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Eur J Pharmacol. 1996 Jun 3;305(1-3):87-93.

Protection by NMDA receptor antagonists against seizures induced by intracerebral administration of 4-aminopyridine.

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División de Ciencias Biológicas, C.U.C.B.A., Universidad de Guadalajara, Jal., Mexico.


The effects of NMDA receptor antagonists on the convulsant action of the administration of 4-aminopyridine in the rat lateral cerebral ventricle (i.c.v. injection) and motor cerebral cortex ( injection) were studied. 4-Aminopyridine administration in both regions induced various preconvulsive symptoms, such as salivation, tremors, chewing and rearing, followed by continuous clonic convulsions and, only after i.c.v. injection, running fits and generalized tonic convulsions. This behavioral pattern appeared 5-9 min after administration of 4-aminopyridine and persisted for 100-150 min. 4-Aminopyridine also generated epileptiform electroencephalographic (EEG) discharges characterized by isolated spikes, poly-spikes and spike-wave complexes, which began some seconds after administration of the drug and were present for more than 2 h. The NMDA receptor antagonists (+/-)-3-(2-carboxy-piperazin-4-yl)-propyl-1-phosphonic acid (CPP), (+/-)-2-amino-7-phosphono-heptanoic acid (AP7) and (+)-5-methyl-10,11-dihydro-5H-dibenzo[a,d]cyclohepten-5,10-imine hydrogen maleate (MK-801) clearly protected against some of the behavioral alterations induced by i.c.v. 4-aminopyridine, particularly the tonic convulsions, but were less effective against those produced by 4-aminopyridine. These antagonists also delayed the appearance of EEG epileptiform discharges, reduced its amplitude, frequency and duration, and blocked their propagation to other cortical regions after 4-aminopyridine. These results, together with previous data showing that 4-aminopyridine stimulates the release of glutamate in vivo, suggest that an excessive glutamatergic neurotransmission involving NMDA receptors is implicated in 4-amino-pyridine-induced seizures.

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