We investigated the role of the NMDA receptor complex in DMCM (methyl-6,7-dimethoxy-4-ethyl-β-carboline-3-carboxylate)-induced seizures in mice. The seizure threshold of DMCM was evaluated using an i.v. infusion technique. Pretreatment with the non-competitive NMDA receptor antagonist MK-801 ((+)-5-methyl-10,11-dihydro-5H-dibenzo(a,d)cycloheptan-5,10-imine maleate) or phencyclidine (PCP) significantly increased the seizure threshold for DMCM. Furthermore, the seizure threshold of DMCM was increased by intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.), but not intrathecal (i.t.), pretreatment with MK-801. Moreover, 7-chlorokynurenic acid, a glycine site antagonist, also increased the seizure threshold of DMCM, whereas ifenprodil, a non-competitive polyamine site antagonist, did not. These findings indicate that the ion-channel binding site and the glycine binding site on the NMDA receptor complex in the brain may be involved in the expression of seizures induced by DMCM.
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