Epilepsy and Dendritic Ion Channels

Science's STKE  27 Jul 2004:
Vol. 2004, Issue 243, pp. tw275
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2432004tw275

Little is known about the changes in ion channel function in the neuronal membrane after a region of the brain has become epileptic. Bernard et al. (see the Perspective by Staley) show that the electrical properties of hippocampal pyramidal cell dendrites are altered in a rat model of temporal lobe epilepsy. Back-propagation of dendritic action potentials is enhanced in these animals because of a loss of A-type K+ channel function. This change appears ultimately to alter the input-output characteristics of the dendrites that enhance excitability and susceptibility to seizures.

C. Bernard, A. Anderson, A. Becker, N. P. Poolos, H. Beck, D. Johnston, Acquired dendritic channelopathy in temporal lobe epilepsy. Science 305, 532-535 (2004). [Abstract] [Full Text]

K. Staley, Epileptic neurons go wireless. Science 305, 482-483 (2004). [Summary] [Full Text]