The pilocarpine model of epilepsy in mice

Epilepsia. 1996 Oct;37(10):1015-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1528-1157.1996.tb00541.x.


Purpose: To characterize the acute and chronic behavioral, electrographic and histologic effects of sustained seizures induced by pilocarpine in mice.

Methods: After status epilepticus, the surviving animals were continuously monitored for 24 h/day for < or = 120 days. The brains were processed by using neo-Timm and Nissl stains.

Results: The first spontaneous seizures occurred between 4 and 42 days after status epilepticus. The mean "seizure-silent period" lasted for 14.4 +/- 11.9 days. During the chronic phase, recurrent spontaneous seizures were observed 1-5 times per animal per week and were associated with sprouting in the supragranular layer of the dentate gyrus.

Conclusions: Structural brain damage promoted by pilocarpine-induced status epilepticus may underlie or be associated with recurrent spontaneous seizures in mice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Coloring Agents
  • Dentate Gyrus / pathology
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Electroencephalography
  • Epilepsy / chemically induced*
  • Epilepsy / pathology*
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe / chemically induced
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe / diagnosis
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe / pathology
  • Hippocampus / pathology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Pilocarpine*
  • Recurrence
  • Status Epilepticus / chemically induced
  • Status Epilepticus / diagnosis
  • Status Epilepticus / pathology
  • Temporal Lobe / pathology


  • Coloring Agents
  • Pilocarpine