Anticonvulsant activity of the antidepressant drug, tianeptine, against pentylenetetrazole-induced seizures mitigates cognitive impairment in rats

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Treatment of depression, a common comorbidity in patients with epilepsy, is restricted as certain antidepressants are considered to be proconvulsants. In contrast, anticonvulsant effects have been reported with some antidepressants. In the present study, the effect of tianeptine, an antidepressant, was evaluated against pentylenetetrazole (PTZ)-induced seizures, cognitive impairment and oxidative stress in rats. Tianeptine was administered in three doses (20, 40 and 80 mg/kg) 30 min before PTZ (60 mg/kg, intraperitoneally). MK801, an N-methyl-D-aspartate antagonist, and naloxone, an opioid receptor antagonist, were administered with tianeptine to evaluate the involvement of N-methyl-D-aspartate and opioid receptors, respectively. Morris water maze, elevated plus maze and passive avoidance tests were performed for behavioural assessment. Brain malondialdehyde and reduced glutathione levels were estimated as markers of oxidative stress. Tianeptine showed dose-dependent protection against PTZ seizures. Coadministration of tianeptine with MK801 potentiated the anticonvulsant effect of tianeptine. The protective effect of tianeptine against PTZ seizures was mitigated when tianeptine was administered with naloxone. Impairment of learning and memory by PTZ was prevented by tianeptine. Tianeptine also attenuated the seizure-induced increased oxidative stress. Thus, tianeptine showed an anticonvulsant effect along with amelioration of seizure-induced cognitive impairment and oxidative stress. Hence, tianeptine could be a useful drug in epileptic patients with depression, with the advantage of having both antidepressant and antiepileptic effects.

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