Effects of Ketogenic Diets on the Occurrence of Pilocarpine-Induced Status Epilepticus of Rats

Metab Brain Dis. 2015 Feb;30(1):93-8. doi: 10.1007/s11011-014-9586-4. Epub 2014 Jul 9.


Two sources of medium-chain triglycerides--triheptanoin with anaplerotic properties and coconut oil with antioxidant features--have emerged as promising therapeutic options for the management of pharmacoresistant epilepsy. We investigated the effects of ketogenic diets (KDs) containing coconut oil, triheptanoin, or soybean oil on pilocarpine-induced status epilepticus (SE) in rats. Twenty-four adult male Wistar rats were divided into 4 groups and fed a control diet (7% lipids) or a KD containing soybean oil, coconut oil, or triheptanoin (69.8% lipids). The ketogenic and control diets had a lipid:carbohydrate + protein ratio of 1:11.8 and 3.5:1, respectively. SE was induced in all rats 20 days after initiation of the dietary treatment, through the administration of pilocarpine (340 mg/kg; i.p.). The latency, frequency, duration, and severity of seizures before and during SE were observed with a camcorder. SE was aborted after 3 h with the application of diazepam (5 mg/kg; i.p.). The rats in the triheptanoin-based KD group needed to undergo a higher number of seizures to develop SE, as compared to the control group (P < 0.05). Total weight gain, intake, energy intake, and feed efficiency coefficient, prior to induction of SE, differed between groups (P < 0.05), where the triheptanoin-based KD group showed less weight gain than all other groups, less energy intake than the Control group and intermediate values of feed efficiency coefficient between Control and other KDs groups. Triheptanoin-based KD may have a neuroprotective effect on the establishment of SE in Wistar rats.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Coconut Oil
  • Convulsants / toxicity
  • Diet, Ketogenic*
  • Dietary Fats / therapeutic use*
  • Energy Intake / drug effects
  • Male
  • Neuroprotective Agents / therapeutic use
  • Pilocarpine / toxicity
  • Plant Oils / therapeutic use
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Seizures / chemically induced
  • Seizures / prevention & control
  • Status Epilepticus / chemically induced
  • Status Epilepticus / diet therapy*
  • Triglycerides / therapeutic use
  • Weight Gain / drug effects


  • Convulsants
  • Dietary Fats
  • Neuroprotective Agents
  • Plant Oils
  • Triglycerides
  • Pilocarpine
  • triheptanoin
  • Coconut Oil