Kindling-induced potentiation in the piriform cortex
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At intensities sufficient to induce epileptiform afterdischarges, repeated electrical stimulation of limbic structures can lead to the development of permanent increases in the strength of the epileptiform response (kindling). Field potentials evoked by pulse stimulation are also increased in amplitude in a number of forebrain pathways following kindling. This kindling-induced potentiation effect is similar in many respects to the 'long-term potentiation' (LTP) effect which is produced by non-epileptogenic stimulation. There are, however, some interesting differences. For example, kindling-induced potentiation can far outlast LTP. In these experiments, we attempted to determine the longevity of the kindling-induced potentiation of the response evoked in the piriform cortex by olfactory bulb stimulation, following olfactory bulb kindling. This system was targeted because both the olfactory bulb and the piriform cortex are highly reactive kindling sites. In addition, we used the paired pulse technique to monitor facilitation and inhibition in this system. Kindling was found to induce a potentiation in the piriform field potential that lasted for at least 3 months (the period of the experiment) with little or no decay. Kindling also produced a decrease in paired pulse facilitation. In some animals the net facilitation was changed to a net depression. These results are consistent with the interpretation that kindling produces an increase in recurrent inhibition in the piriform cortex. The paired pulse measures, however, returned to near baseline levels over the 3-month test period.