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September 1964

Seizure Activity Due to Intravenous Strychnine: An Electron Microscopic Study of the Cortex

Author Affiliations

Departments of Anatomy, Pathology and Neurology, the Division of Neurosurgery and the Beaumont-May Institute of Neurology, Washington University School of Medicine.

Arch Neurol. 1964;11(3):296-302. doi:10.1001/archneur.1964.00460210074007

The controversy concerning the site of action of strychnine as well as its mode of action has yet to be resolved. In 1933, Dusser de Barenne1 reviewed this field and presented his own experiments pointing to a primary neuronal effect of strychnine. With the increased resolution afforded by electron microscopy, it is now feasible to examine the nervous system during strychnine convulsions in an attempt to demonstrate any accompanying morphologic alterations.

Materials and Methods  Rabbits weighing 1.5 to 2.0 kg were etherized and a craniotomy and tracheotomy performed. A small polyethylene tube was inserted through the femoral vein into the vena cava. Animals then were allowed to blow off the ether and under 3 mg per kilogram of gallamine triethiodide (Flaxedil) were maintained by artificial respiration. One pair of calomel electrodes recorded transcortically from the frontal granular cortex and another between the surface of the cerebellar vermis and its