Injections of 5,7-dihydroxytryptamine (5,7-DHT) in the rat ventromedial tegmentum, which depleted forebrain serotonin, and of 6-hydroxydopamine in the dorsal noradrenergic bundle, which causes a marked reduction of forebrain noradrenaline, intensified pentylenetetrazol (PTZ)-induced seizures. Neither condition significantly modified the inhibitory effect of 0.5 mg/kg clonidine on PTZ-induced seizures, with the exception of the effect on mortality which was reduced in 5,7-DHT treated animals. Electrolytic lesions in the nucleus raphe medianus or dorsalis potentiated PTZ-induced seizures but only lesions in the nucleus raphe dorsalis significantly attenuated the effect of clonidine on tonic seizures and mortality. Both lesions reduced clonidine's effect on latency to the first convulsion. The results indicate that the dorsal raphe area plays a role in the inhibitory effect of 0.5 mg/kg clonidine on PTZ-induced seizures. Serotonin neurons other than those innervating diencephalic and telencephalic structures may also contribute, particularly to the effect of clonidine on tonic seizures.
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