Excitatory and inhibitory (EI) interactions shape network activity. However, little is known about the EI interactions in pathological conditions such as epilepsy. To investigate EI interactions during seizure-like events (SLEs), we performed simultaneous dual and triple whole cell and extracellular recordings in pyramidal cells and oriens interneurons in rat hippocampal CA1. We describe a novel pattern of interleaving EI activity during spontaneous in vitro SLEs generated by the potassium channel blocker 4-aminopyridine in the presence of decreased magnesium. Interneuron activity was increased during interictal periods. During ictal discharges interneurons entered into long-lasting depolarization block (DB) with suppression of spike generation; simultaneously, pyramidal cells produced spike trains with increased frequency (6-14 Hz) and correlation. After this period of runaway excitation, interneuron postictal spiking resumed and pyramidal cells became progressively quiescent. We performed correlation measures of cell-pair interactions using either the spikes alone or the subthreshold postsynaptic interspike signals. EE spike correlation was notably increased during interneuron DB, whereas subthreshold EE correlation decreased. EI spike correlations increased at the end of SLEs, whereas II subthreshold correlations increased during DB. Our findings underscore the importance of complex cell-type-specific neuronal interactions in the formation of seizure patterns.
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