The Kainic Acid Models of Temporal Lobe Epilepsy

eNeuro. 2021 Apr 9;8(2):ENEURO.0337-20.2021. doi: 10.1523/ENEURO.0337-20.2021. Print 2021 Mar-Apr.


Experimental models of epilepsy are useful to identify potential mechanisms of epileptogenesis, seizure genesis, comorbidities, and treatment efficacy. The kainic acid (KA) model is one of the most commonly used. Several modes of administration of KA exist, each producing different effects in a strain-, species-, gender-, and age-dependent manner. In this review, we discuss the advantages and limitations of the various forms of KA administration (systemic, intrahippocampal, and intranasal), as well as the histologic, electrophysiological, and behavioral outcomes in different strains and species. We attempt a personal perspective and discuss areas where work is needed. The diversity of KA models and their outcomes offers researchers a rich palette of phenotypes, which may be relevant to specific traits found in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy.

Keywords: EEG; hippocampus; kainic acid; mice models of temporal lobe epilepsy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Electroencephalography
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe* / chemically induced
  • Hippocampus
  • Humans
  • Kainic Acid


  • Kainic Acid