Preclinical Screening for Treatments for Infantile Spasms in the Multiple Hit Rat Model of Infantile Spasms: An Update

Aristea S. Galanopoulou, Wenzhu B. Mowrey, Wei Liu, Qianyun Li, Oleksii Shandra, Solomon L. Moshé

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Infantile spasms are the typical seizures of West syndrome, an infantile epileptic encephalopathy with poor outcomes. There is an increasing need to identify more effective and better tolerated treatments for infantile spasms. We have optimized the rat model of infantile spasms due to structural etiology, the multiple-hit rat model, for therapy discovery. Here, we test three compounds administered after spasms induction in the multiple hit model for efficacy and tolerability. Specifically, postnatal day 3 (PN3) male Sprague-Dawley rats were induced by right intracerebral injections of doxorubicin and lipopolysaccharide. On PN5 p-chlorophenylalanine was given intraperitoneally (i.p.). Daily monitoring of weights and developmental milestones was done and rats were intermittently video monitored. A blinded, randomized, vehicle-controlled study design was followed. The caspase 1 inhibitor VX-765 (50–200 mg/kg i.p.) and the GABAB receptor inhibitor CGP35348 (12.5–100 mg/kg i.p.) each was administered in different cohorts as single intraperitoneal injections on PN4, using a dose- and time-response design with intermittent monitoring till PN5. 17β-estradiol (40 ng/g/day subcutaneously) was given daily between PN3-10 and intermittent monitoring was done till PN12. None of the treatments demonstrated acute or delayed effects on spasms, yet all were well tolerated. We discuss the implications for therapy discovery and challenges of replication trials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1949-1961
Number of pages13
JournalNeurochemical Research
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2017


  • CGP35348
  • Drug resistant
  • Epilepsy
  • Estradiol
  • Replication
  • Seizure
  • VX-765

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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