Antiabsence Effects of Safranal in Acute Experimental Seizure Models: EEG and Autoradiography
PURPOSE: We examined the effect of safranal, a constituent of Crocus sativus, in acute experimental animal models of generalized absence seizures. METHODS: We further characterized its effects on the GABAergic system through the regional modification of [3H] flunitrazepam, a benzodiazepine agonist binding site and [3H] CGP54626A, a GABAB receptor antagonist binding site in mouse brain. RESULTS: The systemic administration of safranal resulted in a significant and dose-dependent attenuation in experimental absence seizures elicited by either ?-butyrolactone (GBL), baclofen (BAC) or low doses of GABAA receptor antagonists; pentylenetetrazole (PTZ), picrotoxin (PTX) and bicuculline (BMC). After a single intraperitoneal administration of safranal (291 mg/kg), no changes in baseline electrocorticographic (ECoG) recording were observed, however, a significant decrease in [3H] flunitrazepam binding was seen in the cortex (33.16%, p<0.001), hippocampus (27.36%, p<0.01) and thalamus (29.91%, p<0.01) of mouse brain, while the [3H] CGP54626A binding did not show any modification in the same brain regions. CONCLUSION: These data indicate that there is an antiabsence seizure property in safranal and its effect may be due to modifications on the benzodiazepine binding sites of the GABAA receptor complex.