Beta-caryophyllene attenuates short-term recurrent seizure activity and blood-brain-barrier breakdown after pilocarpine-induced status epilepticus in rats

Brain Res. 2022 Jun 1;1784:147883. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2022.147883. Epub 2022 Mar 14.


Background: Status epilepticus (SE) is a neurological life-threatening condition, resulting from the failure of the mechanisms responsible for seizure termination. SE is often pharmacoresistant and associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Hence, ceasing or attenuating SE and its consequences is of fundamental importance. Beta-caryophyllene is a functional CB2 receptor agonist and exhibit a good safety profile. Besides, it displays beneficial effects in several experimental conditions, including neuroprotective activity. In the present study we aimed to investigate the effects of beta-caryophyllene on pilocarpine-induced SE.

Methods: Wistar rats were submitted to pilocarpine-induced SE and monitored for 24 h by video and EEG for short-term recurrence of seizure activity (i.e. seizures occurring within 24 h after termination of SE). Rats received beta-caryophyllene (100 mg/kg, ip) at 1, 8- and 16-hours after SE. Twenty-four hours after SE we evaluated sensorimotor response, neuronal damage (fluoro jade C staining) and serum albumin infiltration into brain parenchyma.

Results: Beta-caryophyllene-treated animals presented fewer short-term recurrent seizures than vehicle-treated counterparts, suggesting an anticonvulsant effect after SE. Behavioral recovery from SE and the number of fluoro jade C positive cells in the hippocampus and thalamus were not modified by beta-caryophyllene. Treatment with beta-caryophyllene attenuated the SE-induced increase of albumin immunoreactivity in the hippocampus, indicating a protective effect against blood-brain-barrier breakdown.

Conclusions: Given the inherent difficulties in the treatment of SE and its consequences, present results suggest that beta-caryophyllene deserve further investigation as an adjuvant therapeutic strategy for SE.

Keywords: Anticonvulsant; Cannabinoid; EEG; Seizure.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood-Brain Barrier / metabolism
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Epilepsy, Generalized*
  • Hippocampus / metabolism
  • Pilocarpine / toxicity
  • Polycyclic Sesquiterpenes
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Seizures / chemically induced
  • Seizures / drug therapy
  • Seizures / metabolism
  • Status Epilepticus* / chemically induced
  • Status Epilepticus* / drug therapy


  • Polycyclic Sesquiterpenes
  • Pilocarpine
  • caryophyllene