The brain 5HTergic response to an acute sound stress in rats with generalized (absence and audiogenic) epilepsy

I S Midzyanovskaya, G D Kuznetsova, E L J M van Luijtelaar, C M van Rijn, L Tuomisto, E Macdonald
Brain Research Bulletin 2006 May 31, 69 (6): 631-8
The brain serotoninergic (5HTergic) system of epileptic subjects can influence their vulnerability to stress. We studied the putative dependency of 5HT neurotransmission parameters on emotional stress, and the presence, types and severity of seizures using rats with genetic generalized (absence and/or audiogenic) epilepsy, of WAG/Rij and Wistar strains. The animals were stressed by exposure to a short aversive noise or left without sound stimulation. Tissue concentrations of 5HT, tryptophan (TRT) and 5-hydroxyindolacetic acid (5HIAA) were assessed by HPLC. The stressor activated the 5HTergic system within thalamus (5HIAA elevated), frontal cortex (5HT, TRT elevated), hypothalamus (increased TRT) in all rats. However, the normal (non-epileptic) rats displayed the highest response in the frontal cortex and the lowest one in the thalamus, as compared to the epileptic rats. Absence-epileptic rats exhibited higher thalamic 5HIAA increase than their controls. Significant correlations existed between propensity of absence epilepsy and 5HTergic parameters measured in the cortex and hypothalamus of absence-epileptic rats. No major difference was found between groups with and without audiogenic epilepsy. The results imply that the stress response depends on the presence of epileptic pathology and the seizure type and severity. The brain 5HT may be involved in the control of the paroxysms and behaviour in absence-epileptic subjects.

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