Higher therapeutic concentrations of the antiseizure medication carbamazepine (CBZ) are associated with cognitive side effects. Hippocampal sharp wave-ripple complexes (SPW-Rs) are proposed to participate in memory consolidation during periods of quiet and slow-wave sleep. SPW-Rs are generated in the CA3 region and are regulated by multiple synaptic inputs. Here, we used a multi-electrode array to determine the effects of CBZ on SPW-Rs and synaptic transmission at multiple hippocampal synapses. Our results demonstrate that CBZ reduced SPW-Rs at therapeutically relevant concentrations (IC50 = 37 µM) and altered the core characteristics of ripples, important for information processing and consolidation. Moreover, CBZ inhibited neurotransmission in a synapse-specific manner. CBZ inhibition was most potent at the medial-perforant-path-to-CA3 and mossy-fiber-to-CA3 synapses (IC50s ~ 30 and 60 µM, respectively) and least potent at medialperforant- path-to-dentate granule cell synapses (IC50 ~ 120 µM). These results suggest that the synapse-specific CBZ inhibition of neurotransmission reduces SPW-Rs and that the CBZ inhibition of SPW-Rs may underlie the cognitive impairments observed with therapeutic doses of CBZ.
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