Summary: Substances that act in the brain stem or spinal cord to produce tonic or clonic convulsions, often by removing normal inhibitory tone. They were formerly used to stimulate respiration or as antidotes to barbiturate overdose. They are now most commonly used as experimental tools.

Top Publications

  1. Huang X, McMahon J, Yang J, Shin D, Huang Y. Rapamycin down-regulates KCC2 expression and increases seizure susceptibility to convulsants in immature rats. Neuroscience. 2012;219:33-47 pubmed publisher
    Seizure susceptibility to neurological insults, including chemical convulsants, is age-dependent and most likely reflective of overall differences in brain excitability...
  2. Bahremand A, Nasrabady S, Ziai P, Rahimian R, Hedayat T, Payandemehr B, et al. Involvement of nitric oxide-cGMP pathway in the anticonvulsant effects of lithium chloride on PTZ-induced seizure in mice. Epilepsy Res. 2010;89:295-302 pubmed publisher
    ..Our findings demonstrated that nitric oxide-cyclic GMP pathway could be involved in the anticonvulsant properties of the lithium chloride. In addition, the role of constitutive NOS versus inducible NOS is prominent in this phenomenon...
  3. Williams P, White A, Clark S, Ferraro D, Swiercz W, Staley K, et al. Development of spontaneous recurrent seizures after kainate-induced status epilepticus. J Neurosci. 2009;29:2103-12 pubmed publisher
  4. Pineda R, Beattie C, Hall C. Recording the adult zebrafish cerebral field potential during pentylenetetrazole seizures. J Neurosci Methods. 2011;200:20-8 pubmed publisher
    ..The techniques presented herein stand to advance the utility of the adult zebrafish in the study of epilepsy by affording an equivalent to the electroencephalogram used in mammalian models and human patients. ..
  5. Siebel A, Piato A, Capiotti K, Seibt K, Bogo M, Bonan C. PTZ-induced seizures inhibit adenosine deamination in adult zebrafish brain membranes. Brain Res Bull. 2011;86:385-9 pubmed publisher
    ..The decreased adenosine deamination observed in this study suggests a modulation of extracellular adenosine levels during PTZ-induced seizures in zebrafish. ..
  6. Xu J, Long L, Tang Y, Zhang J, Hut H, Tang F. CCR3, CCR2A and macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP)-1a, monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1) in the mouse hippocampus during and after pilocarpine-induced status epilepticus (PISE) . Neuropathol Appl Neurobiol. 2009;35:496-514 pubmed publisher
    ..However, induced expression of MCP-1 in hippocampal blood vessel may be related to changes in permeability of the blood-brain barrier during epileptogenesis. ..
  7. Johnson E, Kan R. The acute phase response and soman-induced status epilepticus: temporal, regional and cellular changes in rat brain cytokine concentrations. J Neuroinflammation. 2010;7:40 pubmed publisher
    ..Increases in neurotoxic cytokines likely play an active role in the progression of GD-induced SE neuropathology though the exact role that these and other cytokines play in this process require further study. ..
  8. Vermoesen K, Serruys A, Loyens E, Afrikanova T, Massie A, Schallier A, et al. Assessment of the convulsant liability of antidepressants using zebrafish and mouse seizure models. Epilepsy Behav. 2011;22:450-60 pubmed publisher
    ..In general we conclude that the convulsant liability of antidepressants is model and concentration dependent. ..
  9. de Guzman P, Inaba Y, Biagini G, Baldelli E, Mollinari C, Merlo D, et al. Subiculum network excitability is increased in a rodent model of temporal lobe epilepsy. Hippocampus. 2006;16:843-60 pubmed
    ..These findings identify an increase in network excitability within the subiculum of pilocarpine-treated, epileptic rats and point at a reduction in inhibition as an underlying mechanism. ..

More Information


  1. Kalueff A. Mapping convulsants' binding to the GABA-A receptor chloride ionophore: a proposed model for channel binding sites. Neurochem Int. 2007;50:61-8 pubmed
    ..The paper reviews data on convulsants' binding sensitivity to different point mutations in ionophore-lining second trans-membrane domains of GABA-A ..
  2. Chakir A, Fabene P, Ouazzani R, Bentivoglio M. Drug resistance and hippocampal damage after delayed treatment of pilocarpine-induced epilepsy in the rat. Brain Res Bull. 2006;71:127-38 pubmed
    ..Overall the data indicate that the paradigm of delayed treatment of limbic epilepsy could provide a model of drug-refractory TLE with hippocampal sclerosis. ..
  3. Thompson S, Ayman G, Woodhall G, Jones R. Depression of glutamate and GABA release by presynaptic GABAB receptors in the entorhinal cortex in normal and chronically epileptic rats. Neurosignals. 2006;15:202-15 pubmed
    ..This could suggest that enhanced glutamate and GABA release in the EC may be associated with the development of the epileptic condition. ..
  4. Atack J, Ohashi Y, McKernan R. Characterization of [35S]t-butylbicyclophosphorothionate ([35S]TBPS) binding to GABAA receptors in postmortem human brain. Br J Pharmacol. 2007;150:1066-74 pubmed
  5. Luszczki J, Wojcik Cwikla J, Andres M, Czuczwar S. Pharmacological and behavioral characteristics of interactions between vigabatrin and conventional antiepileptic drugs in pentylenetetrazole-induced seizures in mice: an isobolographic analysis. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2005;30:958-73 pubmed
  6. Lai M, Holmes G, Lee K, Yang S, Wang C, Wu C, et al. Effect of neonatal isolation on outcome following neonatal seizures in rats--the role of corticosterone. Epilepsy Res. 2006;68:123-36 pubmed
    ..Amelioration of neurological sequelae following reduction of the SE-induced excessive rise in plasma CORT implicates CORT in the pathogenesis of NI increasing the vulnerability to seizures. ..
  7. Towfighi J, Housman C, Brucklacher R, Vannucci R. Neuropathology of seizures in the immature rabbit. Brain Res Dev Brain Res. 2004;152:143-52 pubmed
  8. Reddy D. Testosterone modulation of seizure susceptibility is mediated by neurosteroids 3alpha-androstanediol and 17beta-estradiol. Neuroscience. 2004;129:195-207 pubmed
    ..Thus, testosterone-derived neurosteroids 3alpha-Diol and 17beta-estradiol could contribute to the net cellular actions of testosterone on neural excitability and seizure susceptibility. ..
  9. Houser C, Huang C, Peng Z. Dynamic seizure-related changes in extracellular signal-regulated kinase activation in a mouse model of temporal lobe epilepsy. Neuroscience. 2008;156:222-37 pubmed publisher
    ..These findings suggest that increased pERK labeling could be one of the earliest immunohistochemical indicators of neurons that are activated at the time of a spontaneous seizure. ..
  10. Galic M, Riazi K, Heida J, Mouihate A, Fournier N, Spencer S, et al. Postnatal inflammation increases seizure susceptibility in adult rats. J Neurosci. 2008;28:6904-13 pubmed publisher
    ..Rats treated with LPS showed significantly greater adult seizure susceptibility to all convulsants, as well as increased cytokine release and enhanced neuronal degeneration within the hippocampus after limbic ..
  11. Akula K, Dhir A, Kulkarni S. Nitric oxide signaling pathway in the anti-convulsant effect of adenosine against pentylenetetrazol-induced seizure threshold in mice. Eur J Pharmacol. 2008;587:129-34 pubmed publisher
    ..v. seizure threshold paradigm may possibly involve an interaction with the L-arginine-NO-cGMP pathway which may be secondary to the activation of adenosine receptors. ..
  12. Winawer M, Makarenko N, McCloskey D, Hintz T, Nair N, Palmer A, et al. Acute and chronic responses to the convulsant pilocarpine in DBA/2J and A/J mice. Neuroscience. 2007;149:465-75 pubmed
    ..The results support previous studies of strain differences based on responses to convulsants. They suggest caution in studies of seizure susceptibility that are based only on incidence or latency...
  13. Kwak S, Kim J, Kim D, Won M, Lee H, Choi S, et al. Differential paired-pulse responses between the CA1 region and the dentate gyrus are related to altered CLC-2 immunoreactivity in the pilocarpine-induced rat epilepsy model. Brain Res. 2006;1115:162-8 pubmed
    ..Therefore, our findings suggest that the regionally specific alterations in CLC-2 immunoreactivity after SE may determine the properties of paired-pulse responses in the hippocampus of the pilocarpine-induced rat epilepsy model. ..
  14. Uzbay T, Kayir H, Ceyhan M. Effects of tianeptine on onset time of pentylenetetrazole-induced seizures in mice: possible role of adenosine A1 receptors. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2007;32:412-6 pubmed
    ..Our results suggest that tianeptine delayed the onset time of PTZ-induced seizures via adenosine A1 receptors in mice. Thus, this drug may be a useful choice for epileptic patients with depression. ..
  15. Oztas B, Akgul S, Seker F. Gender difference in the influence of antioxidants on the blood-brain barrier permeability during pentylenetetrazol-induced seizures in hyperthermic rat pups. Biol Trace Elem Res. 2007;118:77-83 pubmed
    ..05). Treatment with selenium or vitamin E has beneficial effects on the BBB breakdown during convulsions. But gender differences are very important in BBB permeability under pathological conditions and antioxidant treatments. ..
  16. Lian X, Stringer J. Inhibition of aconitase in astrocytes increases the sensitivity to chemical convulsants. Epilepsy Res. 2004;60:41-52 pubmed
    ..The data demonstrate that inhibition of aconitase in astrocytes lowers the doses of both kainic acid and pilocarpine that will cause behavioral seizures and may increase neuronal vulnerability to seizures. ..
  17. Hosseinzadeh H, Parvardeh S, Nassiri Asl M, Mansouri M. Intracerebroventricular administration of thymoquinone, the major constituent of Nigella sativa seeds, suppresses epileptic seizures in rats. Med Sci Monit. 2005;11:BR106-10 pubmed
    ..In this study, we evaluated the effect and mechanism(s) of the action of thymoquinone more precisely via intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) injection...
  18. Lian X, Zhang Z, Stringer J. Anticonvulsant activity of ginseng on seizures induced by chemical convulsants. Epilepsia. 2005;46:15-22 pubmed
    ..A partial purification of the whole extract that concentrates the Rb1 and Rb3 ginsenosides has significant anticonvulsant properties. ..
  19. Riazi K, Honar H, Homayoun H, Rashidi N, Dehghani M, Sadeghipour H, et al. Sex and estrus cycle differences in the modulatory effects of morphine on seizure susceptibility in mice. Epilepsia. 2004;45:1035-42 pubmed
    ..The biphasic modulation of seizure threshold is subject to both constitutive sex differences in sensitivity to morphine and hormonal fluctuations during the estrus cycle. ..
  20. De Sarro G, Ibbadu G, Marra R, Rotiroti D, Loiacono A, Donato Di Paola E, et al. Seizure susceptibility to various convulsant stimuli in dystrophin-deficient mdx mice. Neurosci Res. 2004;50:37-44 pubmed
    ..Animals were treated with chemical convulsants impairing gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) neurotransmission [pentylenetetrazole, picrotoxin, bicuculline, methyl-..
  21. Saino Saito S, Hozumi Y, Goto K. Excitotoxicity by kainate-induced seizure causes diacylglycerol kinase ? to shuttle from the nucleus to the cytoplasm in hippocampal neurons. Neurosci Lett. 2011;494:185-9 pubmed publisher
    ..Cytoplasmic translocation of DGK? might be involved in early events of the apoptotic cell death pathway in hippocampal neurons under stressed conditions. ..
  22. Gasior M, Socała K, Nieoczym D, Wlaz P. Clavulanic acid does not affect convulsions in acute seizure tests in mice. J Neural Transm (Vienna). 2012;119:1-6 pubmed publisher
  23. Auvin S, Mazarati A, Shin D, Sankar R. Inflammation enhances epileptogenesis in the developing rat brain. Neurobiol Dis. 2010;40:303-10 pubmed publisher
    ..The role of inflammation should be further explored in immature brain to identify therapeutic targets that may be relevant to clinical practice where the association of inflammation and epileptic events is common. ..
  24. Ndode Ekane X, Hayward N, GROHN O, Pitkanen A. Vascular changes in epilepsy: functional consequences and association with network plasticity in pilocarpine-induced experimental epilepsy. Neuroscience. 2010;166:312-32 pubmed publisher
  25. Branco C, Scola G, Rodrigues A, Cesio V, Laprovitera M, Heinzen H, et al. Anticonvulsant, neuroprotective and behavioral effects of organic and conventional yerba mate (Ilex paraguariensis St. Hil.) on pentylenetetrazol-induced seizures in Wistar rats. Brain Res Bull. 2013;92:60-8 pubmed publisher
  26. Adabi Mohazab R, Javadi Paydar M, Delfan B, Dehpour A. Possible involvement of PPAR-gamma receptor and nitric oxide pathway in the anticonvulsant effect of acute pioglitazone on pentylenetetrazole-induced seizures in mice. Epilepsy Res. 2012;101:28-35 pubmed publisher
    ..These results support that the anticonvulsant effect of pioglitazone is mediated through PPAR-? receptor-mediated pathway and also, at least partly, through the nitric oxide pathway. ..
  27. Jeon B, Jeong E, Park S, Son H, Shin H, Lee D, et al. The Rho-kinase (ROCK) inhibitor Y-27632 protects against excitotoxicity-induced neuronal death in vivo and in vitro. Neurotox Res. 2013;23:238-48 pubmed publisher
    ..These results indicate that ROCK inhibition modulates neurite growth and protects neurons from excitotoxicity-induced cell death. ..
  28. Huang X, Zhang H, Yang J, Wu J, McMahon J, Lin Y, et al. Pharmacological inhibition of the mammalian target of rapamycin pathway suppresses acquired epilepsy. Neurobiol Dis. 2010;40:193-9 pubmed publisher
    ..Finally, mTOR inhibition also significantly suppresses mossy fiber sprouting. Our findings suggest the possibility for a much broader window for intervention for some acquired epilepsies by targeting the mTOR pathway. ..
  29. Motamedi G, Gonzalez Sulser A, Dzakpasu R, Vicini S. Cellular mechanisms of desynchronizing effects of hypothermia in an in vitro epilepsy model. Neurotherapeutics. 2012;9:199-209 pubmed publisher
    ..Moreover, the persistence of action potential firing in interneurons would have additional antiepileptic effects through tonic ?-aminobutyric acid release. ..
  30. Ngo Bum E, Taiwe G, Moto F, Ngoupaye G, Nkantchoua G, Pelanken M, et al. Anticonvulsant, anxiolytic, and sedative properties of the roots of Nauclea latifolia Smith in mice. Epilepsy Behav. 2009;15:434-40 pubmed publisher
    ..latifolia, used in traditional medicine in Cameroon in the treatment of fever, malaria, insomnia, anxiety and epilepsy seemed to possess, sedative, anticonvulsant, anxiolytic and antipyretic properties in mice...
  31. Ramakrishnan L, Dalhoff Z, Fettig S, Eggerichs M, Nelson B, Shrestha B, et al. Riluzole attenuates the effects of chemoconvulsants acting on glutamatergic and GABAergic neurotransmission in the planarian Dugesia tigrina. Eur J Pharmacol. 2013;718:493-501 pubmed publisher
    ..1 mM riluzole revealed that 3 mM semicarbazide induced 35% decrease in the GABA levels and a combination of 3mM semicarbazide and 0.1 mM riluzole induced 42% decrease in glutamate levels with respect to the control group. ..
  32. Mares P, Mikulecká A. Different effects of two N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonists on seizures, spontaneous behavior, and motor performance in immature rats. Epilepsy Behav. 2009;14:32-9 pubmed publisher
    ..Ifenprodil exerted the same effects in 12-day-old rats, but its anticonvulsant action in 18-day-old rats was accompanied by a decrease in locomotion. ..
  33. Cymerblit Sabba A, Schiller M, Schiller Y. Termination of chemoconvulsant-induced seizures by synchronous and asynchronous electrical stimulation of the hippocampus in-vivo. Brain Stimul. 2013;6:727-36 pubmed publisher
    ..Asynchronous stimulation paradigms enhanced the antiepileptic efficacy of neurostimulation, possibly by desynchronizing and functionally subdividing the network. ..
  34. Wang N, Han X, Liu H, Zhao T, Li J, Feng Y, et al. Myeloid differentiation factor 88 is up-regulated in epileptic brain and contributes to experimental seizures in rats. Exp Neurol. 2017;295:23-35 pubmed publisher
    ..These findings indicate that altered expression of MyD88 might contribute to the pathogenesis of seizures and targeting of this adaptor protein might represent a novel therapeutic strategy to suppress seizure activities. ..
  35. Pence S, Erkutlu I, Kurtul N, Bosnak M, Alptekin M, Tan U. Antiepileptogenic effects of glutathione against increased brain ADA in PTZ-induced epilepsy. Int J Neurosci. 2009;119:616-29 pubmed publisher
    ..ADA levels significantly decreased in the glutathione groups, which may have antiseizure effects. Decreased levels of ADA would be due to increased adenosine levels, protecting against oxidative stress. ..
  36. Gonzalez Ramirez M, Salgado Ceballos H, Orozco Suarez S, Rocha L. Hyperthermic seizures and hyperthermia in immature rats modify the subsequent pentylenetetrazole-induced seizures. Seizure. 2009;18:533-6 pubmed publisher
    ..Our data indicate that hyperthermic seizures or hyperthermia induces a protective effect against PTZ-induced seizures during a latency period. A possible involvement of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) system is discussed. ..
  37. Rossignol J, Boyer C, Lévêque X, Fink K, Thinard R, Blanchard F, et al. Mesenchymal stem cell transplantation and DMEM administration in a 3NP rat model of Huntington's disease: morphological and behavioral outcomes. Behav Brain Res. 2011;217:369-78 pubmed publisher
    ..In addition, none of the transplanted MSCs expressed neural phenotypes. These findings suggest that factors other than neuronal replacement underlie the behavioral sparing observed in 3NP rats after MSC transplantation. ..
  38. Funck V, de Oliveira C, Pereira L, Rambo L, Ribeiro L, Royes L, et al. Differential effects of atorvastatin treatment and withdrawal on pentylenetetrazol-induced seizures. Epilepsia. 2011;52:2094-104 pubmed publisher
    ..Additional studies are necessary to evaluate the molecular mechanisms underlying our findings as well as its clinical implications. ..
  39. Pisciotta M, Morgavi G, Jahnsen H. Characterization of the in vitro propagation of epileptiform electrophysiological activity in organotypic hippocampal slice cultures coupled to 3D microelectrode arrays. Brain Res. 2010;1358:46-53 pubmed publisher
  40. Kang J, Kang N, Yu Y, Zhang J, Petersen N, Tian G, et al. Sulforhodamine 101 induces long-term potentiation of intrinsic excitability and synaptic efficacy in hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons. Neuroscience. 2010;169:1601-9 pubmed publisher
    ..As such, SR101 can be used as an experimental tool to induce epileptic seizures. ..
  41. Kokaia M. Light-activated channels in acute seizures. Epilepsia. 2011;52 Suppl 8:16-8 pubmed publisher
    ..Our data suggest that optogenetic approach may become a useful method for controlling epileptiform activity, and may open novel avenues to develop alternative treatment strategies for epilepsy. ..
  42. Pence S, Erkutlu I, Kurtul N, Alptekin M, Tan U. Effects of progesterone on total brain tissue adenosine deaminase activity in experimental epilepsy. Int J Neurosci. 2009;119:204-13 pubmed publisher
    ..Further studies are needed to evaluate the role of progesterone effects on adenosine deaminase levels and its mechanism(s) in the pathogenesis. ..
  43. Shafaroodi H, Barati S, Ghasemi M, Almasirad A, Moezi L. A role for ATP-sensitive potassium channels in the anticonvulsant effects of triamterene in mice. Epilepsy Res. 2016;121:8-13 pubmed publisher
    ..At the end, triamterene exerts anticonvulsant effect in 3 seizure models of mice including intravenous PTZ, intraperitoneal PTZ and MES. The anti-seizure effect of triamterene probably is induced through KATP channels. ..
  44. Zhao R, Xu X, Xu F, Zhang W, Zhang W, Liu L, et al. Metformin protects against seizures, learning and memory impairments and oxidative damage induced by pentylenetetrazole-induced kindling in mice. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2014;448:414-7 pubmed publisher
    ..Thus the present study concluded that metformin may be a potential agent for the treatment of epilepsy as well as a protective medicine against cognitive impairment induced by seizures...
  45. Osorio I, Frei M. Seizure abatement with single dc pulses: is phase resetting at play?. Int J Neural Syst. 2009;19:149-56 pubmed
    ..Seizure blockage using single or brief DC pulse trains and its effects on neural tissue merit further investigation. The clinical applicability of this therapeutic modality and means to enhance it are discussed. ..
  46. Matsunaga S, Jimbo M, Gill M, Wyhe L, Murata M, Nonomura K, et al. Isolation, amino acid sequence and biological activities of novel long-chain polyamine-associated peptide toxins from the sponge Axinyssa aculeata. Chembiochem. 2011;12:2191-200 pubmed publisher
    ..ACU also lysed erythrocytes with a potency that differed between animal species. Here we describe the isolation, amino acid sequence, and biological activity of this new group of cytotoxic sponge peptides. ..
  47. de Freitas R. Lipoic acid alters delta-aminolevulinic dehydratase, glutathione peroxidase and Na+,K+-ATPase activities and glutathione-reduced levels in rat hippocampus after pilocarpine-induced seizures. Cell Mol Neurobiol. 2010;30:381-7 pubmed publisher
    ..The results of the present study demonstrated that preadministration of LA abolished seizure episodes induced by pilocarpine in rat, probably by reducing oxidative stress in rat hippocampus caused by seizures. ..
  48. Sefil F, Bagirici F, Acar M, Marangoz C. Influence of carbenoxolone on the anticonvulsant efficacy of phenytoin in pentylenetetrazole kindled rats. Acta Neurobiol Exp (Wars). 2012;72:177-84 pubmed
    ..The results indicate that carbenoxolone combined with phenytoin is not more effective than the use of these drugs alone. ..
  49. Liu X, Liu J, Liu J, Liu X, Jin L, Fan W, et al. BDNF-TrkB signaling pathway is involved in pentylenetetrazole-evoked progression of epileptiform activity in hippocampal neurons in anesthetized rats. Neurosci Bull. 2013;29:565-75 pubmed publisher
  50. Cano Europa E, Gonzalez Trujano M, Reyes Ramírez A, Hernandez Garcia A, Blas Valdivia V, Ortiz Butron R. Palmitone prevents pentylenetetrazole-caused neuronal damage in the CA3 hippocampal region of prepubertal rats. Neurosci Lett. 2010;470:111-4 pubmed publisher
    ..Some convulsants as PTZ cause neuronal damage in different brain regions such as the CA3 hippocampal region...
  51. Osharina V, Ponchel E, Aarabi A, Grebe R, Wallois F. Local haemodynamic changes preceding interictal spikes: a simultaneous electrocorticography (ECoG) and near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) analysis in rats. Neuroimage. 2010;50:600-7 pubmed publisher
    ..The haemodynamic changes observed with NIRS and occurring before the spikes constitute a haemodynamic predictor of electrical synchronization of spikes. ..
  52. Nistri A, Taccola G, Mladinic M, Margaryan G, Kuzhandaivel A. Deconstructing locomotor networks with experimental injury to define their membership. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2010;1198:242-51 pubmed publisher
    ..Furthermore, these data enable to estimate the minimal network membership compatible with expression of locomotor activity. ..
  53. Tang H, French J, Kuzniecky R, Devinsky O, Ludvig N. Periodic transmeningeal muscimol maintains its antiepileptic efficacy over three weeks without inducing tolerance, in rats. Neurosci Lett. 2011;494:135-8 pubmed publisher
    ..These results suggest that periodic transmeningeal administrations of a relatively low concentration of muscimol into the neocortex over three weeks do not induce tolerance to the localized antiepileptic effects of this drug. ..