Development of epileptiform excitability in the deep entorhinal cortex after status epilepticus.
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Epileptiform neuronal activity during seizures is observed in many brain areas, but its origins following status epilepticus (SE) are unclear. We have used the Li low-dose pilocarpine rat model of temporal lobe epilepsy to examine early development of epileptiform activity in the deep entorhinal cortex (EC). We show that during the 3-week latent period that follows SE, an increasing percentage of neurons in EC layer 5 respond to a single synaptic stimulus with polysynaptic burst depolarizations. This change is paralleled by a progressive depolarizing shift of the inhibitory postsynaptic potential reversal potential in layer 5 neurons, apparently caused by upregulation of the Cl(-) inward transporter NKCC1 and concurrent downregulation of the Cl(-) outward transporter KCC2, both changes favoring intracellular Cl(-) accumulation. Inhibiting Cl(-) uptake in the latent period restored more negative GABAergic reversal potentials and eliminated polysynaptic bursts. The changes in the Cl(-) transporters were highly specific to the deep EC. They did not occur in layers 1-3, perirhinal cortex, subiculum or dentate gyrus during this period. We propose that the changes in Cl(-) homeostasis facilitate hyperexcitability in the deep entorhinal cortex leading to epileptiform discharge there, which subsequently affects downstream cortical regions.