Decreased GABAergic inhibition due to dysfunction of inhibitory interneurons plays an important role in post-traumatic epileptogenesis. Reduced N-current Ca2+ channel function in GABAergic terminals contributes to interneuronal abnormalities and neural circuit hyperexcitability in the partial neocortical isolation (undercut, UC) model of post-traumatic epileptogenesis. Because brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) supports the development and maintenance of interneurons, we hypothesized that the activation of BDNF tropomyosin kinase B (TrkB) receptors by a small molecule, TrkB partial agonist, PTX BD4-3 (BD), would correct N channel abnormalities and enhance inhibitory synaptic transmission in UC cortex. Immunocytochemistry (ICC) and western blots were used to quantify N- and P/Q-type channels. We recorded evoked (e)IPSCs and responses to N and P/Q channel blockers to determine the effects of BD on channel function. Field potential recordings were used to determine the effects of BD on circuit hyperexcitability. Chronic BD treatment 1) upregulated N and P/Q channel immunoreactivity in GABAergic terminals; 2) increased the effects of N or P/Q channel blockade on evoked inhibitory postsynaptic currents (eIPSCs); 3) increased GABA release probability and the frequency of sIPSCs; and 4) reduced the incidence of epileptiform discharges in UC cortex. The results suggest that chronic TrkB activation is a promising approach for rescuing injury-induced calcium channel abnormalities in inhibitory terminals, thereby improving interneuronal function and suppressing circuit hyperexcitability.
View details for DOI 10.1093/cercor/bhz254
View details for PubMedID 32488246