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Toth, K; Wittner, L; Urban, Z; Doyle, W K; Buzsaki, G; Shigemoto, R; Freund, T F; Magloczky, Z
"Morphology and synaptic input of substance P receptor-immunoreactive interneurons in control and epileptic human hippocampus"
Neuroscience 2007 Jan 19; 144(2):495-508
Substance P (SP) is known to be a peptide that facilitates epileptic activity of principal cells in the hippocampus. Paradoxically, in other models, it was found to be protective against seizures by activating substance P receptor (SPR)-expressing interneurons. Thus, these cells appear to play an important role in the generation and regulation of epileptic seizures. The number, distribution, morphological features and input characteristics of SPR-immunoreactive cells were analyzed in surgically removed hippocampi of 28 temporal lobe epileptic patients and eight control hippocampi in order to examine their changes in epileptic tissues. SPR is expressed in a subset of inhibitory cells in the control human hippocampus, they are multipolar interneurons with smooth dendrites, present in all hippocampal subfields. This cell population is considerably different from SPR-positive cells of the rat hippocampus. The CA1 (cornu Ammonis subfield 1) region was chosen for the detailed morphological analysis of the SPR-immunoreactive cells because of its extreme vulnerability in epilepsy. The presence of various neurochemical markers identifies functionally distinct interneuron types, such as those responsible for perisomatic, dendritic or interneuron-selective inhibition. We found considerable colocalization of SPR with calbindin but not with parvalbumin, calretinin, cholecystokinin and somatostatin, therefore we suppose that SPR-positive cells participate mainly in dendritic inhibition. In the non-sclerotic CA1 region they are mainly preserved, whereas their number is decreased in the sclerotic cases. In the epileptic samples their morphology is considerably altered, they possessed more dendritic branches, which often became beaded. Analyses of synaptic coverage revealed that the ratio of symmetric synaptic input of SPR-immunoreactive cells has increased in epileptic samples. Our results suggest that SPR-positive cells are preserved while principal cells are present in the CA1 region, but show reactive changes in epilepsy including intense branching and growth of their dendritic arborization

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