OBJECTIVES: Veratridine was characterized previously as an experimental model of epilepsy in vitro. The aim of this preliminary investigation is to identify the pattern of seizure induced by this model in vivo.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Veratridine (200 μg/kg) was administered intraperitoneally to male Sprague-Dawley rats and the electrical activity of the brain was recorded as surface electroencephalogram (EEG).
RESULTS: The animals developed behavioral effects manifested as grooming, masticatory movements, facial automatism and wet dog shakes (WDSs). There were episodes of complete quiescent periods for 2-5 minutes before the animals presumed activity which were repeated every 15-20 minutes. The seizure activity during this silent activity showed fast frequency signals in the surface EEG correlating with absence seizure. The WDS behaviour was associated with electrical spikes on the EEG. When the rats were pre-treated with 200mg/kg ethosuximide (ETX), EEG recordings did not display the same fast frequency signal as that observed in animals receiving veratridine only. The number and duration of WDSs were not altered by ETX (200-400 mg/kg).
CONCLUSION: Veratridine produced an absence like-seizure activity in the surface EEG, sensitive to ETX and correlates with its behavioural effects.