Isovaline attenuates epileptiform activity and seizure behavior in 4-aminopyridine treated rats

Wilson Yu, Autumn B. Smith, Julie Pilitsis, Damian S. Shin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Epilepsy is the most common neurological disorder in the world and although there are various treatment options available, 30% of patients remain intractable. Current antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) provide efficacy primarily by decreasing excitation or increasing inhibition in the seizing brain. Isovaline, a unique amino acid, was shown to attenuate seizure-like events (SLEs) in two in vitro hippocampal seizure models by selectively increasing the activity of interneurons, but not pyramidal neurons. Here, we demonstrate that 4-aminopyridine (4-AP) induced hippocampal epileptiform activity in vivo and seizing behavior, which were attenuated with intravenous (IV) isovaline treatment. We are the first to demonstrate that isovaline has potential as an AED and a conceptual framework for managing epilepsy could revolve around its novel mechanism of action.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)331-335
Number of pages5
JournalEpilepsy Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Some of the work was supported by the Epilepsy Research Foundation.


  • Anticonvulsant
  • Antiepileptic drug
  • Epilepsy
  • Hippocampus
  • Seizure


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