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Topiramate inhibits the initiation of plateau potentials in CA1 neurons by depressing R-type calcium channels.

Joseph Brent Kuzmiski, Wendy Barr, Gerald W Zamponi, Brian A Macvicar

Epilepsia, 2005 Apr , 46, 481-9

PURPOSE: Cholinergic-dependent plateau potentials (PPs) are intrinsically generated conductances that can elicit ictal-type seizure activity. The aim of this study was to investigate the actions of topiramate (TPM) on the generation of PPs. METHODS: We used whole-cell patch-clamp recordings from CA1 pyramidal neurons in rat hippocampal slices to examine the effects of TPM on the PPs. RESULTS: In current-clamp mode, action potentials evoked PPs after cholinergic receptor stimulation. Therapeutically relevant concentrations of TPM (50 microM) depressed the PPs evoked by action potentials. Surprisingly, in voltage-clamp mode, we discovered that the cyclic nucleotide-gated (CNG) current that underlies PP generation (denoted as I(tail)) was not depressed. However, significantly longer depolarizing voltage steps were required to elicit I(tail). This suggested that the calcium entry trigger for evoking PPs was depressed by TPM and not I(tail) itself. TPM had no effect on calcium spikes in control conditions; however, TPM did reduce calcium spikes after cholinergic-receptor stimulation. We recently found that R-type calcium spikes are enhanced by cholinergic-receptor stimulation. Therefore we isolated R-type calcium spikes with a cocktail containing tetrodotoxin, omega-conotoxin MVIIC, omega-conotoxin-GVIA, omega-agatoxin IVA, and nifedipine. R-type calcium spikes were significantly depressed by TPM. We also examined the effects of TPM on recombinant Ca(V)2.3 calcium channels expressed in tsA-201 cells. TPM depressed currents mediated by Ca(V)2.3 subunits by a hyperpolarizing shift in steady-state inactivation. CONCLUSIONS: We have found that TPM reduces ictal-like activity in CA1 hippocampal neurons through a novel inhibitory action of R-type calcium channels.