The effect of 6-cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione (CNQX), a specific non-N-methyl-d-aspartate (non-NMDA) receptor antagonist, on NMDA-independent epileptiform activity induced by Mg2+-free medium was studied in rat basolateral amygdala (BLA) neurons using intracellular recording techniques. Twenty to 30 min after switching to Mg2+-free medium, spontaneous and evoked epileptiform activity were observed in 16 out of 18 amygdala slices. Superfusion of d-2-amino-5-phosphonovalerate (d-APV), a selective NMDA receptor antagonist, reduced the duration of epileptiform activity by an average of 83%. However, there was a residual depolarizing component which remained in the presence of d-APV. This d-APV-resistant component could be completely blocked by CNQX suggesting that it is mediated by non-NMDA receptors.
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