Early endocannabinoid system activation attenuates behavioral impairments induced by initial impact but does not prevent epileptogenesis in lithium–pilocarpine status epilepticus model

Published:January 06, 2019DOI:


      • Behavior in elevated plus maze test depends mostly on the consequences of SE.
      • Hyperactivity in open field depends on the development of spontaneous seizures.
      • Early post-SE endocannabinoid activation modulates emotional behavior.
      • Early post-SE endocannabinoid activation does not prevent epileptogenesis.


      Mood and anxiety disorders, as well as memory impairments, are important factors affecting quality of life in patients with epilepsy and can influence the antiepileptic therapy. Clinical studies of psychiatric comorbidities are quite complicated to design and interpret, so animal studies of behavioral impairments associated with seizures can be of use. We investigated the effect of early administration of endocannabinoid receptor agonist WIN-55,212-2 on the development of spontaneous seizures, long-term behavioral and memory impairments, and neurodegeneration in the hippocampus on the lithium–pilocarpine model of status epilepticus (SE). We also studied the role of spontaneous seizures in the development of pathologic consequences of the SE. Our results showed that behavioral impairments found in the elevated plus maze test depended mostly on the consequences of SE itself and not on the development of spontaneous seizures while hyperactivity in the open-field test and light–dark chamber was more prominent in rats with spontaneous seizures. Administration of WIN-55,212-2 decreased emotional behavior in the elevated plus maze but did not affect hyperactive behavior in the open-field test. Spatial memory impairment developed both in the presence or absence of spontaneous seizures and was not affected by administration of WIN-55,212-2. Both administration of endocannabinoid receptor agonist WIN-55,212-2 and the presence of spontaneous seizures affected SE-induced neuronal loss in the hippocampus.


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