Nitric oxide (NO) is known to be a neuromodulator with dual
proconvulsive and anticonvul- sive action. Valeriana officinalis
(VAL) was previously believed to be antiepileptic, but is today known as
a sedative and sleep regulator. Seizures may be associated with abnormal
electrocardio- graphic changes and cardiac dysfunction arising from
epilepsy may be related with neuronal nitric oxide (nNO). This study was
aimed to investigate the effects of the neuronal nitric oxide synthase
(nNOS) inhibitor 7-Nitroindazole (7-NI) and VAL on seizure behaviours
and electrocar- diographic parameters in the pentylentetrazole
(PTZ)-kindled seizure model.
Wistar rats were randomised into saline control, PTZ-kindled,
7-NI, VAL and VAL+PTZ, 7-NI+PTZ and VAL+7-NI+PTZ groups. Latency, stage,
frequency of seizures, blood pressure (BP), heart rate (HR) and
corrected QT (QTc) values were evaluated.
Frequency and stage of seizures, BP and HR increased, while seizure
latency decreased and QTc was prolonged in the PTZ-kindled group. 7-NI
and VAL had no effects on BP and HR variables under normal conditions,
but ameliorated the seizure stage and frequency of seizures. 7-NI
treatment also resulted in a reduction of the increased BP and prolonged
QTc values observed in PTZ-kindled rats.
Considering these results, QTc prolongation may be used as a predictor
for recurrent seizures. 7-NI and VAL exhibited different effects on
seizures and ECG variables. 7-NI shows potential as an anticonvulsant
drug agent in epileptic patients with cardiac dysfunctions and those
additional studies including in-vivo experiments are essential.