Background and purpose: The aim of this study was to evaluate the anti-convulsant effects of magnolol (6, 6', 7, 12-tetramethoxy-2, 2'-dimethyl-1-β-berbaman, C18H18O2) and the mechanisms involved.
Experimental approach: Mice were treated with magnolol (20, 40 and 80 mg·kg(-1)) 30 min before injection with pentylenetetrazol (PTZ, 60 mg·kg(-1), i.p.). The anti-seizure effects of magnolol were analysed using seizure models of behaviour, EEG and in vitro electrophysiology and c-Fos expression in the hippocampus and cortex.
Key results: Magnolol at doses of 40 and 80 mg·kg(-1) significantly delayed the onset of myoclonic jerks and generalized clonic seizures, and decreased the seizure stage and mortality compared with those of the vehicle-treated animals. EEG recordings showed that magnolol (40 and 80 mg·kg(-1)) prolonged the latency of seizure onset and decreased the number of seizure spikes. The anti-epileptic effect of magnolol was reversed by the GABA(A)/benzodiazepine receptor antagonist flumazenil. Pretreatment with flumazenil decreased the effects of magnolol on prolongation of seizure latency and decline of seizure stage. In a Mg(2+)-free model of epileptiform activity, using multi-electrode array recordings in mouse hippocampal slices, magnolol decreased spontaneous epileptiform discharges. Magnolol also significantly decreased seizure-induced Fos immunoreactivity in the piriform cortex, dentate gyrus and hippocampal area CA1. These effects were attenuated by pretreatment with flumazenil.
Conclusions and implications: These findings indicate that the inhibitory effects of magnolol on epileptiform activity were mediated by the GABA(A) /benzodiazepine receptor complex.
© 2011 The Authors. British Journal of Pharmacology © 2011 The British Pharmacological Society.