Frequency-dependent inhibition of neuronal activity by topiramate in rat hippocampal slices

Po-Wu Gean, S. P. Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Topiramate is a structurally novel anticonvulsant which was recently approved for adjunctive therapy in partial and secondarily generalized seizures. The present study was aimed at elucidating the mechanisms underlying the anticonvulsant efficacy of topiramate using intra- and extracellular recording techniques in the in vitro hippocampal slices. When stimuli were delieved every 20 sec, topiramate had no measurable effect on both field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fEPSPs) and population spikes (PSs). However, increasing the stimulation frequency from 0.05 to 0.2 Hz, topiramate significantly decreased the slope of fEPSP and the amplitude of PS in a concentration-dependent manner. The amplitude of presynaptic fiber volley was also reduced. Topiramate did not affect monosynaptically evoked inhibitory postsynaptic potentials (IPSPs). Sustained repetitive firing was elecited by injection of long duration depolarizing current pulses. Superfusion with topiramate significantly reduced the number of action potentials evoked by a given current pulse. After blockade of GABA receptors by bicuculline, burst firing which consisted of a train of several spikes riding on a large depolarizing wave termed paroxysmal depolarizing shift (PDS) was recorded. Application of topiramate reduced the duration of PDS and later spikes with less effect on the initial action potential. These results suggest that frequency-dependent inhibition of neuronal activity due to blockade of Na+ channels may account largely for the anticonvulsant efficacy of topiramate.

Original languageEnglish
JournalFASEB Journal
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1998 Mar 20

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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