Regional expression of fos-like immunoreactivity following seizures induced by pentylenetetrazole and maximal electroshock

Safa Shehab, Peter Coffey, Paul Dean, Peter Redgrave

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80 Citations (Scopus)


The expression of fos-like immunoreactivity (FLI) has been used widely as a marker of neural activation following the induction of seizures in several experimental models of epilepsy. The purpose of the present study was to provide a more detailed regional analysis of FLI expression following the induction of seizures by maximal electroshock (MES) and pentylenetetrazole (PTZ). Tonic-clonic seizures, matched for duration, were induced by MES applied by earclips (40 mA, 1 s) and intraperitoneal injections of PTZ (60 mg/kg); tonic hindlimb extension was present only after MES. Two hours after the induction of seizures brain tissue was processed for FLI. High levels of FLI were induced by both convulsion-inducing processes in a range of structures, including the dentate gyrus, the caudal amygdala, parts of the cerebral cortex, the bed nucleus of stria terminalis, various thalamic nuclei, the lateral parabrachial nucleus, and the nucleus of the solitary tract. In other structures, such as the medial and rostral amygdala, the ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus, the peripeduncular area, the central gray, and parts of the pretectum and superior colliculus, significantly greater FLI was induced by MES. Only in relatively few structures, such as the reticular thalamic nucleus and arcuate nucleus of the hypothamus, did PTZ cause a much larger expression of FLI than MES. Insofar as the c-fos technique reflects neuronal activation, the present data reveal potentially important differences in the circuitry underlying the seizures induced in two major experimental models of epilepsy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-274
Number of pages14
JournalExperimental Neurology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Developmental Neuroscience


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