Examination of the antiepileptic effects of valacyclovir using kindling mice― search for novel antiepileptic agents by drug repositioning using a large medical information database

Shimon Takahashi, Kenshi Takechi, Natsumi Jozukuri, Takahiro Niimura, Masayuki Chuma, Mitsuhiro Goda, Yoshito Zamami, Yuki Izawa-Ishizawa, Masaki Imanishi, Yuya Horinouchi, Yasumasa Ikeda, Koichiro Tsuchiya, Hiroaki Yanagawa, Keisuke Ishizawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Despite the availability of more than 20 clinical antiepileptic drugs, approximately 30% of patients with epilepsy do not respond to antiepileptic drug treatment. Therefore, it is important to develop antiepileptic products that function via novel mechanisms. In the present study, we evaluated data from one of the largest global databases to identify drugs with antiepileptic effects, and subsequently attempted to understand the effect of the combination of antiepileptic drugs and valacyclovir in epileptic seizures using a kindling model. To induce kindling in mice, pentylenetetrazol at a dose of 40 mg/kg was administered once every 48 h. Valacyclovir was orally administered 30 min before antiepileptic drug injection in kindled mice, and behavioral seizures were monitored for 20 min following pentylenetetrazol administration. Additionally, c-Fos expression in the hippocampal dentate gyrus was measured in kindled mice. Valacyclovir showed inhibitory effects on pentylenetetrazol-induced kindled seizures. In addition, simultaneous use of levetiracetam and valacyclovir caused more potent inhibition of seizure activity, and neither valproic acid nor diazepam augmented the anti-seizure effect in kindled mice. Furthermore, kindled mice showed increased c-Fos levels in the dentate gyrus. The increase in c-Fos expression was significantly inhibited by the simultaneous use of levetiracetam and valacyclovir. The findings of the present study indicate that a combination of levetiracetam and valacyclovir had possible anticonvulsive effects on pentylenetetrazol-induced kindled epileptic seizures. These results suggest that valacyclovir may have an antiseizure effect in patients with epilepsy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number174099
JournalEuropean Journal of Pharmacology
Volume902
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 5 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Drug repositioning
  • Epilepsy
  • Large medical information database
  • Valacyclovir

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology

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