Castration in female rats modifies the development of the pilocarpine model of epilepsy

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Valente, S. G.
Naffah-Mazzacoratti, M. G.
Pereira, M.
Silva, I
Santos, N. F.
Baracat, E. C.
Cavalheiro, E. A.
Amado, D.
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Previous studies have shown that the susceptibility to pilocarpine-induced status epilepticus (SE) in female rats changes according to estrous cycle phases. These studies have also shown that following pilocarpine administration changes occur in gonadal, hypophyseal and hypothalamic hormones that could contribute for the sequence of the epileptic events. Accordingly, the present work aimed to investigate the role of sexual hormones withdrawal on the development of the pilocarpine model of epilepsy in female rats, With this purpose, castrated and non-castrated adult female Wistar rats were injected with pilocarpine and some characteristic parameters of the experimental model were observed. the results showed increased mortality after pilocarpine injection in the castrated rats when compared with non-castrated females. the latency period for SE onset and for the first spontaneous seizure was decreased in castrated when compared with non-castrated animals. the mossy fiber sprouting measured by neo-Timm scale during the chronic period, reached grade 3 for castrated epileptic rats while the non-castrated epileptic rats showed grade 2. Our results indicate that castration interferes with the epileptogenesis in the pilocarpine model of epilepsy suggesting that female sexual hormones could have protective effects against pilocarpine-induced SE. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
Epilepsy Research. Amsterdam: Elsevier B.V., v. 49, n. 3, p. 181-188, 2002.