Sex-specific control of flurothyl-induced tonic-clonic seizures by the substantia nigra pars reticulata during development

Libor Velíšek, Jana Velíšková, Filippo S. Giorgi, Solomon L. Moshé

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14 Scopus citations


The substantia nigra pars reticulata (SNR) plays an important age- and sex-specific role in control of clonic seizures. Its involvement in control of tonic-clonic seizures is contradictory. We investigated the role of the SNR in the tonic-clonic seizures induced in male, female and neonatally castrated male rats using flurothyl. In adult female rats, vaginal impedance determined the changes in progesterone/estrogen ratio. Rats at various postnatal ages received infusions of muscimol or vehicle in the SNRanterior or SNRposterior. Furthermore, in 15-day-old (P15) and adult male rats, ZAPA (a GABA(A) receptor agonist) or AP7 (an NMDA receptor antagonist) was infused. The developmental profile of tonic-clonic seizure threshold differed between male and female rats possibly due to early postnatal testosterone surge in male rats. On the other hand, changing estrogen/progesterone ratio in cycling adult female rats had no effect on seizure threshold. Intranigral muscimol had proconvulsant effects on tonic-clonic seizures only in immature rats, and this effect was dependent on the perinatal testosterone surge. ZAPA had anticonvulsant effects in P15 rats but was not effective in adult rats. Only AP7 had anticonvulsant effects in both adult and P15 rats. Results indicate that thresholds for flurothyl-induced tonic-clonic seizures develop under the control of postnatal testosterone. Although GABAergic inhibition in the SNR affects tonic-clonic seizures in developing rats, only the NMDA antagonist had consistent anticonvulsant effects throughout development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)203-211
Number of pages9
JournalExperimental Neurology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 2006


  • AP7
  • Estrous cycle
  • Flurothyl
  • GABA
  • Muscimol
  • NMDA
  • Seizure
  • Testosterone
  • ZAPA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Developmental Neuroscience


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