Behavioral and metabolic features of repetitive seizures in immature and mature rats

Patricia Szot, Sylvia S. White, Elizabeth B. McCarthy, Andrew Turella, Starr X. Rejniak, Philip A Schwartzkroin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Seizure incidence varies significantly with age, with seizure susceptibility particularly high during the first few years of life. Of significant concern is what effects do brief, repetitive seizures have on the developing brain. We approached this issue by examining the change in seizure threshold, and related markers of neuronal activity and metabolic activity (c-fos mRNA and 2-deoxyglucose [2DG]), as a function of repetitive seizure episodes in immature and mature rats. Starting on postnatal day 15 (P15) (immature) or P60 (adult) rats were given two flurothyl seizures a day for 5 days (nine or ten seizures). The seizure latency profile, our measure of threshold, in immature versus adult rats across the 5-day testing period was different. In immature rats, threshold for the second seizure on each day was significantly lower than for the first seizure, suggesting that there was little refractoriness after the first seizure of the day. In contrast, the mature animal had a significantly longer threshold latency to the second seizure for the first 3 days of testing. The immature animal was also more likely than the adult to exhibit tonic extension as a feature of the first seizure of the day. Following repetitive seizures, more regions of the CNS showed c-fos mRNA expression in the immature animal than adults, suggesting that repetitive seizures in the immature animal activated a greater percentage of the brain. Compared with the effects of a single seizure, repetitive seizures resulted in less 2DG labeling in most regions of the brain (except the hippocampus); in the immature brain this difference was more distinct than in adults. The consequences of repetitive seizures in the immature animal results in distinctly different seizure behavior and neuronal activity pattern (c-fos expression) than that observed in the mature animal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)191-203
Number of pages13
JournalEpilepsy Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • 2-Deoxyglucose
  • C-fos
  • Flurothyl
  • Hippocampus
  • Immature brain
  • Pediatric epilepsy
  • Repetitive seizure
  • Ventromedial hypothalamus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Neurology


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