Temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) is a neurological condition associated with neuron loss, axon sprouting, and hippocampal sclerosis, which results in modified synaptic circuitry. Cannabinoids appear to be anti-convulsive in patients and animal models of TLE, but the mechanisms of this effect are not known. A pilocarpine-induced status epilepticus mouse model of TLE was used to study the effect of cannabinoid agonists on recurrent excitatory circuits of the dentate gyrus using electrophysiological recordings in hippocampal slices isolated from control mice and mice with TLE. Cannabinoid agonists WIN 55,212-2, anandamide (AEA), or 2-arachydonoylglycerol (2-AG) reduced the frequency of spontaneous and tetrodotoxin-resistant excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) in mice with TLE, but not in controls. WIN 55,212-2 also reduced the frequency of EPSCs evoked by glutamate-photolysis activation of other granule cells in epileptic mice. Secondary population discharges evoked after antidromic electrical stimulation of mossy fibers in the hilus were also attenuated by cannabinoid agonists. Agonist effects were blocked by the cannabinoid type 1 receptor (CB1R) antagonist AM251. No change in glutamate release was observed in slices from mice that did not undergo status epilepticus. Western blot analysis suggested an up-regulation of CB1R in the dentate gyrus of animals with TLE. These findings indicate that activation of CB1R present on nerve terminals can suppress recurrent excitation in the dentate gyrus of mice with TLE. This suggests a mechanism for the anti-convulsive role of cannabinoids aimed at modulating receptors on synaptic terminals expressed de novo after epileptogenesis.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Bhaskaran, Muthu D. and Smith, Bret N., "Cannabinoid-Mediated Inhibition of Recurrent Excitatory Circuitry in the Dentate Gyrus in a Mouse Model of Temporal Lobe Epilepsy" (2010). Physiology Faculty Publications. 2.