The anticonvulsant effects of diazepam and phenobarbital in prekindled and kindled seizures in rats

Timothy E Albertson, S. L. Peterson, L. G. Stark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


The effects of various doses of diazepam (0.5-4 mg/kg) and phenobarbital (7.5-60 mg/kg) were determined on prekindled and kindled amygdaloid seizures in the same rats. Diazepam was ineffective against the prekindled focal seizures, but demonstrated profound and statistically significant control of the kindled seizures. In the kindled state, diazepam reduced the afterdischarge duration and seizure rank score to prekindled levels. Only the largest sedating dose of phenobarbital produced a reduction of both prekindled afterdischarge duration and seizure rank score. Against the kindled seizure, phenobarbital showed a marked and statistically significant increase in effectiveness in all but the smallest dose tested. The afterdischarge duration of kindled seizures was reduced to prekindled levels by 15-60 mg/kg of phenobarbital, while seizure rank score was reduced to prekindled levels by 30 and 60 mg/kg phenobarbital. The effects of two doses of diazepam (0.5 and 2.5 mg/kg) and phenobarbital (7.5 and 30 mg/kg) were tested against prekindled and kindled pentylenetetrazol (PTZ)-induced seizures. Preliminary work with 3 doses of pentylenetetrazol (30, 40 and 60 mg/kg) demonstrated that repeated doses of 30 mg/kg readily kindled seizures without the significant mortality seen with larger doses. Both diazepam and phenobarbital were less effective against seizures kindled with 30 mg/kg pentylenetetrazol compared to prekindled seizures. The comparative lack of effect that was seen with diazepam and phenobarbital against the pentylenetetrazol kindled seizure at doses associated with control of the kindled amygdaloid seizure may reflect an underlying difference in the pathogenesis of kindling between these seizure models. Further, the lack of suppression of the prekindled amygdaloid afterdischarge duration by large doses of diazepam, in contrast to large doses of phenobarbital, may also reflect differences between the mechanisms of action of these two drugs. This paradigm provides a model for testing the effectiveness of anticonvulsants during the progressive development of various epileptogenic seizures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)597-603
Number of pages7
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1981


  • anticonvulsants
  • diazepam
  • kindled seizures
  • phenobarbital
  • rats

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Drug Discovery
  • Pharmacology


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