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    Vigabatrin increases GABA concentrations by inhibiting GABA transaminase. In previous studies, it was shown that vigabatrin increases the incidence of Spike and Wave Discharges (SWD) in the WAG/Rij rat model for absence epilepsy. Since following a single dose of vigabatrin GABA concentrations are known to be increased for several days, the present study sheds light on how the previously described changes in SWD characteristics develop over a longer time frame. To achieve this, we injected adult WAG/Rij rats with 500 mg/kg and recorded their EEG for 48 h. SWD were quantified, and their peak frequencies were calculated. Our results showed three rapid onset effects: a sharp increase in SWD incidence, from 12.5 /hour to 133/hour), this increase lasted only 4.4 h, an increase in mean SWD duration, from 4.6 s to 8.1 s and a drop in peak frequency, from 8 to 6 Hz. Since it takes several hours before GABA concentrations are sufficiently increased, we propose that these immediate effects are caused by direct stimulation of both GABAA and GABAB receptors by the molecule vigabatrin. Next, the mean SWD duration decreased below baseline values after 4.4 h. Hazard rate analysis showed that this is caused by an increased probability of short SWD. We argue that these changes are caused by increased activation of both GABAA and GABAB receptors in the frontal cortex and the thalamus, and more specifically, in the Reticular Thalamic Nucleus (RTN). After approximately 34 h, the probability of short SWD returned to normal. This suggests the occurrence of downregulation of GABA receptors. The decrease in peak frequency was still present 48 h after injection. It has been argued that the balance between GABAA and GABAB receptor-mediated activity in the RTN is crucial for controlling this SWD characteristic. It can be concluded that a single dose of vigabatrin results in remarkable and opposite effects over time: an initial, proabsence effect is followed by an antiabsence effect. Copyright © 2020 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


    Martin F J Perescis, Gilles van Luijtelaar, Clementina M van Rijn. Immediate versus late effects of vigabatrin on spike and wave discharges. Epilepsy research. 2020 Sep;165:106379

    PMID: 32526640

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