Changes of hippocampal Met-enkephalin content after recurrent motor seizures


Kainic acid (KA), a powerful neurotoxic analogue of glutamate, has been extensively used as a tool for selectively lesioning neuronal cell bodies; however, axons or nerve terminals are spared from damage in the area injected with kainic acid1,2. Injections of this neurotoxin in various brain regions were successfully used to locate cell bodies of neurones containing substance P, enkephalin and other putative neurotransmitters3,4. While attempting to locate the cell bodies of the enkephalin containing neurones present in hippocampus using KA injections, we found that a few days after intracerebral injections of KA a drastic increase in the Met-enkephalin (ME) content of hippocampus occurs. We now describe the delayed increase in hippocampal ME content elicited by intracerebral KA injections and examine the possible mechanism that is operative in causing this increase. Moreover, we provide some evidence suggesting that the increase in ME content elicited by intracerebral injections of KA may be related to the recurrent motor seizures elicited by intracerebral injections of KA.

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Hong, J., Wood, P., Gillin, J. et al. Changes of hippocampal Met-enkephalin content after recurrent motor seizures. Nature 285, 231–232 (1980).

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