To study the mechanisms of antiepileptic action of zonisamide (ZNS), we determined the effects of ZNS on extracellular, total levels and re-uptake activity of serotonin (5-HT) in rat striatum and hippocampus. After acute administrations, plasma ZNS concentrations associated with anticonvulsive action (effective concentrations) increased the total levels of 5-HT, its metabolise (5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid: 5-HIAA) and precursor (5-hydroxytryptophan: 5-HTP). After chronic administration of ZNS, effective plasma concentrations also increased the extracellular and total levels of 5-HT, 5-HIAA, and 5-HTP. On the other hand, after both acute and chronic administrations of ZNS, a supra-effective ZNS concentration either decreased or did not affect the total levels of these substances. Therefore, the stimulatory effects of ZNS on the 5-HT system were reduced by an increase in ZNS concentration to supra-effective concentrations. ZNS concentrations of 30–1000 μM did not affect hippocampal 5HT re uptake activity in vitro. These results suggest that ZNS has biphasic effects on the 5-HT system, in that effective concentrations of ZNS enhance and supra-effective concentrations of ZNS reduce the function of the 5-HT system. These biphasic effects of ZNS on the 5-HT system may be involved in the mechanisms of action of the antiepileptic and psychotropic effects, and side effects of ZNS.
Epilepsy Research – Elsevier
Published: Apr 1, 1999
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