Published Date: August 24, 2023

Full Text Article

4-AP challenge reveals that early intervention with brivaracetam prevents posttraumatic epileptogenesis in rats

Authors: Ana Mejia-Bautista, Hillary B Michelson, Anika Sanjana, Oluwafunmilayo Famuyiwa, Jeffrey H Goodman, Douglas S F Ling

Epilepsy Res. 2023 Oct;196:107217. doi: 10.1016/j.eplepsyres.2023.107217. Epub 2023 Aug 19.


PURPOSE: There are currently no clinical treatments to prevent posttraumatic epilepsy (PTE). Recently, our group has shown that administration of levetiracetam (LEV) or brivaracetam (BRV) shortly after cortical neurotrauma prevents the development of epileptiform activity in rats, as measured ex vivo in neocortical slices. Due to the low incidence of spontaneous seizures in rodent-based models of traumatic brain injury (TBI), chemoconvulsants have been used to test injured animals for seizure susceptibility. We used a low dose of the voltage-gated potassium channel blocker 4-aminopyridine (4-AP) to evaluate posttraumatic epileptogenesis after controlled cortical impact (CCI) injury. We then used this assessment to further investigate the efficacy of BRV as an antiepileptogenic treatment.

METHODS: Sprague-Dawley rats aged P24-35 were subjected to severe CCI injury. Following trauma, one group received BRV-21 mg/kg (IP) at 0-2 min after injury and the other BRV-100 mg/kg (IP) at 30 min after injury. Four to eight weeks after injury, animals were given a single, low dose of 4-AP (3.0-3.5 mg/kg, IP) and then monitored up to 90 min for stage 4/5 seizures.

RESULTS: The chemoconvulsant challenge revealed that within four to eight weeks, CCI injury led to a two-fold increase in percentage of rats with 4-AP induced stage 4-5 seizures relative to sham-injured controls. Administration of a single dose of BRV within 30 min after trauma significantly reduced injury-induced seizure susceptibility, bringing the proportion of CCI-rats that exhibited evoked seizures down to control levels.

CONCLUSIONS: This study is the first to use a low dose of 4-AP as a chemoconvulsant challenge to test epileptogenicity within the first two months after CCI injury in rats. Our findings show that a single dose of BRV administered within 30 min after TBI prevents injury-induced increases in seizure susceptibility. This supports our hypothesis that early intervention with BRV may prevent PTE.

PMID: 37619297DOI: 10.1016/j.eplepsyres.2023.107217