Evaluation of anticonvulsant and nootropic effect of ondansetron in mice

Hum Exp Toxicol. 2012 Sep;31(9):905-12. doi: 10.1177/0960327112436406. Epub 2012 Feb 21.


The role of serotonin receptors have been implicated in various types of experimentally induced seizures. Ondansetron is a highly selective 5-hydroxytryptamine 3 (5-HT(3)) receptor antagonist used as antiemetic agent for chemotherapy-, and radiotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. The present study was carried out to examine the effect of ondansetron on electroshock, pentylenetetrazole (PTZ)-induced seizures and cognitive functions in mice. Ondansetron was administered intraperitoneally (i.p.) at doses of 0.5, 1.0 and 2.0 mg/kg (single dose) to observe its effect on the increasing current electroshock seizure (ICES) test and PTZ-induced seizure test. In addition, a chronic study (21 days) was also performed to assess the effects of ondansetron on electroshock-induced convulsions and cognitive functions. The effect on cognition was assessed by elevated plus maze and passive avoidance paradigms. Phenytoin (25 mg/kg, i.p.) was used as a standard anticonvulsant drug and piracetam (200 mg/kg) was administered as a standard nootropic drug. The results were compared with an acute study, wherein it was found that the administration of ondansetron (1.0 and 2.0 mg/kg) significantly raised the seizure-threshold current as compared to control group in the ICES test. Similar results were observed after chronic administration of ondansetron. In PTZ test, ondansetron in all the three tested doses failed to show protective effect against PTZ-induced seizure test. Administration of ondansetron for 21 days significantly decreased the transfer latency (TL) and prolonged the step-down latency (SDL). The results of present study suggest the anticonvulsant and memory-enhancing effect of ondansetron in mice.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anticonvulsants / pharmacology
  • Anticonvulsants / therapeutic use*
  • Behavior, Animal / drug effects
  • Electroshock
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Nootropic Agents / pharmacology
  • Nootropic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Ondansetron / pharmacology
  • Ondansetron / therapeutic use*
  • Pentylenetetrazole
  • Seizures / chemically induced
  • Seizures / drug therapy*
  • Serotonin Antagonists / pharmacology
  • Serotonin Antagonists / therapeutic use*


  • Anticonvulsants
  • Nootropic Agents
  • Serotonin Antagonists
  • Ondansetron
  • Pentylenetetrazole