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Activation of the basal ganglia and indirect pathway neurons during frontal lobe seizures

23 August, 2021

Anastasia Brodovskaya, Shinnosuke Shiono, Jaideep Kapur

Brain 17 March 2021 Volume 144, Issue 7, July 2021, Pages 2074 - 2091, DOI: 10.1093/brain/awab119


There are no detailed descriptions of neuronal circuit active during frontal lobe motor seizures. Using activity reporter mice, local field potential recordings, tissue clearing, viral tracing, and super-resolution microscopy, we found neuronal activation after focal motor to bilateral tonic-clonic seizures in the striatum, globus pallidus externus, subthalamic nucleus, substantia nigra pars reticulata and neurons of the indirect pathway. Seizures preferentially activated dopamine D2 receptor-expressing neurons over D1 in the striatum, which have different projections. Furthermore, the D2 receptor agonist infused into the striatum exerted an anticonvulsant effect. Seizures activate structures via short and long latency loops, and anatomical connections of the seizure focus determine the seizure circuit. These studies, for the first time, show activation of neurons in the striatum, globus pallidus, subthalamic nucleus, and substantia nigra during frontal lobe motor seizures on the cellular level, revealing a complex neuronal activation circuit subject to modulation by the basal ganglia.