Perampanel: a novel, orally active, noncompetitive AMPA-receptor antagonist that reduces seizure activity in rodent models of epilepsy

Epilepsia. 2011 Jul;52(7):1331-40. doi: 10.1111/j.1528-1167.2011.03109.x. Epub 2011 Jun 2.


Purpose: To assess the pharmacology of perampanel and its antiseizure activity in preclinical models. Perampanel [2-(2-oxo-1-phenyl-5-pyridin-2-yl-1,2-dihydropyridin-3-yl) benzonitrile] is a novel, orally active, prospective antiepileptic agent currently in development for refractory partial-onset seizures.

Methods: Perampanel pharmacology was assessed by examining changes in intracellular free Ca(2+) ion concentration ([Ca(2+) ](i) ) in primary rat cortical neurones, and [(3) H]perampanel binding to rat forebrain membranes. Antiseizure activity of orally administered perampanel was examined in amygdala-kindled rats and in mice exhibiting audiogenic, maximal electroshock (MES)-induced, pentylenetetrazole (PTZ) -induced, or 6 Hz-induced seizures.

Key findings: In cultured rat cortical neurones, perampanel inhibited α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA)-induced increases in [Ca(2+) ](i) (IC(50) 93 nm vs. 2 μm AMPA). Perampanel had a minimal effect on N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA)-induced increases in [Ca(2+) ](i) , and only at a high concentration (30 μm). [(3) H]Perampanel binding to rat forebrain membranes was not significantly displaced by glutamate or AMPA but was displaced by the noncompetitive AMPA receptor antagonists CP465022 (K(i) 11.2 ± 0.8 nm) and GYKI52466 (K(i) 12.4 ± 1 μm). In mice, perampanel showed protective effects against audiogenic, MES-induced, and PTZ-induced seizures (ED(50) s 0.47, 1.6, and 0.94 mg/kg, respectively). Perampanel also inhibited 6 Hz electroshock-induced seizures when administered alone or in combination with other antiepileptic drugs (AEDs). In amygdala-kindled rats, perampanel significantly increased afterdischarge threshold (p<0.05 vs. vehicle), and significantly reduced motor seizure duration, afterdischarge duration, and seizure severity recorded at 50% higher intensity than afterdischarge threshold current (p<0.05 for all measures vs. vehicle). Perampanel caused dose-dependent motor impairment in both mice (TD(50) 1.8 mg/kg) and rats (TD(50) 9.14 mg/kg), as determined by rotarod tests. In mice, the protective index (TD(50) in rotarod test/ED(50) in seizure test) was 1.1, 3.8, and 1.9 for MES-induced, audiogenic, and PTZ-induced seizures, respectively. In rat, dog, and monkey, perampanel had a half-life of 1.67, 5.34, and 7.55 h and bioavailability of 46.1%, 53.5%, and 74.5%, respectively.

Significance: These data suggest that perampanel is an orally active, noncompetitive, selective AMPA receptor antagonist with potential as a broad spectrum antiepileptic agent.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amygdala / drug effects
  • Amygdala / physiopathology
  • Animals
  • Anticonvulsants / therapeutic use*
  • Brain / drug effects
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Calcium / analysis
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Dogs
  • Intracellular Space / chemistry
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Neurons / drug effects
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Nitriles
  • Pyridones / therapeutic use*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Receptors, AMPA / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Seizures / drug therapy*


  • Anticonvulsants
  • Nitriles
  • Pyridones
  • Receptors, AMPA
  • perampanel
  • Calcium