Physiological changes in chronic epileptic rats are prominent in superficial layers of the medial entorhinal area
Purpose: We investigated whether the functional network properties of the medial entorhinal area (MEA) of the entorhinal cortex were altered in a rat model of chronic epilepsy that is characterized by extensive cell loss in MEA layer III.
Methods: Responses were evoked in the entorhinal cortex by electrical stimulation of the subiculum in anesthetized chronic epileptic rats, 2–4 months after status epilepticus, induced by systemic kainate (KA) injections. Laminar field potentials were measured using a 16‐channel silicon probe that covered all six layers of the MEA; an estimate of the local transmembrane currents was made using current source density analysis.
Results: Double‐pulse stimulation of the subiculum evoked responses in deep and superficial layers of the MEA in control and KA rats. A current sink in layer I and at the border of layer I and II that was induced by antidromic activation of MEA‐II, was much more prominent in KA rats with extensive neuronal loss in MEA‐III than in control rats or KA rats with minor MEA‐III loss. Furthermore, KA rats that displayed MEA‐III loss presented a series of oscillations induced by subicular stimulation in the β/γ‐frequency range (20–100 Hz), which were confined to superficial layers of MEA. These oscillations were never observed in control rats or KA rats with minor MEA‐III loss.
Conclusions: These results indicate that the observed alterations in the superficial MEA responses to subiculum stimulation and the occurrence of β/γ‐oscillations are related phenomena, which are a consequence of altered and impaired inhibition within these MEA layers in chronic epileptic rats.