[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Status epilepticus (SE) leads to upregulation of pro-inflammatory proteins including cyclooxygenase-2 (cox-2) which could be implicated in the epileptogenic process and epileptic seizures. Recent studies show that cox-2 can regulate expression of P-glycoprotein (P-gp) during epileptogenesis and epilepsy. P-gp could cause pharmacoresistance by reducing brain entry of anti-epileptic drugs such as phenytoin (PHT). Here we have investigated the effects of cox-2 inhibition on epileptogenesis, spontaneous seizures and PHT treatment in a rat model for temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE).
A 3-day treatment with the cox-2 inhibitor SC-58236 (SC) was started 1 day before electrically induced SE. Chronic epileptic rats were treated with SC for 14 days, which was followed by a 7-day period of SC/PHT combination treatment. Seizure activity was monitored continuously using electroencephalography.
SC treatment did not affect SE duration, but led to an increased number of rats that died during the first 2 weeks after SE. Cox-2 inhibition during the chronic period led to an increased number of seizures in the 2nd week of treatment in 50% of the rats. SC/PHT treatment reduced seizures significantly for only 2 days.
Both SC treatment that started before SE and the 14-day treatment in chronic epileptic rats led to adverse effects in the TLE rat model. Despite a temporal reduction in seizure frequency with SC/PHT treatment, SC does not seem to be a suitable approach for anti-epileptogenic or anti-epileptic therapy.
Epilepsy research 09/2010; 91(1):49-56. · 2.48 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Epileptic seizures drive expression of the blood–brain barrier efflux transporter P-glycoprotein via a glutamate/cyclooxygenase-2 mediated signalling pathway. Targeting this pathway may represent an innovative approach to control P-glycoprotein expression in the epileptic brain and to enhance brain delivery of antiepileptic drugs.Therefore, we tested the effect of specific cyclooxygenase-2 inhibition on P-glycoprotein expression in two different status epilepticus models. Moreover, the impact of a cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitor on expression of the efflux transporter and on brain delivery of an antiepileptic drug was evaluated in rats with recurrent spontaneous seizures.The highly selective cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitors SC-58236 and NS-398 both counteracted the status epilepticus-associated increase in P-glycoprotein expression in the parahippocampal cortex and the ventral hippocampus. In line with our working hypothesis, a sub-chronic 2-week treatment with SC-58236 in the chronic epileptic state kept P-glycoprotein expression at control levels. As described previously, enhanced P-glycoprotein expression in chronic epileptic rats was associated with a significant reduction in the brain penetration of the antiepileptic drug phenytoin. Importantly, the brain delivery of phenytoin was significantly enhanced by sub-chronic cyclooxygenase-2 inhibition in rats with recurrent seizures.In conclusion, the data substantiate targeting of cyclooxygenase-2 in the chronic epileptic brain as a promising strategy to control the expression levels of P-glycoprotein despite recurrent seizure activity. Cyclooxygenase-2 inhibition may therefore help to increase concentrations of antiepileptic drugs at the target sites in the epileptic brain. It needs to be further evaluated whether the approach also enhances efficacy.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Tolerance to drug treatment is a serious problem in the treatment of epilepsy. We previously showed that tolerance to levetiracetam (LEV) developed within 4 days after the start of the treatment in a rat model for spontaneous seizures after electrically induced status epilepticus. In the current study we tested whether the development of tolerance to LEV could be prevented by alternating between LEV and valproate (VPA) treatment.
Before starting the alternating therapy with LEV and VPA (3 day LEV-3 day VPA, two cycles), we assessed the efficacy of VPA monotherapy by administering VPA to chronic epileptic rats via osmotic minipumps during 7 days. The anticonvulsive effects were determined by continuous video-EEG (electroencephalography) monitoring, and the concentration of VPA and LEV was measured in plasma using gas chromatography.
VPA significantly suppressed spontaneous seizures in chronic epileptic rats for 5 days. Hereafter, seizure frequency increased to pretreatment values despite adequate VPA blood levels. Seizure duration was reduced for 6 days during treatment. Seizure severity was reduced throughout the 7-day treatment period. Alternating treatment of LEV and VPA did not prevent development of tolerance; however, seizures were suppressed significantly longer compared to VPA and LEV monotherapy.
Because alternating treatment with LEV and VPA led to a prolonged effective seizure control in the animal model, it would be worthwhile to explore the possibilities of using an alternating treatment protocol in pharmacoresistant patients in whom an effective treatment is hampered by tolerance to antiepileptic drugs.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pharmacoresistance is a major problem in the treatment of epilepsy. We showed previously that pharmacoresistance, at least partially, is due to an up-regulation of the multidrug transporter (MDT) P-glycoprotein (P-gp): inhibition of P-gp improves seizure control in phenytoin-treated epileptic rats (poststatus epilepticus rat model for temporal lobe epilepsy). Since it has been suggested that levetiracetam (LEV) is no substrate for MDTs, we hypothesized that LEV would more adequately control seizures in this rat model.
Chronic epileptic rats were treated repeatedly with LEV (2-week interval; different dosages) via continuous infusion using osmotic minipumps, 5-6 months after electrically induced status epilepticus. The anticonvulsive effects were determined by video-EEG monitoring and the concentration of LEV was measured in plasma and brain homogenates using gas chromatography.
LEV adequately entered the epileptic brain and dose-dependently suppressed spontaneous seizures in chronic epileptic rats for 3-4 days. Hereafter, seizure frequency increased, while LEV plasma levels did not change. Seizure behavior was less severe throughout the whole treatment. LEV did not affect seizure duration. After a withdrawal period of 2 weeks all rats initially responded again to LEV.
The initial seizure control by LEV supports the observation that LEV is not impeded by MDTs. However, the failure to control seizures for a longer period of time indicates the development of tolerance to this drug. This poses another problem in the treatment of this kind of epilepsy. Whether tolerance may be prevented by intermittent administration of LEV should be further investigated.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent studies have suggested that overexpression of the multidrug transporter P-glycoprotein (P-gp) in the hippocampal region leads to decreased levels of antiepileptic drugs and contributes to pharmacoresistance that occurs in a subset of epileptic patients. Whether P-gp expression and function is affected in other brain regions and in organs that are involved in drug metabolism is less studied. Therefore, we investigated P-gp expression in different brain regions and liver of chronic epileptic rats, several months after electrically induced status epilepticus (SE), using Western blot analysis. P-gp function was determined by measuring phenytoin (PHT) levels in these brain regions using high-performance liquid chromatography, in the absence and presence of a P-gp-specific inhibitor, tariquidar (TQD). In addition, the pharmacokinetic profile of PHT was determined. PHT concentration was reduced by 20 to 30% in brain regions that had P-gp overexpression (temporal hippocampus and parahippocampal cortex) and not in brain regions in which P-gp expression was not changed after SE. Inhibition of P-gp by TQD significantly increased the PHT concentration, specifically in regions that showed P-gp overexpression. Despite increased P-gp expression in the liver of epileptic rats, pharmacokinetic analysis showed no significant change of PHT clearance in control versus epileptic rats. These findings show that overexpression of P-gp at the blood-brain barrier of specific limbic brain regions causes a decrease of local PHT levels in the rat brain.
Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics 07/2007; 322(1):141-7. · 3.89 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Overexpression of multidrug transporters such as P-glycoprotein (P-gp) may play a significant role in pharmacoresistance, by preventing antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) from reaching their targets in the brain. Until now, many studies have described increased P-gp expression in epileptic tissue or have shown that several AEDs act as substrates for P-gp. However, definitive proof showing the functional involvement of P-gp in pharmacoresistance is still lacking. Here we tested whether P-gp contributes to pharmacoresistance to phenytoin (PHT) by using a specific P-gp inhibitor in a model of spontaneous seizures in rats.
The effects of PHT on spontaneous seizure activity were investigated in the electrical post-status epilepticus rat model for temporal lobe epilepsy, before and after administration of tariquidar (TQD), a selective inhibitor of P-gp.
A 7-day treatment with therapeutic doses of PHT suppressed spontaneous seizure activity in rats, but only partially. However, an almost complete control of seizures by PHT (93 +/- 7%) was obtained in all rats when PHT was coadministered with TQD. This specific P-gp inhibitor was effective in improving the anticonvulsive action of PHT during the first 3-4 days of the treatment. Western blot analysis confirmed P-gp upregulation in epileptic brains (140-200% of control levels), along with approximately 20% reduced PHT brain levels. Inhibition of P-gp by TQD significantly increased PHT brain levels in chronic epileptic rats.
These findings show that TQD significantly improves the anticonvulsive action of PHT, thus establishing a proof-of-concept that the administration of AEDs in combination with P-gp inhibitors may be a promising therapeutic strategy in pharmacoresistant patients.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Overexpression of multidrug transporters may play a role in the development of pharmacoresistance by decreasing extracellular drug levels in the brain. However, it is not known whether overexpression is due to an initial insult or evolves more gradually because of recurrent spontaneous seizures. In the present study, we investigated the expression of different multidrug transporters during epileptogenesis in the rat. In addition, we determined whether these transporters affected phenytoin (PHT) distribution in the brain.
Expression of multidrug resistance-associated proteins MRP1 and MRP2 and breast cancer-resistance protein (BCRP) was examined after electrically induced status epilepticus (SE) by immunocytochemistry and Western blot analysis. Brain/blood PHT levels were determined by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analysis in the presence and absence of the MRP inhibitor probenecid.
Shortly after SE, MRP1, MRP2, and BCRP were upregulated in astrocytes within several limbic structures, including hippocampus. In chronic epileptic rats, these proteins were overexpressed in the parahippocampal cortex, specifically in blood vessels and astrocytes surrounding these vessels. Overexpression was related to the occurrence of SE and was present mainly in rats with a high seizure frequency. Brain PHT levels were significantly lower in epileptic rats compared with control rats, but pharmacologic inhibition of MRPs increased the PHT levels.
Overexpression of MRP and BCRP was induced by SE as well as recurrent seizures. Moreover, overexpression was associated with lower PHT levels in the brain, which was reversed through inhibition of MRPs. These data suggest that administration of antiepileptic drugs in combination with specific inhibitors for multidrug transporters may be a promising therapeutic strategy in pharmacoresistant patients.