Tetanus Toxin as a Tool for Investigating the Consequences of Excessive Neuronal Excitation

  • Jane Mellanby


The tetanus toxin model of limbic epilepsy, developed in the late 1970s,16 has been used to study the evolution and waning of a chronic epileptic focus and its effects on the physiology of the hippocampus and the behaviour of the animal—the integrated output of the nervous system.2,7, l4,18 We have argued that the particular usefulness of this model, complementary to those produced by introduction of directly cytotoxic agents such as kainic acid, alumina cream, iron etc, is that firstly the toxin, in the minute doses which we use, does not apparently kill cells at the injection site, and that secondly the epilepsy wanes within a few weeks and the EEG apparently returns to normal.17,19 This allows the study of both recovery from epilepsy and the long-term effects of having had epilepsy.


Temporal Lobe Epilepsy Dorsal Hippocampus Population Spike Perforant Path Tetanus Toxin 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jane Mellanby
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Experimental PsychologyUniversity of OxfordEngland

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