The effects of tacrine (5 mg/kg i.p.) in lithium chloride (LiCl; 12 mEq/kg i.p.)-pretreated (24 h beforehand) animals and of kainate (10 mg/kg i.p.) on brain citrulline, the co-product of nitric oxide (NO) synthesis, were studied in rats. High performance liquid chromatography analysis of whole brain tissue homogenates from rats treated with LiCl and tacrine revealed a significant increase in citrulline content before the onset of seizures. This effect was prevented in a stereoselective manner by Nω-nitro-l-arginine methyl ester (10 mg/kg i.p., given 20 min before tacrine), an inhibitor of NO synthase. By contrast, kainic acid (10 mg/kg i.p.) did not affect significantly brain citrulline during the pre-convulsive period. In conclusion, our data indicate that in rats seizures induced by LiCl and tacrine but not kainic acid are triggered by excessive NO production in the brain. © 1995 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
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