The role of nitric oxide in modulating brain activity and blood flow during seizure

M. Angele Theard, Verna L. Baughman, Qiong Wang, Dale A. Pelligrino, Ronald F. Albrecht

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The role played by nitric oxide (NO) in modulating seizure activity and cerebral blood flow (CBF) during seizures was investigated in rats. Seizures were induced with bicuculline (a GAB A antagonist, 1.2 mg kg−1, i.v.). Each animal was subjected to an initial bicuculline-induced seizure followed by treatment with either L-nitroarginine (L-NA, a NO synthase inhibitor) or its less active enantiomer D-NA as a 50 mg kg−1 bolus followed by an infusion of 1 mg kg−1 min−1. The animals then received a second bicuculline treatment. Seizure duration was monitored using EEG and CBF was measured with laser-Doppler. There was no difference in seizure duration before or after D-NA administration. Seizure duration doubled from (6 ± 1 to 12 ± 2 min p<0.05) following inhibition of NO synthase with L-NA. The increase in CBF that accompanied the seizure activity paralleled the seizure duration. Our data support the concept that (1) NO acts as an endogenous anticonvulsant, with seizure duration doubling when NO synthase is acutely inhibited, and (2) that NO is not the messenger that couples CBF to metabolism during bicuculline-induced seizures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)921-924
Number of pages4
Issue number6
StatePublished - Apr 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • Bicuculline
  • Cerebral blood flow
  • D-Nitroarginine (D-NA)
  • L-Nitroarginine (L-NA)
  • Nitric oxide
  • Seizure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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