Seizure severity in experimental models of epilepsy is often evaluated by means of the Racine scale, in spite of the use of seizure induction methods that are different from those of the original paper by Racine in 1972. In such cases, the use of this scale is not always justified because some seizure behaviors are significantly different from those originally described or not present at all. Correspondingly, the pentylenetetrazole (PTZ) model, which is frequently used for antiepileptic drug research, lacked an adequate assessment tool to measure seizure severity. In 2009, an adapted intensity scale for PTZ-induced seizures was already designed for rats. Here, we evaluated electroencephalographic (EEG) and behavioral parameters after a single PTZ injection, to determine whether this scale is also suitable for use in mouse studies. We found that the scale designed for rats is quite robust and can thus be applied to score seizure severity in mice. Yet, certain convulsive behaviors and EEG characteristics were distinct between species. Therefore, a species-specific scale was designed, which included the concomitant EEG characteristic next to the behavioral expressions we observed, in order to establish a user-friendly scoring scale for PTZ-induced seizures in mice. To evaluate applicability, we utilized the scale in a seizure susceptibility study of a transgenic mouse model. We demonstrated that the maximum severity scores obtained with the newly revised Racine scale highly correlated with the administered dose. Hence, the revised scale differentiates well between different classes of seizure severity.
Keywords: EEG; Epilepsy; Mouse; PTZ; Racine.
Copyright © 2019 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.