Patients with temporal lobe epilepsy display neuron loss in the hilus of the dentate gyrus. This has been proposed to be epileptogenic by a variety of different mechanisms. The present study examines the specificity and extent of neuron loss in the dentate gyrus of kainate-treated rats, a model of temporal lobe epilepsy. Kainate-treated rats lose an average of 52 % of their GAD-negative hilar neurons (putative mossy cells) and 13 % of their GAD-positive cells (GABAergic interneurons) in the dentate gyrus. Interneuron loss is remarkably specific; 83 % of the missing GAD-positive neurons are somatostatin-immunoreactive. Of the total neuron loss in the hilus, 97 % is attributed to two cell types— mossy cells and somatostatinergic interneurons. The retrograde tracer wheat germ agglutinin (WGA)-apoHRP-gold was used to identify neurons with appropriate axon projections for generating lateral inhibition. Previously, it was shown that lateral inhibitio
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