Altered pharmacology and GABA-A receptor subunit expression in dorsal midline thalamic neurons in limbic epilepsy

Karthik Rajasekaran, Chengsan Sun, Edward H. Bertram

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations


The mediodorsal (MD) and paraventricular (PV) thalamic nuclei play a significant role in limbic epilepsy, and previous reports have shown changes in GABA-A receptor (GABAAR) mediated synaptic function. In this study, we examined changes in the pharmacology of GABAergic drugs and the expression of the GABAAR subunits in the MD and PV neurons in epilepsy. We observed nucleus specific changes in the sensitivity of sIPSCs to zolpidem and phenobarbital in MD and PV neurons from epileptic animals. In contrast, the magnitude of change in electrically evoked response (eIPSC) to zolpidem and phenobarbital were uniformly diminished in both MD and PV neurons in epilepsy. Immunohistochemical studies revealed that in epilepsy, there was a reduction in GAD65 expression and NeuN positive neurons in the MD neurons. Also, there was a decrease in immunoreactivity of the α1 and β2/3 subunit of GABAARs, but not the γ2 of the GABAAR in both MD and PV in epilepsy. These findings demonstrate significant alterations in the pharmacology of GABA and GABAARs in a key region for seizure generation, which may have implications for the physiology and pharmacology of limbic epilepsy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-132
Number of pages14
JournalNeurobiology of Disease
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009



  • GABA-A receptor
  • Mediodorsal thalamus
  • Paraventricular thalamus
  • Phenobarbital
  • Temporal lobe epilepsy
  • Zolpidem

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology

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