Levetiracetam (ucb LO59) affects in vitro models of epilepsy in CA3 pyramidal neurons without altering normal synaptic transmission.
ABSTRACT Previous behavioural and electrophysiological studies have indicated that levetiracetam (ucb LO59) acts as an anticonvulsant drug in vivo. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effects of levetiracetam on normal synaptic transmission and epileptiform activity in vitro. Intracellular recordings were obtained from the CA3 subfield of the rat hippocampal slice preparation. Levetiracetam in a concentration of 10 microM did not influence basic cell properties or normal synaptic transmission evoked by subthreshold and suprathreshold stimuli to the commissural pathway. However, it strongly inhibited the development of epileptiform bursting by the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)A-receptor antagonist bicuculline (1-30 microM). Levetiracetam also decreased the size of bursts previously established by bicuculline. In experiments in which the glutamate-receptor agonist N-Methyl-D-Aspartate (NMDA) was used to generate spontaneous bursting, levetiracetam had no effect on the size of the bursts but decreased bursting frequency. The difference in effects of levetiracetam on bicuculline- and NMDA-induced bursting appeared to be dependent on the convulsant used, since in the presence of 10 microM bicuculline, levetiracetam decreased the size of NMDA-bursts to the same extent as the size of synaptically evoked bicuculline-bursts but had little effect on bursting frequency. The results show that under our experimental conditions, levetiracetam did not alter the components of normal synaptic transmission. However, levetiracetam at the concentrations studied inhibited epileptiform bursting induced by bicuculline and NMDA in vitro in a manner consistent with the profile of an antiepileptogenic drug.
Article: Effects of antiepileptic drugs on refractory seizures in the intact immature corticohippocampal formation in vitro.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: We developed a new in vitro preparation of immature rats, in which intact corticohippocampal formations (CHFs) depleted in magnesium ions become progressively epileptic. The better to characterize this model, we examined the effects of 14 antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) currently used in clinical practice. Recurrent ictal-like seizures (ILEs, four per hour) were generated in intact CHFs of P7-8 rats, and extracellular recordings were performed in the hippocampus and neocortex. AEDs were applied at clinically relevant concentrations (at least two), during 30 min after the third ILE. Their ability to prevent or to delay the next ILE was examined. Valproic acid and benzodiazepines (clobazam and midazolam) but also phenobarbital and levetiracetam prevent the occurrence of seizures. In contrast, usual concentrations of carbamazepine (CBZ), phenytoin, vigabatrin, tiagabine, gabapentin, lamotrigine (LTG), topiramate, felbamate, and ethosuximide did not suppress ILEs. In addition, LTG and CBZ aggravate seizures in one third of the cases. This intact in vitro preparation in immature animals appears to be quite resistant to most AEDs. Blockade of seizures was achieved with drugs acting mainly at the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)A-receptor site but not with those that increase the amount of GABA. Drugs with a broad spectrum of activity are efficient but not those preferentially used in partial seizures or absences. We suggest that this preparation may correspond to a model of epilepsy with generalized convulsive seizures and could be helpful to develop new AEDs for refractory infantile epilepsies.Epilepsia 12/2003; 44(11):1365-74. · 3.96 Impact Factor