Purpose: We have developed and characterized a novel model of epileptogenesis based on the convulsive actions of flurothyl in mice. The hallmark feature of this model is a reliable change in the type of seizure expressed in response to flurothyl from generalized clonic to generalized tonic seizures. The purpose of our study was to evaluate the effects of chronic administration of valproate (VPA), phenytoin (PHT), and MK-801 on the change in seizure phenotype observed in our model system.
Methods: Male C57BL/6J mice received flurothyl seizures on 8 consecutive days. Two hours after the last generalized seizure, chronic drug or vehicle was administered twice daily at 12-h intervals for 28 days. The drugs evaluated were VPA (250 mg/kg), PHT (30 mg/kg), and MK-801 (0.5 mg/kg). After a 7-day drug washout period, mice were retested with flurothyl.
Results: Among uninjected or vehicle-injected control mice, there was a significant increase in the proportion of animals expressing tonic seizures after the 28-day stimulation-free interval. Chronic administration of VPA or MK-801, but not PHT, blocked the characteristic change in seizure type from clonic to tonic.
Conclusions: The change in seizure phenotype observed after exposure to our paradigm indicates a fundamental reorganization in the propagation of flurothyl-initiated seizures. As in electrical kindling, VPA and MK-801 are effective at blocking or retarding the reorganization, whereas PHT is not. The concordance in pharmacologic profiles between kindling and our model suggests that the processes underlying changes in seizure susceptibility in these two models share mechanisms in common.