Pipecolic acid (PA) is an alicyclic amino acid and putative neurotransmitter which may modulate GABAergic transmission in the central nervous system. The present study was designed to investigate the anticonvulsant effect of intrathecally (i.t.) injected PA on picrotoxin- and bicuculline-induced convulsions which are thought to be produced by interactions with GABAergic systems. Intrathecal injections of picrotoxin and bicuculline in mice produced convulsions which were characterized by a rapid onset and short duration. Coadministration of GABA with either bicuculline or picrotoxin, but not strychnine, attenuated the severity of the convulsions. Coadministration of PA also protected against bicuculline- and picrotoxin-induced convulsions. Intrathecal injections of PA produced a dose-related increase in the latency to the onset of these convulsions as well as a decrease in their duration, however PA failed to inhibit the duration of strychnine-induced seizures. The D isomer of PA was found to be more effective than the L isomer as an anticonvulsant in this study. When administered in a high dose (500 μg i.t.), the D isomer produced flaccid paralysis while injection of high doses (100-500 μg i.t.) of the L isomer actually elicited convulsions. These results further support an interaction between PA and GABAergic activity.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by NIH Grants NS19208 (A.J.B.), and NS17407 (A.A.L.) and NSF Grant BNS83-11214 (A.J.B.).
- Anticonvulsant activity
- Pipecolic acid
- γ-Aminobutyric acid