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Metabotropic Glutamate Receptors and Epileptogenesis

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Abstract

Activation of metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) often produces long-lasting effects on the excitability of cortical neurons. For example, mGluR stimulation induces long-term potentiation or depression of excitatory synaptic transmission in the hippocampus. Similarly, the effects of mGluRs on cortical epileptiform activities also are enduring. A transient application of group I mGluR agonists to hippocampal slices produces ictal-like discharges that persist for hours after the removal of the applied agonist. This action of group I mGluRs—transforming “normal” hippocampal slice into an “epileptic-like” one—may represent a form of epileptogenesis. The advent of such a model, in which epileptogenesis can be reliably induced in an in vitro preparation and the process is complete within hours, may facilitate the exploration of cellular mechanisms underlying epileptogenesis.

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