Evidence that a serotonergic mechanism is involved in the anticonvulsant effect of fluoxetine in genetically epilepsy-prone rats

Eur J Pharmacol. 1994 Jan 24;252(1):105-12. doi: 10.1016/0014-2999(94)90581-9.


Fluoxetine (15 mg/kg i.p.) decreased the audiogenic seizure intensity in 33% of severe seizure genetically epilepsy-prone rats (GEPR-9s). 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP, 12.5 mg/kg i.p.) produced no anticonvulsant effect in GEPR-9s. When GEPR-9s were treated with a combination of these two drugs, the combination treatment decreased the audiogenic seizure intensity in 83% of the animals tested. Brain microdialysis studies showed that the same combination of 5-HTP and fluoxetine also produced a marked potentiation of the increase in the extracellular serotonin concentration in the thalamus of freely-moving GEPR-9s when compared with administration of either drug alone. A negative correlation between audiogenic seizure intensity and extracellular serotonin concentration existed after either fluoxetine alone or the combination treatment. No significant changes in extracellular norepinephrine concentrations were observed after the combination treatment. These results coupled with our earlier reports strongly suggest that a serotonergic mechanism is involved in the anticonvulsant effects of fluoxetine in GEPRs.

MeSH terms

  • 5-Hydroxytryptophan / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Anticonvulsants / pharmacology*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Drug Synergism
  • Epilepsy / drug therapy*
  • Epilepsy / genetics
  • Epilepsy / metabolism
  • Female
  • Fluoxetine / administration & dosage
  • Fluoxetine / pharmacology*
  • Injections, Intraperitoneal
  • Male
  • Norepinephrine / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Serotonin / metabolism*
  • Tetrodotoxin / pharmacology
  • Thalamus / drug effects
  • Thalamus / metabolism*


  • Anticonvulsants
  • Fluoxetine
  • Serotonin
  • Tetrodotoxin
  • 5-Hydroxytryptophan
  • Norepinephrine