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Eur J Pharmacol. 1992 Oct 20;221(2-3):275-80.

NMDA receptor antagonists protect against seizures and wet-dog shakes induced by 4-aminopyridine.

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  • 1Departamento de Neurociencias, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México D.F.


The effect of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) and non-NMDA receptor antagonists on the generalized tonic-clonic convulsions and wet-dog shakes induced by the intraperitoneal (i.p.) or the intrahippocampal (i.h., stereotaxic microinjection into the CA1 region) administration of 4-aminopyridine (4-AP) was studied in rats. Pretreatment with NMDA competitive and non-competitive antagonists resulted in potent protection against the motor effects of both the i.p. and the i.h. administration of 4-AP. MK-801 (0.25 mg/kg i.p.) and 3-(2-carboxypiperazin-4-yl)propyl-1-phosphonic acid (CPP, 0.8 nmol intracerebroventricular, i.c.v.) showed the most powerful anticonvulsive effect, since they prevented the occurrence of generalized tonic convulsions and the death of the animals in convulsions after i.p. 4-AP. The i.c.v. injection (10 nmol) of the NMDA competitive antagonists 2-amino-5-phosphonopentanoate (AP-5) and 2-amino-5-phosphonoheptanoate (AP-7) also showed a clear though less potent protective effect. Similarly, the frequency of wet-dog shakes induced by i.h. 4-AP was markedly decreased by pretreating the animals with i.p. MK-801 or with i.c.v. CPP or AP-7. However, the co-injection of CPP with 4-AP failed to protect against the occurrence of wet-dog shakes. The i.c.v. pretreatment with the unselective antagonist, kynurenate (up to 68 nmol) or with the non-NMDA receptor antagonist, 6-cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione (0.5 nmol), did not significantly modify the effects of 4-AP when administered either i.p. or i.h. We conclude that NMDA receptors are involved in the mechanism of the convulsive activity induced by 4-AP, probably because this drug induces the release of glutamate.

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