Cognitive dysfunction induced by phenytoin
and valproate in rats: effect of nitric oxide

by
Pandhi P, Balakrishnan S.
Department of Pharmacology,
Postgraduate Institute of Medical
Education & Research, Chandigarh.
Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. 1999 Jul;43(3):378-82


ABSTRACT

Phenytoin (PHT) and Valproate (VPA) are known to induce cognitive dysfunction, in terms of long term memory loss. Nitric oxide (NO) on the other hand is said to help in long term potentiation and hence enhance memory. The effects of nitric oxide donor L-arginine (L-Arg) and nitric oxide synthase inhibitor N-W-L-Nitroarginine (L-NOARG) were studied on the cognitive dysfunction, induced by PHT and VPA in normal healthy rats, using the step-through passive avoidance test (PAT). It was observed that combining L-Arg with PHT significantly enhanced long term memory while, combining PHT with L-NOARG decreased it, as compared to PHT alone. When combined with VPA, L-Arg and L-NOARG increased the retention latency as compared to PVA alone but this was not statistically significant. We conclude that the No donor L-Arg is able to increase the difference in LTE in acquisition and retention trials with both PHT and VPA, but with VPA the increase is not statistically significant.

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