Exploratory Cortex Metabolic Profiling Revealed the Sedative Effect of Amber in Pentylenetetrazole-Induced Epilepsy-Like Mice

Molecules. 2019 Jan 28;24(3):460. doi: 10.3390/molecules24030460.


Epilepsy is a common clinical syndrome characterized by sudden and recurrent attacks and temporary central nervous system dysfunction caused by excessive discharge of neurons in the brain. Amber, a fossilized organic substance formed by the resins of conifers and leguminous plants, was prescribed to tranquilize the mind in China. In this paper, the antiepileptic effect of amber was evaluated by a pentylenetetrazole (PTZ)-induced epileptic model. An untargeted metabolomics approach was applied to investigate metabolic changes in the epileptic model, which was based on HILIC-UHPLC-MS/MS multivariate statistical analysis and metabolism network analysis. The outcome of this study suggested that 35 endogenous metabolites showed marked perturbations. Moreover, four metabolism pathways were mainly involved in epilepsy. After treatment by amber, the endogenous metabolites had a marked tendency to revert back to the situation of the control group which was consistent with phenobarbital. This study characterized the pentylenetetrazole-induced epileptic model and provided new evidence for the sedative effect of amber.

Keywords: LC/MS; amber; epilepsy; glycerophospholipid metabolism; metabolomics.

MeSH terms

  • Amber / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal
  • Cerebral Cortex / drug effects*
  • Cerebral Cortex / metabolism*
  • Chromatography, Liquid
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Epilepsy / chemically induced*
  • Epilepsy / metabolism*
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives / pharmacology*
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Metabolic Networks and Pathways
  • Metabolome*
  • Metabolomics* / methods
  • Mice
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Pentylenetetrazole / adverse effects
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Electrospray Ionization


  • Amber
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives
  • Pentylenetetrazole