The role of potassium BK channels in anticonvulsant effect of cannabidiol in pentylenetetrazole and maximal electroshock models of seizure in mice

Epilepsy Behav. 2013 Jul;28(1):1-7. doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2013.03.009. Epub 2013 May 3.


Cannabidiol is a nonpsychoactive member of phytocannabinoids that produces various pharmacological effects that are not mediated through putative CB1/CB2 cannabinoid receptors and their related effectors. In this study, we examined the effect of the i.c.v. administration of potassium BK channel blocker paxilline alone and in combination with cannabidiol in protection against pentylenetetrazol (PTZ)- and maximal electroshock (MES)-induced seizure in mice. In the PTZ-induced seizure model, i.c.v. administration of cannabidiol caused a significant increase in seizure threshold compared with the control group. Moreover, while i.c.v. administration of various doses of paxilline did not produce significant change in the PTZ-induced seizure threshold in mice, coadministration of cannabidiol and paxilline attenuated the antiseizure effect of cannabidiol in PTZ-induced tonic seizures. In the MES model of seizure, both cannabidiol and paxilline per se produced significant increase in percent protection against electroshock-induced seizure. However, coadministration of cannabidiol and paxilline did not produce significant interaction in their antiseizure effect in the MES test. The results of the present study showed a protective effect of cannabidiol in both PTZ and MES models of seizure. These results suggested a BK channel-mediated antiseizure action of cannabidiol in PTZ model of seizure. However, such an interaction might not exist in MES-induced convulsion.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Anticonvulsants / therapeutic use*
  • Cannabidiol / therapeutic use*
  • Convulsants / toxicity*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Electroshock / adverse effects
  • Indoles / therapeutic use
  • Injections, Intraventricular
  • Large-Conductance Calcium-Activated Potassium Channels / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Pentylenetetrazole / toxicity
  • Potassium Channel Blockers / therapeutic use
  • Seizures / drug therapy*
  • Seizures / etiology


  • Anticonvulsants
  • Convulsants
  • Indoles
  • Large-Conductance Calcium-Activated Potassium Channels
  • Potassium Channel Blockers
  • Cannabidiol
  • paxilline
  • Pentylenetetrazole