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Eur J Pharmacol. 2008 Jun 10;587(1-3):129-34. doi: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2008.03.038. Epub 2008 Mar 30.

Nitric oxide signaling pathway in the anti-convulsant effect of adenosine against pentylenetetrazol-induced seizure threshold in mice.

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Pharmacology Division, University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Panjab University, Chandigarh-160014, India.


The present study was performed to examine the involvement of nitric oxide (NO) signaling pathway in the anti-convulsant effect of adenosine against pentylenetetrazol seizure threshold in mice. Minimal dose of pentylenetetrazol (i.v., mg/kg) needed to induce different phases (myoclonic jerks, generalized clonus and tonic extension) of convulsions was recorded as an index of seizure threshold. Adenosine (100 or 200 mg/kg i.p.) produced a significant increase in the seizure threshold for convulsions induced by pentylenetetrazol i.v. infusion. The anti-convulsant effect of adenosine (100 mg/kg i.p.) was prevented by either L-arginine (50 mg/kg i.p.) [substrate for nitric oxide synthase (NOS)] or sodium nitroprusside (3 mg/kg i.p.) [a NO donor]. On the other hand, N(G)-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME, 2.5 mg/kg i.p.) [a non-selective NOS inhibitor] or 7-nitroindazole (7-NI) (25 mg/kg i.p.) [a specific neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) inhibitor] potentiated the anti-convulsant action of sub-effective dose of adenosine (50 mg/kg i.p.). Aminoguanidine (100 mg/kg i.p.) [a specific inducible NOS (iNOS) inhibitor] pre-treatment was not effective in inducing anti-convulsant effect with sub-effective dose of adenosine (50 mg/kg i.p.). Furthermore, the increase in seizure threshold elicited by adenosine (100 mg/kg i.p.) was also inhibited by concomitant administration with sildenafil (5 mg/kg i.p.) [phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitor]. In contrast, treatment of mice with methylene blue (1 mg/kg i.p.) [a direct inhibitor of both nitric oxide synthase (NOS) and soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC)] failed to induce anti-convulsant action with adenosine (50 mg/kg i.p.) against pentylenetetrazol i.v. infusion. The results demonstrated that the anti-convulsant action of adenosine in the pentylenetetrazol i.v. seizure threshold paradigm may possibly involve an interaction with the L-arginine-NO-cGMP pathway which may be secondary to the activation of adenosine receptors.

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