UNIT 5.22 Acute Seizure Tests in Epilepsy Research: Electroshock- and Chemical-Induced Convulsions in the Mouse

  1. William J. Giardina1,
  2. Maciej Gasior2

Published Online: 1 JUN 2009

DOI: 10.1002/0471141755.ph0522s45

Current Protocols in Pharmacology

Current Protocols in Pharmacology

How to Cite

Giardina, W. J. and Gasior, M. 2009. Acute Seizure Tests in Epilepsy Research: Electroshock- and Chemical-Induced Convulsions in the Mouse. Current Protocols in Pharmacology. 45:5.22:5.22.1–5.22.37.

Author Information

  1. 1

    Abbott Laboratories, Abbott Park, Illinois

  2. 2

    Cephalon, West Chester, Pennsylvania

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 JUN 2009
  2. Published Print: JUN 2009


Epilepsy is a common (50 million patients worldwide) neurological disorder characterized by seizures that are caused by episodic abnormal electrical activity in the brain. Animal models play an essential role in epilepsy research including the discovery and development of new antiepileptic drugs. Described in this unit are protocols for traditional acute tests in which seizures are induced by either an electrical stimulation or a convulsant agent in non-epileptic mice. Specifically, protocols for the following acute seizure tests are provided: the maximal electroshock induced test (MES), the maximal electroshock seizure threshold (MEST) test, the 6-Hz seizure test, the subcutaneous pentylenetetrazol (s.c. PTZ) seizure test, and the intravenous pentylenetetrazol (i.v. PTZ) seizure test. These tests can be used to characterize anticonvulsant and/or proconvulsant properties of compounds in mice. The MES, s.c. PTZ, and 6-Hz seizure tests represent the three most widely used animal tests in drug-screening programs. Although the parameters of these tests are optimized for mice, the same tests (except for the 6-Hz seizure test), with some modifications, can be used with rats. Curr. Protoc. Pharmacol. 45:5.22.1-5.22.37. © 2009 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


  • seizure;
  • convulsion;
  • MES;
  • MEST;
  • 6-Hz;
  • pentylenetetrazol;
  • epilepsy;
  • convulsant