Inhibition of the sodium calcium exchanger suppresses alcohol withdrawal-induced seizure susceptibility

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Calcium influx plays important roles in the pathophysiology of seizures, including acoustically evoked alcohol withdrawal-induced seizures (AWSs). One Ca2+ influx route of interest is the Na+/Ca2+ exchanger (NCX) that, when operating in its reverse mode (NCXrev) activity, can facilitate Ca2+ entry into neurons, possibly increasing neuronal excitability that leads to enhanced seizure susceptibility. Here, we probed the involvement of NCXrev activity on AWS susceptibility by quantifying the effects of SN-6 and KB-R7943, potent blockers of isoform type 1 (NCX1rev) and 3 (NCX3rev), respectively. Male, adult Sprague–Dawley rats were used. Acoustically evoked AWSs con-sisted of wild running seizures (WRSs) that evolved into generalized tonic–clonic seizures (GTCSs). Quantification shows that acute SN-6 treatment at a relatively low dose suppressed the occurrence of the GTCSs (but not WRSs) component of AWSs and markedly reduced the seizure severity. However, administration of KB-R7943 at a relatively high dose only reduced the incidence of GTCSs. These findings demonstrate that inhibition of NCX1rev activity is a putative mechanism for the suppression of alcohol withdrawal-induced GTCSs.

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