Commonalities and differences in extracellular levels of hippocampal acetylcholine and amino acid neurotransmitters during status epilepticus and subsequent epileptogenesis in two rat models of temporal lobe epilepsy
Chemically or electrically induced status epilepticus (SE) in rodents is a commonly used method for induction of epilepsy. Structural and functional changes in the hippocampus play a pivotal role in epileptogenesis induced by SE. Although cholinergic mechanisms have long been thought to play an important role in the onset and propagation of epileptic seizures, not much is known about the potential role of acetylcholine (ACh) in ictogenesis and epileptogenesis in SE models of temporal lobe epilepsy. Here we used in vivo microdialysis to determine extracellular levels of ACh and, for comparison, several amino acid transmitters in the ventral hippocampus during SE, epileptogenesis, and the chronic epileptic state in two rat models of SE-induced epilepsy. SE was either induced by lithium-pilocarpine or by sustained electrical stimulation of the basolateral amygdala (BLA). ACh increased during SE in both models. Pretreatment with the muscarinic receptor antagonist scopolamine before BLA stimulation reduced SE severity and duration. In contrast to ACh, no consistent changes in amino acid levels were found during SE in the two models. During epileptogenesis and the chronic epileptic state, the only commonalities found in both models were a decrease in ACh in epileptic rats during the chronic epileptic state and a decrease in aspartate during epileptogenesis. The data demonstrate complex, model-dependent alterations in extracellular levels of ACh and amino acid neurotransmitters and only few commonalities. Thus, data originating from only one model of post-SE epilepsy should not be generalized but may have a limited translational value for understanding ictogenesis or epileptogenesis.