Abnormal pyramidal cell morphology and HCN channel expression in cortical dysplasia

Academic Article


  • Cortical dysplasia is often associated with intractable seizures. Studies in animal models have described changes in inhibitory and excitatory synaptic function that contribute to hyperexcitability. The role of changes in intrinsic excitability and abnormal dendritic properties has received less attention. Changes in hyperpolarization-activated nonselective cation (HCN) channels have been implicated in several models of epilepsy. Herein we review evidence for alterations in HCN channels and dendritic morphology in the rat freeze-lesion model of cortical dysplasia. Immunocytochemical HCN1 staining, typically seen in the apical dendrites of layer V pyramidal cells in normal cortex, was greatly reduced in the region adjacent to the freeze-induced microgyrus. Although staining was preserved in layer I, fewer dendrites were stained in upper cortical layers. Deeper cortical layers were virtually devoid of immunoreactivity. Examination of biocytin-labeled pyramidal cells revealed markedly altered dendritic trees in the lesioned animals. In addition, resting membrane properties were altered and a subpopulation of neurons with abnormal dendritic arbors was present. These changes are likely to interact with the previously reported synaptic changes in this model of cortical dysplasia. HCN channel alterations are a potentially important cellular mechanism underlying hyperexcitability in cortical dysplasia. © 2010 International League Against Epilepsy.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Epilepsia  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Hablitz JJ; Yang J
  • Start Page

  • 52
  • End Page

  • 55
  • Volume

  • 51
  • Issue

  • SUPPL. 3