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Journal of Neural Transplantation and Plasticity
Volume 5, Issue 1, Pages 65-79

Effects of Intraventricular Locus Coeruleus Transplants on Seizure Severity in Genetically Epilepsy-Prone Rats Following Depletion of Brain Norepinephrine

1Department of Anatomy, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, Carbondale, IL 62901, USA
2Department of Physiology, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, Carbondale, IL, USA
3Department of Basic Science, University of Illinois College of Medicine-Peoria, Peoria, IL, USA

Copyright © 1994 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Audiogenic seizures (AGS) in genetically epilepsy-prone rats (GEPR) of the moderateseizure substrain (GEPR-3s) were investigated to determine whether norepinephrine (NE) depletion induced by 6-hydroxydopalnine (6-OHDA) microinfusion into the locus coeruleus (LC) could alter the efficacy of intraventricular NE tissue grafts in promoting reductions in seizure severity in AGS. GEPR-3s were stereotaxically infused with 6-OHDA (4μg/side/rat), or vehicle into the region of the LC. Following 6-OHDA treatment all animals were subjected to 3 AGS tests. GEPR-3s seizure severities were increased in 39.5% of the animals after microinfusion of 6-OHDA into the region of the LC. Following the third AGS test, each rat was stereotaxicaily implanted with 17 gestational day rat fetal tissue obtained from the dorsal pons and containing the primordia of the LC or with tissue obtained from the neocortex or were sham-grafted. Subsequent to grafting, rats were subjected to 3 additional AGS tests. 53% (10/19) of 6-OHDA treated GEPRs showed a significant reduction in seizure severity following transplantation of fetal LC tissue. In contrast, only 20% (1/5) of GEPRs infused with saline rather than 6-OHDA showed, a reduction of seizure severity following fetal LC transplantation. NE content in the cortex and pons/medulla was decreased by 78% and 46% respectively following 6-OHDA microinfusion into the LC. Prominent grafts with numerous TH positive neurons and neurites were present within the third ventricle of grafted animals, while cortex grafts contained no TH immunostained structures. These findings suggest that the efficacy of fetal LC tissue to promote reductions in seizure severity in GEPRs is increased following depletion of central NE by microinfusion of 6-OHDA.