Anticonvulsant actions of the nootropic drug nefiracetam were studied using EL mice, an animal model of epilepsy, in which peripheral-type benzodiazepine receptors (PBRs) might be involved in their epileptogenesis. Nefiracetam, when administered orally to EL mice, inhibited convulsions induced by the PBR agonist, Ro 5-4864, with an ED50 of 17.2 mg/kg, whereas it did not inhibit the drug-induced convulsions in control DDY mice. When administered intravenously (i.v.) to DDY mice, nefiracetam and other piracetam-like nootropics inhibited the Ro 5-4864-induced convulsions in the sequence of nefiracetam>aniracetam>>oxiracetam, piracetam. Spontaneous EL mouse seizures were also inhibited by these nootropics with a similar rank order of potencies. Binding studies for PBRs, performed on crude membranes of brain tissues of these mice, revealed that [3H]Ro 5-4864 and [3H]PK 11195 bindings were both inhibited by micromolar concentrations of nootropic agents in the sequence of nefiracetam>aniracetam>>oxiracetam, piracetam. The results suggest that nefiracetam may exert an anticonvulsant action through interacting with a low-affinity type of PBR in the brain, and could be developed as a promising therapeutic drug for neurological disorders including epilepsies. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Clinical Neurology
- Developmental Biology