Effects of procaine hydrochloride, diazepam, and diphenylhydantoin on seizure development in cortical and subcortical structures in rats

Electroencephalogr Clin Neurophysiol. 1975 Apr;38(4):355-65. doi: 10.1016/0013-4694(75)90260-6.


Procaine HCl and diphenylhydantoin (DPH) increased the duration and propagation of epileptiform afterdischarges (ADs) produced by electrical stimulation of the amygdala in rats. Procaine and DPH also increased the rate of seizure development (kindling) produced by repeated stimulation of the amygdala. Procaine and to a limited extentDPH would themselves act as convulsants in well kindled subjects. Diazepam, on the other hand, retarded or blocked amygdaloid kindling. Diazepam trigered a high frequency (20-30 c/sec) rhtthm in the amygdala, hippocampus and preoptic area. None of these drugs had any significant effect on potentials evoked in secondary limbic sites by single electrical pulses applied to the amygdala. Also, none of these drugs had any effect on recruiting or post-tetanic potentiation (PTP) in secondary sites produced by amygdala stimulation and none of the drugs had any effect on amygdaloid AD thresholds. The effects of these drugs on the responses evoked by anterior neocortex stimulation were quite different. Diazepam had no effect on any of the characteristics of the discharge or convulsion even at twice the dose levels used for the amygdala group. Procaine and DPH, however, blocked not only the eonvulsion but the AD as well. Eighty percent of the procaine- and DPH-treated rats failed to respond with neocortical AD even at current levels as high as 2000 muA. The few cortically stimulated subjects that did respond with an AD showed a subcortical rather than a neocortical seizure response. DPH had no effect on recruiting or PTP of the transcallosal response. Both procaine and DPH produced a weak but significant increase in the amplitude of the transcallosal evoked potential, while diazepam produce a weak decrement in that response.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Amygdala / drug effects*
  • Animals
  • Anticonvulsants*
  • Cerebral Cortex / drug effects*
  • Corpus Callosum / drug effects
  • Diazepam / pharmacology*
  • Electric Stimulation*
  • Electroencephalography*
  • Hippocampus / drug effects
  • Hypothalamus / drug effects
  • Male
  • Membrane Potentials / drug effects
  • Phenytoin / administration & dosage
  • Phenytoin / pharmacology*
  • Procaine / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Recruitment, Neurophysiological
  • Seizures / etiology*
  • Time Factors


  • Anticonvulsants
  • Procaine
  • Phenytoin
  • Diazepam