Effects of age, sex, and sertraline administration on seizure-induced respiratory arrest in the DBA/1 mouse model of sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP)

Epilepsy Behav. 2013 Jul;28(1):78-82. doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2013.04.003. Epub 2013 May 9.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation / adverse effects
  • Aging*
  • Animals
  • Death, Sudden
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Epilepsy, Reflex / complications
  • Epilepsy, Reflex / etiology
  • Female
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred DBA
  • Respiratory Insufficiency / drug therapy*
  • Respiratory Insufficiency / etiology
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Sertraline / therapeutic use*
  • Sex Characteristics*


  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors
  • Sertraline