Seizure-associated spreading depression is a major feature of ictal events in two animal models of chronic epilepsy

Fatemeh Bahari, Paddy Ssentongo, Jiayang Liu, John Kimbugwe, Carlos Curay, Steven J. Schiff, Bruce J. Gluckman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Spreading depression is characterized by slow, propagating wave of cellular depolarization (SD) and is wildly associated with migraine, stroke, and traumatic brain injury. Seizures and spreading depression (or spreading depolarization, SD) have long been reported to coincide in acute seizure induction experiments. However, SD has not been observed associated with spotaneous seizures in animal or clinical recordings. Recently, advances in acquisition systems for neurointensive care units have made routine observations of SD possible. In clinical epilepsy, SD has been suggested as a candidate mechanism for migraine/headache like events following seizures as well as for post-ictal generalized suppression. In animal models of epilepsy, seizure-induced brainstem SD has also been demonstrated as a mechanism of sudden unexplained death in epilepsy (SUDEP). The interplay between seizures and SD has also been suggested in computational models, where the two are components of the repetoir of neuronal activity. However, the spatiotemporal dynamics of SD with respect to spontaneous seizures in chronically epileptic brain remains ambigous. We analyzed continuous long-term DC sensitive EEG measurements from two fundamentally different animal models of chronic epilepsy. We found that SD was associated with approximately one-third of all spontaneous seizures in each model. Additionally, SDs participated in the organization of seizure clusters. These findings demonstrate that the underlying dynamic of epileptic events is broader than seizures alone. Significance Statement Spreading depression is characterized by slow, propagating wave of cellular spreading depolarization (SD) and is wildly associated with migraine, stroke, and traumatic brain injury. Although recently the linkage between SD and induced seizures has been recognized, the mechanistic relationship between SD and spontaneous seizures remains poorly understood. Here, we utilized long-term, stable, near-DC measurements of the brain activity in two fundamentally different animal models of epilepsy to investigate the SD-seizure interplay. We found that SD is a frequent phenomenon in the epileptic brain, in these models is associated with more than a third of all seizures, and appears to connect seizures in seizure clusters. Although in one model SD stereotypically propagates out from a single focus in the hippocampus, depression of the field-potentials is observed synchronously across much of the hippocampus. These observations highlight the value of stable DC measurements for accurate understanding of SD and its propagation. We found that spontaneous ictal events that include both seizures and SD are frequent in animal models of epilepsy. These findings suggest that SD could be a valuable target for treatment and control of epilepsy. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)455519
JournalbioRxiv
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020

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