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Lourdes A. Vega Rasgado, Iván Villanueva and Fernando Vega Díaz

Abstract

γ-Ethyl-γ-phenyl-butyrolactone (EFBL) is a structural combination of the anticonvulsant γ-hydroxy-γ-ethyl-γ-phenylbutyramide (HEPB) and the hypnotic γ-butyrolactone (GBL), which inherits both properties. To clarify its mechanism of action, the effects of EFBL, GBL and HEPB on dopamine (DA) and noradrenaline (NA) brain levels were investigated. Influences of chlorpromazine, phenelzine and aminooxyacetic acid were also studied. EFBL increased DA in a dose-dependent manner, remaining enhanced by 80 % over a period of 24 h and augmented NA by 54 % one hour after treatment. HEPB increased DA and NA approximately 2-fold after the first hour. GBL raised DA and NA after three and 24 h, resp. EFBL reversed chlorpromazine effects but potentiated those of phenelzine on DA. Amino-oxyacetic modified neither DA nor NA brain levels, not even in the presence of EFBL. The anticonvulsant and hypnotic properties of EFBL are attributed to its effect on presynaptic dopaminergic receptors and its lasting effect on ethyl and phenyl radicals that hinder its degradation. The results support the role of DA and NA in regulating seizure activity in the brain and indicate that EFBL offers a potential treatment for refractory epilepsy without complementary drugs and Parkinson’s disease, without the drawbacks of oral therapies.

Open access

Lourdes A. Vega Rasgado, Guillermo Ceballos Reyes and Fernando Vega Díaz

Abstract

Glutamate (Glu) is a major excitatory neurotransmitter involved in epilepsy. Glu is synthesized by glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH, E.C. 1.4.1.3) and dysfunction of the enzymatic activity of GDH is associated with brain pathologies. The main goal of this work is to establish the role of GDH in the effects of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) such as valproate (VALP), diazepam (DIAZ) and diphenylhydantoin (DPH) and its repercussions on oxygen consumption. Oxidative deamination of Glu and reductive amination of aketoglutarate (αK) in mice brain were investigated. Our results show that AEDs decrease GDH activity and oxygen consumption in vitro. In ex vivo experiments, AEDs increased GDH activity but decreased oxygen consumption during Glu oxidative deamination. VALP and DPH reversed the increase in reductive amination of αK caused by the chemoconvulsant pentylenetetrazol. These results suggest that AEDs act by modulating brain GDH activity, which in turn decreased oxygen consumption. GDH represents an important regulation point of neuronal excitability, and modulation of its activity represents a potential target for metabolic treatment of epilepsy and for the development of new AEDs.

Open access

Lourdes A. Vega Rasgado, Guillermo Ceballos Reyes and Fernando Vega Díaz

Abstract

In an attempt to clarify the controversial role of nitric oxide (NO) in seizures, the effects of NO on brain GABA transaminase (GABA-T) activity and GABA levels were investigated. To this aim, the effects of the substrate (l-arginine) and inhibitors (Nω-nitro-l-arginine methyl ester, 7-nitroindazole) of NO synthase (NOS) on GABA-T activity and GABA levels in vitro and ex vivo were analyzed. In vitro NO diminished GABA-T activity and increased GABA. Ex vivo NO modified GABA-T activity and GABA levels biphasically. Inhibition of endothelial and neuronal NOS (eNOS and nNOS) had opposite effects on GABA-T activity and GABA levels, even during seizures induced by pentylenetetrazole. Different effects of NO on GABA-T activity and on GABA levels, depending on the NOS isoform involved, may explain its contradictory role in seizures, the endothelial NOS acting as an anticonvulsant and the neuronal NOS as a proconvulsant. nNOS inhibitors may represent a new generation of antiepileptics.