Glutamate transmission rather than cellular pacemaking propels excitatory-inhibitory resonance for ictogenesis in amygdala

Guan Hsun Wang, Ping Chou, Shu Wei Hsueh, Ya Chin Yang*, Chung Chin Kuo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

7 Scopus citations


Epileptic seizures are automatic, excessive, and synchronized neuronal activities originating from many brain regions especially the amygdala, the allocortices and neocortices. This may reflect a shared principle for network organization and signaling in these telencephalic structures. In theory, the automaticity of epileptic discharges may stem from spontaneously active “oscillator” neurons equipped with intrinsic pacemaking conductances, or from a group of synaptically-connected collaborating “resonator” neurons. In the basolateral amygdalar (BLA) network of pyramidal-inhibitory (PN-IN) neuronal resonators, we demonstrated that rhythmogenic currents are provided by glutamatergic rather than the classic intrinsic or cellular pacemaking conductances (namely the h currents). The excitatory output of glutamatergic neurons such as PNs presumably propels a novel network-based “relay burst mode” of discharges especially in INs, which precondition PNs into a state prone to burst discharges and thus further glutamate release. Also, selective activation of unilateral PNs, but never INs, readily drives bilateral BLA networks into reverberating discharges which are fully synchronized with the behavioral manifestations of seizures (e.g. muscle contractions). Seizures originating in BLA and/or the other structures with similar PN-IN networks thus could be viewed as glutamate-triggered erroneous network oscillations that are normally responsible for information relay.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105188
JournalNeurobiology of Disease
StatePublished - 01 2021

Bibliographical note

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  • Epileptogenesis
  • GABAergic transmission
  • Glutamatergic transmission
  • Network reverberation
  • Relay burst mode


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