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Effects of carnosine on amygdaloid-kindled seizures in Sprague-Dawley rats

Jin CL, Yang LX, Wu XH, Li Q, Ding MP, Fan YY, Zhang WP, Luo JH, Chen Z. (2005) Neuroscience. 135(3) 939-47. Epub 2005 Aug 26. 

Web URL: View this and related abstracts via PubMed here.


The effects of carnosine (beta-alanyl-l-histidine) on amygdaloid-kindled seizures were investigated in rats. I.p. injection of carnosine (500, 1000, 1500mg/kg, i.p.) significantly decreased seizure stage, afterdischarge duration and generalized seizure duration, and significantly prolonged generalized seizure latency of amygdaloid-kindled seizures, in a dose-dependent, and time-related manner.

The protective effect of carnosine (1500mg/kg) was completely antagonized by histamine H1-antagonists pyrilamine (2, 5mg/kg, i.p.) and diphenhydramine (5, 10mg/kg, i.p.), but not by histamine H2-antagonist zolantidine even at a high dose of 10mg/kg.

Carnosine (1500mg/kg, i.p.) caused a significant increase of carnosine and histidine levels in the hypothalamus, thalamus, hippocampus, amygdala and cortex, as well as histamine levels in the hippocampus and amygdala.

I.c.v. injection of alpha-fluoromethylhistidine (50mug, i.c.v.), a selective and irreversible histidine decarboxylase inhibitor, only partially reversed the inhibition of amygdaloid-kindled seizures induced by carnosine. In addition, carnosine significantly decreased glutamate contents in the amygdala and hippocampus.

These results indicate that carnosine could protect against amygdaloid-kindled seizures in rats, and its action may be due to the activation of histamine postsynaptic H1-receptors via two different mechanisms, one being carnosine's direct action, and the other being indirectly mediated by histaminergic pathway.

The study suggests that carnosine may be an endogenous anticonvulsant factor in the brain and could be used as a new antiepileptic drug in the future.