OD-1, a scorpion toxin, has been previously recognized as an activator of voltage-gated Na+ currents. To what extent this agent can alter hippocampal neuronal Na+ currents and network excitability and how it can be applied to neuronal hyperexcitability research remains unclear. With the aid of patch-clamp technology, it was revealed that, in mHippoE-14 hippocampal neurons, OD-1 produced a concentration-, time-, and state-dependent rise in the peak amplitude of INa. It shifted the INa inactivation curve to a less negative potential and increased the frequency of spontaneous action currents. Further characterization of neuronal excitability revealed higher excitability in the hippocampal slices treated with OD-1 as compared with the control slices. A stereotaxic intrahippocampal injection of OD-1 generated a significantly higher frequency of spontaneous seizures and epileptiform discharges compared with intraperitoneal injection of lithium-pilocarpine-or kainic acid-induced epilepsy, with comparable pathological changes. Carbamazepine significantly attenuated OD-1 induced seizures and epileptiform discharges. The OD-1-mediated modifications of INa altered the electrical activity of neurons in vivo and OD-1 could potentially serve as a novel seizure and excitotoxicity model.
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