We investigated the role of the GABAergic system of the substantia nigra in seizures of rat pups. Rat pups had bilateral cannulae implanted chronically either in the sub-stantia nigra or 1.5 mm dorsal to it. At age 16 to 17 days, seizures were induced in the cannulated rats and naive (intact) controls by exposure to flurothyl following pretreatment with the GABA agonist, muscimol, or vehicle. Naive rats were the most resistant to flurothyl seizures. Bilateral nigral infusions of muscimol markedly facilitated the development of flurothyl seizures in a dose-response manner and differed significantly from the vehicle controls or rats infused with muscimol dorsally to the substantia nigra. In contrast, bilateral nigral muscimol infusions protected adult rats against the development of flurothyl seizures. Our data indicate that the effects of nigral GABA agonist infusions on seizures are age-dependent; the altered responsivity of the GABAergic nigral system in immature rats may be responsible in part for the increased seizure susceptibility of the developing central nervous system.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental Neuroscience