Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




Background: Levetiracetam (LEV) has been found to have an antihyperalgesic effect via acting on the adenosine system. However, the effects of LEV on the modulation of the adenosine system in the brain have not been elucidated in the prevention of seizures and epilepsy. The present study aimed to explore the possible LEV mechanisms of action in the adenosine signaling systems in an animal model of epilepsy. Methodology: A docking study was initially performed to determine the possible interaction of LEV with adenosine A1 receptors (A1Rs) and equilibrative nucleoside transporters-1 (ENT1). The experimental study was divided into an acute seizure test (32 mice distributed into 4 groups) and a chronic kindling model study (40 mice distributed into 5 groups), followed by gene expression analysis and immunohistochemistry. The kindling model lasted 26 days and took 13 subconvulsive doses of pentylenetetrazole (PTZ) to completely kindle the mice in the PTZ control group. Gene expression changes in the A1Rs, potassium inwardly-rectifying channel 3.2 (Kir3.2), and ENT1 in the brain tissue samples of the mice following treatment with LEV were analyzed using reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction, and immunohistochemistry was performed for the A1R protein expression. Results: Docking studies predicted a significant interaction of LEV with A1Rs and ENT1 proteins. Results from the acute testing revealed that caffeine (100 mg/kg) and 8-cyclopentyl-1,3-dipropylxanthine (25 mg/kg) significantly reversed the antiseizure effects of LEV by reversing the percent protection and shortening the onset of the first myoclonic jerk (FMJ) and generalized clonic seizures (GCSs). In the PTZ-induced kindling, LEV demonstrated an increased gene expression of A1Rs and Kir3.2 in the brain. LEV also significantly reduced the gene expression of ENT1. Furthermore, the immunohistochemical analysis showed that LEV increased the protein expression of A1Rs in the brain. Conclusion: Based on these results, it can be concluded that LEV modulates epileptogenesis by acting on the adenosine pathway in the central nervous system.


Levetiracetam, adenosinergic pathway, seizure, kindling model, epilepsy

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