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Recurrent febrile seizures alter intrahippocampal temporal coordination but do not cause spatial learning impairments

Published Web Location Commons 'BY' version 4.0 license


Febrile seizures (FSs) are the most common form of seizures in children. Single short FSs are benign, but FSs lasting longer than 30 min, termed febrile status epilepticus, may result in neurological sequelae. However, there is little information about an intermediary condition, brief recurrent FSs (RFSs). The goal of this study was to determine the role of RFSs on spatial learning and memory and the properties of spontaneous hippocampal signals.


A hippocampus-dependent active avoidance task was used to assess spatial learning and memory in adult rats that underwent experimental RFSs (eRFSs) in early life compared with their littermate controls. Following completion of the task, we utilized high-density laminar probes to measure spontaneous hippocampal CA1 circuit activity under urethane anesthesia, which allowed for the simultaneous recording of input regions in CA1 associated with both CA3 and entorhinal cortex.


RFSs did not result in deficits in the active avoidance spatial test, a hippocampus-dependent test of spatial learning and memory. However, in vivo high-density laminar electrode recordings from eRFS rats had significantly altered power and frequency expression of theta and gamma bandwidths as well as signaling efficacy along the CA1 somatodendritic axis. Thus, although eRFS modified CA1 neuronal input/output dynamics, these alterations were not sufficient to impair active avoidance spatial behavior.


These findings indicate that although eRFSs do not result in spatial cognitive deficits in the active avoidance task, recurrent seizures do alter the brain and result in longstanding changes in the temporal organization of the hippocampus.

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