Highly Selective SGLT2 Inhibitor Dapagliflozin Reduces Seizure Activity in Pentylenetetrazol-induced Murine Model of Epilepsy

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Background: Worldwide, over 10 million individuals suffer from drug-resistant epilepsy. New therapeutic strategies are needed to address this debilitating disease. Inhibition of sodium-glucose linked transporters (SGLTs), which are variably expressed in the brain, has been demonstrated to reduce seizure activity in murine models of epilepsy. Here we investigated the effects of dapagliflozin, a highly competitive SGLT2 inhibitor currently used as a drug for diabetes mellitus, on seizure activity in rats with pentylenetetrazol (PTZ) induced seizures.Methods: Laboratory rats (n = 48) were evenly randomized into two experiments, each with four study arms: (1) a vehicle-treated (placebo) arm infused with saline; (2) a control arm infused with PTZ; (3) a treatment arm with PTZ and dapagliflozin at 75 mg/kg, and (4) another treatment arm with PTZ and dapagliflozin at 150 mg/kg. Study subjects were assessed for seizures either via EEG as measured by spike wave percentage (SWP), or clinically via Racine’s scales scores (RSS) and time to first myoclonic jerk (TFMJ).Results: Rats treated with dapagliflozin had lower mean SWP on EEG (20.4% versus 75.3% for untreated rats). Behaviorally, treatment with dapagliflozin improved means RSS (2.33 versus 5.5) and mean TFMJ (68.3 versus 196.7 s). All of these findings were statistically significant with p-values of < 0.0001. There was a trend towards even better seizure control with the higher dose of dapagliflozin at 150 mg/kg, however this was not consistently statistically significant.Conclusions: Dapagliflozin decreased seizure activity in rats with PTZ–induced seizures. This may be explained by the anti-seizure effects of decreased glucose availability and a reduction in sodium transport across neuronal membranes which can confer a stabilizing effect against excitability and unwanted depolarization. The potential clinical role of dapagliflozin and other SGLT2 inhibitors as anti-seizure medications should be further explored.
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Erdogan, M.A., Yusuf, D., Christy, J. et al. Highly selective SGLT2 inhibitor dapagliflozin reduces seizure activity in pentylenetetrazol-induced murine model of epilepsy. BMC Neurol 18, 81 (2018). DOI: 10.1186/s12883-018-1086-4.
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BMC Neurol
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Highly Selective SGLT2 Inhibitor Dapagliflozin Reduces Seizure Activity in Pentylenetetrazol-induced Murine Model of Epilepsy
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