DBA/1 mice are susceptible to audiogenic seizure-induced respiratory arrest (S-IRA), leading to death, which is a model of human sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP). Female DBA/1 mice exhibited 71% susceptibility to S-IRA on the third daily test when seizure testing began at postnatal day (PND) 24-30, which was slightly (>10%) but not significantly lower than males. When initial seizure testing was delayed (to >7 weeks of age), DBA/1 mice of both sexes exhibited significantly reduced S-IRA susceptibility, as compared to mice tested initially at PND 24-30. These sex and age issues had not been previously evaluated and may be important for the future use of this SUDEP model. We also observed that 30 min after administering a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), sertraline (40, 50, or 75 mg/kg i.p.), a significantly reduced S-IRA incidence in DBA/1 mice occurred without blocking seizures, which may be relevant to SUDEP prevention.
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