Epilepsy Resaearch Publications

Neurobiology of Disease

The loss of interneuron functional diversity in the piriform cortex after induction of experimental epilepsy

Interneuronal functional diversity is thought to be an important factor in the control of neural network oscillations in many brain regions. Specifically, interneuron action potential firing patterns are thought to modulate brain rhythms. In neurological disorders such as epilepsy where brain rhythms are significantly disturbed interneuron function is largely unexplored. Thus the purpose of this study was to examine the functional diversity of piriform cortex interneurons (PC; an area of the brain that easily supports seizures) before and after kindling-induced epilepsy. Using cluster analysis, we found five control firing behaviors. These groups were termed: non-adapting very high frequency (NAvHF), adapting high frequency (AHF), adapting low frequency (ALF), strongly adapting low frequency (sALF), and weakly adapting low frequency (wALF).

Frontiers in Neural Circuits

Zeinab Birjandian , Chakravarthi Narla and Michael O. Poulter

The inhibition of excitatory (pyramidal) neurons directly dampens their activity resulting in a suppression of neural network output. The inhibition of inhibitory cells is more complex. Inhibitory drive is known to gate neural network synchrony, but there is also a widely held view that it may augment excitability by reducing inhibitory cell activity, a process termed disinhibition. Surprisingly, however, disinhibition has never been demonstrated to be an important mechanism that augments or drives the activity of excitatory neurons in a functioning neural circuit. Using voltage sensitive dye imaging (VSDI) we show that 20–80 Hz stimulus trains, β–γ activation, of the olfactory cortex pyramidal cells in layer II leads to a subsequent reduction in inhibitory interneuron activity that augments the efficacy of the initial stimulus

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