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Neural Plasticity
Volume 2014, Article ID 675128, 15 pages
Research Article

Involvement of Thalamus in Initiation of Epileptic Seizures Induced by Pilocarpine in Mice

1School of Biomedical Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, 800 Dong-Chuan Road, Shanghai 200240, China
2Department of Neurology, Ren Ji Hospital, School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200127, China

Received 30 November 2013; Accepted 5 February 2014; Published 20 March 2014

Academic Editor: Yun Wang

Copyright © 2014 Yong-Hua Li et al. 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.


Studies have suggested that thalamus is involved in temporal lobe epilepsy, but the role of thalamus is still unclear. We obtained local filed potentials (LFPs) and single-unit activities from CA1 of hippocampus and parafascicular nucleus of thalamus during the development of epileptic seizures induced by pilocarpine in mice. Two measures, redundancy and directionality index, were used to analyze the electrophysiological characters of neuronal activities and the information flow between thalamus and hippocampus. We found that LFPs became more regular during the seizure in both hippocampus and thalamus, and in some cases LFPs showed a transient disorder at seizure onset. The variation tendency of the peak values of cross-correlation function between neurons matched the variation tendency of the redundancy of LFPs. The information tended to flow from thalamus to hippocampus during seizure initiation period no matter what the information flow direction was before the seizure. In some cases the information flow was symmetrically bidirectional, but none was found in which the information flowed from hippocampus to thalamus during the seizure initiation period. In addition, inactivation of thalamus by tetrodotoxin (TTX) resulted in a suppression of seizures. These results suggest that thalamus may play an important role in the initiation of epileptic seizures.