The effects of pentylenetetrazol, bicuculline and strychnine on the development of kindled seizures

J. F. Bowyer, Timothy E Albertson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Scopus citations

Abstract

Modification of the rate of acquisition of the kindled amygdaloid seizure by the convulsants pentylenetetrazol, bicuculline and strychnine was studied. Injections of saline, 25 mg/kg of pentylenetetrazol, 2 mg/kg of bicuculline or 1 mg/kg of strychnine were given 15 min prior to the daily electrical stimulation of the amygdala. The drug doses selected were capable of producing some behavioral and electrical epileptoid activity prior to stimulation without inducing generalized seizures. To determine whether pentylenetetrazol or bicuculline accelerated the rate of development of the kindled amygdaloid seizure or merely augmented the expression of each seizure, a crossover design was implemented. The crossover studies involved switching animals during the acquisition phase (between stimulations 3-6) from prestimulation saline to drug or drug to saline injections. It was found that pentylenetetrazol markedly augmented the expression of seizures during kindling development but the results of the crossover studies showed a less dramatic acceleration in the actual rate of the development of the fully generalized kindled amygdaloid seizure. The bicuculline-treated animals showed little augmentation in the expression of seizures during the kindling acquisition phase and in the actual rate of development of the kindled amygdaloid seizure. The strychnine treated animals showed no augmentation in expression of the seizures nor in the rate of development. The effects of prestimulation injections of bicuculline (1, 2 and 3 mg/kg) and strychnine (0.5, 1 and 2 mg/kg) on fully developed kindled amygdaloid seizures were also evaluated. Pretreatment with bicuculline minimally increased seizure afterdischarge duration at the highest dose. When fully kindled animals were pretreated with strychnine, a paradoxical decrease in afterdischarge length and an increase in severity (tonic hindlimb extension) was seen with the largest dose tested. This study emphasizes the potential importance of crossover studies in evaluating pharmacological manipulations of the rate of acquisition of the kindled seizure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)985-990
Number of pages6
JournalNeuropharmacology
Volume21
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - 1982

Keywords

  • bicuculline
  • epilepsy
  • kindled seizure
  • pentylenetetrazol
  • rats
  • strychnine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Drug Discovery
  • Pharmacology

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