Effects of an extract of Salvia Miltiorrhiza on a penicillin-induced epilepsy model in rats
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In a penciling-induced epilepsy model, Wistar rats (16 males, 16 females) were i.p. administered with an extract of Salvia miltiorrhiza (SmE; total dose 50 mg/kg) once a day for 15 days. The rats were divided into four equal groups, control and SmE-treated for each sex. After the treatment period, an epilepsy model was produced by penicillin G injection (500 IU) into the motor cortex; the electrocorticogram (EcoG) was recorded for 120 min, and statistical analysis was performed. In the male control group with penicillin-induced epilepsy, the spike frequency was significantly (P < 0.05) higher than that in the female control group. The frequency values have been significantly (P < 0.01) increased within the observation period in the female SmE-treated group, while the respective values significantly (P < 0.05) decreased in the analogous male group. There were insignificant differences in the amplitude values and latency to onset of the spike/wave events between female/male SmE and female/male control groups (P > 0.05). Thus, the SmE exerts anticonvulsant effects in the male rat group, while its effect should be characterized as proconvulsant in the female group in the penicillin-induced epilepsy model. The difference (related to the presence of estrogen analogs in the SmE) is determined by dissimilar hormonal backgrounds in males and females. The SmE may be considered as the base for development of anticonvulsant drugs for clinical therapy of epilepsy in the future.