurons, recorded in vitro or in vivo, demonstrated abnormalities in selected pathways, such as responses of CA3 neurons to hilar stimulation in vitro. There was a deficit in the duration of potentiation of CA1 population spikes in response to repetitive CA3 stimulation in AOAA-treated rats. Theta activity was reduced in amplitude in area CA1 and the dentate gyrus of AOAA-treated rats, although evoked responses to angular bundle stimulation could not be distinguished from controls. The results demonstrate that a preferential lesion of layer III of the entorhinal cortex produces a long-lasting change in evoked and spontaneous activity in parts of the entorhinal cortex and hippocampus. Given the similarity of the lesion produced by AOAA and entorhinal lesions in temporal lobe epileptics, these data support the hypothesis that preferential damage to the entorhinal cortex contributes to long-lasting changes in excitability, which could be relevant to the etiology of temporal lobe epilepsy.