Send to

Choose Destination
Epilepsia. 2003 Dec;44(12):1494-9.

The anticonvulsant effects of progesterone and 5alpha-dihydroprogesterone on amygdala-kindled seizures in rats.

Author information

The Bloorview Epilepsy Research Program and the Department of Pharmacology, University of Toronto, Medical Sciences Building, 1 King's College Circle, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5S 1A8.



Progesterone has been shown to be anticonvulsant in several animal seizure models. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the anticonvulsant actions of progesterone and its primary metabolite 5alpha-dihydroprogesterone in the amygdala kindling model.


Female Wistar rats were implanted in the right basolateral amygdala with a long-term, bipolar electrode. The subjects were kindled to 30 stage 5 seizures and stability tested. Multiple doses of progesterone and 5alpha-dihydroprogesterone were then tested for anticonvulsant activity against focal electrographic and generalized convulsive kindled seizures. The time course of progesterone's anticonvulsant action also was examined.


Progesterone had a median effective dose (ED50) of 103 mg/kg against generalized convulsions at 15 min after injection. Subjects were not sedated at the time of seizure testing, although sedation developed later (40-60 min after injection). In time-course experiments, it was found that 120 mg/kg of progesterone caused complete suppression of the generalized convulsion from 20 to 160 min after injection. Suppression of the focal discharge also was seen in some animals between 20 and 160 min. 5alpha-dihydroprogesterone had an ED50 of 2.9 mg/kg against generalized kindled convulsions and an ED50 of 4.3 mg/kg against focal afterdischarge 15 min after injection. 5alpha-dihydroprogesterone did not produce sedation 15 min after injection, or at any later time interval.


Progesterone is anticonvulsant only at high doses when tested against amygdala kindled seizures. 5alpha-dihydroprogesterone is considerably more potent than progesterone. At low, nonsedative doses, it was effective against both the kindled amygdala focal afterdischarge and the generalized convulsion.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center