Approximately one-third of neonatal seizures do not respond to first-line anticonvulsants, including phenobarbital, which enhances phasic inhibition. Whether enhancing tonic inhibition decreases seizure-like activity in the neonate when GABA is mainly depolarizing at this age is unknown. We evaluated if increasing tonic inhibition using THIP [4,5,6,7-tetrahydroisoxazolo(5,4-c)pyridin-3-ol, gaboxadol], a -subunit–selective GABAA receptor agonist, decreases seizure-like activity in neonatal C57BL/6J mice (postnatal day P5–8, both sexes) using acute brain slices. Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings showed that THIP enhanced GABAergic tonic inhibitory conductances in layer V neocortical and CA1 pyramidal neurons and increased their rheobase without altering sEPSC characteristics. Two-photon calcium imaging demonstrated that enhancing the activity of extrasynaptic GABAARs decreased neuronal firing in both brain regions. In the 4-aminopyridine and the low-Mg2+ model of pharmacoresistant seizures, THIP reduced epileptiform activity in the neocortex and CA1 hippocampal region of neonatal and adult brain slices in a dose-dependent manner. We conclude that neocortical layer V and CA1 pyramidal neurons have tonic inhibitory conductances, and when enhanced, they reduce neuronal firing and decrease seizure-like activity. Therefore, augmenting tonic inhibition could be a viable approach for treating neonatal seizures.

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This post is Copyright: Liddiard, G. T., Suryavanshi, P. S., Glykys, J. | February 15, 2024
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