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Neurosci Lett. 2004 Jul 22;365(2):102-5.

Catalase activity in cerebellum, hippocampus, frontal cortex and striatum after status epilepticus induced by pilocarpine in Wistar rats.

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Laboratory of Neuropharmacology, Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, School of Medicine, Federal University of CearĂ¡, Rua Frederico Severo 201, Ap 103, Bl 07, Messejana, Fortaleza 60830-310, Brazil.


The mechanism underlying the vulnerability of the brain to status epilepticus (SE) induced by pilocarpine remains unknown. Oxidative stress has been implicated in a variety of acute and chronic neurologic conditions, including SE. The present study was aimed at was investigating the changes in catalase activity after pilocarpine-induced seizures and SE. The Control group was treated with 0.9% saline (NaCl, subcutaneously (s.c.)) and sacrificed 1h after the treatment. Another group was treated with pilocarpine (400 mg/kg, s.c., Pilocarpine group) and sacrificed 1h after treatment. The catalase activity in the cerebellum, hippocampus, frontal cortex and striatum of Wistar rats was determined. The results have shown that pilocarpine administration and resulting SE produced a significant increase in the catalase activity in the hippocampus (36%), striatum (31%) and frontal cortex (15%) of treated adult rats. Nevertheless, in the adult rat cerebellum after SE induced by pilocarpine no change was observed in the catalase activity. Our results demonstrated a direct evidence of an increase in the activity of the scavenging enzyme (catalase) in different cerebral structures during seizure activity that could be responsible for eliminating oxygen free radicals and might be one of the compensatory mechanisms to avoid the development of oxidative stress during the establishment of SE induced by pilocarpine. Our reports also indicate clear regional differences in the catalase activity caused by pilocarpine-induced seizures and SE and the hippocampus might be the principal area affected and cerebellum does not modify for this parameter studied during epileptic activity.

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