PNU-151774E protects against kainate-induced status epilepticus and hippocampal lesions in the rat

Roberto Maj, Ruggero G. Fariello, Giorgio Ukmar, Mario Varasi, Paolo Pevarello, Robert A. McArthur, Patricia Salvati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Kainic acid-induced multifocal status epilepticus in the rat is a model of medically intractable complex partial seizures and neurotoxicity. The exact mechanisms of kainic acid epileptogenic and neurotoxic effects are unknown, but enhanced glutamate release seems to be an important factor. PNU-151774E ((S))-(+)-2-(4-(3-fluorobenzyloxy benzylamino) propanamide, methanesulfonate) is a broad-spectrum new anticonvulsant with Na+ channel-blocking and glutamate release inhibiting properties. We have examined the effect of pretreatment with this compound on both seizure activity and hippocampal neuronal damage induced by systemic injection of kainic acid in rats. Lamotrigine, a recently developed anticonvulsant with similar glutamate release inhibitory properties, was tested for comparison, together with diazepam as reference standard, on the basis of its anticonvulsant and neuroprotectant properties in this animal model. PNU-151774E, lamotrigine 10, 30 mg/kg;i.p.) and diazepam (20 mg/kg; i.p.) were administered 15 min before kainic acid (10 mg/kg; i.p.). In the vehicle-treated group, kainic acid injection caused status epilepticus in 86% of animals. Hippocampal neuronal cell loss was 66% in the CA4 hippocampal area at 7 days after kainic acid administration. Diazepam inhibited both seizures and neurotoxicity. Lamotrigine reduced hippocampal neuronal cell loss at both doses, even when it did not protect from seizures, although it showed a trend toward protection. On the other hand PNU-151774E protected from both hippocampal neurodegeneration and status epilepticus. Thus, these data support the concept that seizure prevention and neuroprotection might not be tightly coupled. Glutamate release inhibition may play a major role in neuroprotection, but an additional mechanism(s) of action might be relevant for the anticonvulsant activity of PNU-151774E in this model. (C)1998 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-32
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Pharmacology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Oct 16 1998


  • Complex
  • Kainic acid
  • Neuroprotection
  • Partial
  • Seizure
  • Status epilepticus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Pharmacology


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