Anticonvulsant effects of four linear furanocoumarins, bergapten, imperatorin, oxypeucedanin, and xanthotoxin, in the mouse maximal electroshock-induced seizure model: a comparative study

Pharmacol Rep. Nov-Dec 2010;62(6):1231-6. doi: 10.1016/s1734-1140(10)70387-x.


The aim of this study was to determine and compare the anticonvulsant activities of four natural furanocoumarins [bergapten (5-methoxypsoralen), imperatorin (8-isopentenyloxypsoralen), oxypeucedanin (5-epoxy-isopentenyloxypsoralen) and xanthotoxin (8-methoxypsoralen)] in the maximal electroshock-induced seizure test in mice. The anticonvulsant effects of bergapten, imperatorin, oxypeucedanin, and xanthotoxin were evaluated at 15, 30, 60 and 120 min after their systemic (intraperitoneal) administration. Tonic hind limb extension (seizure activity) was evoked in adult albino Swiss mice by a current (sine-wave, 25 mA, 500 V, 50 Hz, 0.2 s stimulus duration) delivered via auricular electrodes. The time courses of protection by bergapten, imperatorin, oxypeucedanin and xanthotoxin against maximal electroshock-induced seizures revealed that 300 mg/kg imperatorin and xanthotoxin (C-8 substituted derivatives of psoralen) exerted strong anticonvulsant activity, whereas 300 mg/kg bergapten and oxypeucedanin (C-5 substituted derivatives of psoralen) did not produce any anticonvulsant activity in this model. In conclusion, imperatorin and xanthotoxin protected the animals against maximal electroshock-induced seizures, whereas bergapten and oxypeucedanin, despite their chemical and structural similarities to xanthotoxin and imperatorin, exerted no anticonvulsant activity in this seizure test.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 5-Methoxypsoralen
  • Animals
  • Anticonvulsants / pharmacology*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Electroshock
  • Furocoumarins / pharmacology*
  • Male
  • Methoxsalen / analogs & derivatives*
  • Methoxsalen / pharmacology*
  • Mice
  • Random Allocation
  • Seizures / drug therapy
  • Seizures / prevention & control*


  • Anticonvulsants
  • Furocoumarins
  • 5-Methoxypsoralen
  • imperatorin
  • oxypeucadanin
  • Methoxsalen