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YEAR : 2019

Neuroservice proconvulsive (NS-PC) set: A new platform of electrophysiology-based assays to determine the proconvulsive potential of lead compounds

AUTHORS : Steidl E, Gleyzes M, Maddalena F, Debanne D, Buisson B.

JOURNAL : Journal of Pharmacological and Toxicological Methods


Failures in drug development often result from the emergence of unexpected adverse drug reactions. It is clear that adverse drug reactions, including seizure liability, should be assessed earlier. The goal of the present work was to develop a new platform of in vitro assays, NS-PC set (for Neuroservice proconvulsive set), to determine the proconvulsive potential of compounds earlier in preclinical development.


Assays were based on electrophysiological recordings in acute hippocampal slices performed with multielectrode arrays. 4 reference proconvulsive/seizurogenic compounds (4-aminopyridine, bicuculline, kainate and carbachol) and 4 anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs; phenobarbital, carbamazepine, clonazepam and valproic acid) were evaluated on electrophysiological endpoints involved in seizure risk (neuronal excitability, balance of excitatory/inhibitory synaptic transmission, occurrence of neuronal synchronization mechanisms materialized by epileptiform discharges).


The reference compounds increased the number and area under the curve of population spikes, triggered epileptiform discharges and enhanced the firing rate of CA1 neurons. The effects of the 4 antiepileptic drugs were assessed on these 3 parameters. They were able to partially of completely reverse the effects of proconvulsive compounds.


The use of reference proconvulsive compounds and AEDs validated the electrophysiological parameters to detect proconvulsive risk. Systematic evaluation of compounds with the 3 complementary endpoints increase the probability to detect seizure liability in vitro. Depending on the compound mechanism of action, only one or two of the identified parameters might be modified.