Effects of anticonvulsant drugs on 4-aminopyridine-induced seizures in mice

Shun ichi Yamaguchi, Michael A Rogawski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

153 Scopus citations


The K+ channel blocker 4-aminopyridine (4-AP) causes epileptiform activity in in vitro preparations and is a potent convulsant in animals and man. In mice, 4-AP produces behavioral activation, clonic limb movements and wild running, followed by tonic hindlimb extension and death (ED97, 13.3 mg/kg s.c.). We evaluated the ability of a series of anticonvulsant drugs to protect against 4-AP-induced seizures using lethality as the endpoint. Drugs with a phenytoin-like profile of activity were protective with ED50 values (all in mg/kg i.p.) of 34.4 for phenytoin, 18.6 for carbamazepine, 26.9 for felbamate, and 41.5 for zonisamide. Phenobarbital and valproate also protected against 4-AP-induced seizures and lethality (ED50s, 30.6 and 301, respectively). In contrast the NMDA antagonists (±)-CPP and (+)-MK-801 were inactive as were the GABA enhancers diazepam, vigabatrin and tiagabine; the antiabsence drug ethosuximide; and the L-type Ca2+ channel blocker nimodipine. We conclude that drugs like phenytoin which block seizure spread are effective antagonists of seizures induced by K+ channel blockade. Drugs with specific actions on other cellular targets may be weak or inactive, presumably because they are unable to attenuate the spread of intense (non-NMDA receptor mediated) excitation evoked by 4-AP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-16
Number of pages8
JournalEpilepsy Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • 4-Aminopyridine
  • Anticonvulsant drugs
  • Experimental seizures
  • Potassium channel blocker

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Neurology


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