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    Approximately 70% of women with epilepsy experience additional challenges in seizure exacerbation due to hormonal changes, particularly during fluctuations of estrogen-progesterone levels in the menstrual cycle, which is known as catamenial epilepsy. In animal models of epilepsy, a sustained increase in seizure frequency has been observed in female rats during the proestrus-estrus transition when estrogen levels are high and progesterone levels are low resembling catamenial epilepsy. Cannabidiol (CBD) has been proposed to have anticonvulsant and anti-inflammatory effects, able to decrease seizure duration and increase seizure threshold in rats with epilepsy. However, most studies have used males to investigate the pharmacological effects of CBD on seizures, and the neuroprotective effects of CBD against seizures exacerbated by hormonal fluctuations in females are still little explored. Given this scenario, the aim of the present study was to investigate whether CBD would protect against acute seizures induced by pentylenetetrazole (PTZ) in female rats during a pro-convulsant hormonal phase. Therefore, CBD (50 mg/kg) or saline was administered during the proestrus-estrus transition phase, 1 h prior to induction of seizures with PTZ (60 mg/kg), and the following parameters were recorded: duration, latency to first seizure, as well as percentage of convulsing animals (incidence), mortality, and severity of seizures. Brains were processed for immunohistochemistry for microglial cells (Iba-1), and blood was collected for the analysis of cytokines (IL-1β, IL-6, IL-10, and TNF-α). Cannabidiol pre-treated rats showed a significant reduction in duration and severity of seizures, and IL-1β levels, although the latency, incidence of seizures, and mortality rate remained unchanged as well the quantification of microglia in the selected areas. Therefore, acute administration of CBD in a single dose prior to seizure induction showed a partial neuroprotective effect against seizure severity and inflammation, suggesting that female rats in the proconvulsant phase of proestrus-estrus have a low seizure threshold and are more resistant to the anticonvulsant effects of CBD. It appears that other doses or administration windows of CBD may be required to achieve a full protective effect against seizures, suggesting that CBD could be used as an adjunctive therapy during fluctuations of estrogen-progesterone levels. In this sense, considering the hormonal fluctuation as a seizure-potentiating factor, our study contributes to understand the anticonvulsant activity of CBD in females in a pro-convulsant hormonal phase, similar to catamenial seizures in humans. Copyright © 2022 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


    Nilma R L L Janisset, Simone A A Romariz, Debora Hashiguchi, Miguel L Quintella, Christiane Gimenes, Thais Yokoyama, Renato Filev, Elisaldo Carlini, Regina Barbosa da Silva, Jean Faber, Beatriz M Longo. Partial protective effects of cannabidiol against PTZ-induced acute seizures in female rats during the proestrus-estrus transition. Epilepsy & behavior : E&B. 2022 Apr;129:108615

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    PMID: 35217387

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