Contribution of amino acid transmitters to epileptiform activity and reflex suppression in electrically head stunned sheep

C. J. Cook, C. E. Devine, A. Tavener, K. V. Gilbert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

40 Citations (Scopus)


In sheep, administration of a combination of zolazepam and tiletamine hydrochloride resulted in a dose dependent reduction in the duration of epileptic activity induced by an electric stun applied to the head. The compound also lengthened the normal period of reflex suppression that occurs after a stun. Excitatory amino acid receptor antagonists (2-amino-7-phosphonoheptanoic and 2-amino-5-phosphonovaleric acids) also reduced the duration of epileptic activity following an electric stun. These drugs did not alter the time of pedal and ear pinch reflex suppression. Administration of bicuculline (a gamma amino-4-butyric acid [GABA] receptor antagonist) reduced the period of stun induced reflex suppression and increased seizure duration. Administration of a GABA receptor agonist, baclofen, increased the duration of reflex suppression. The results suggest that the development of epileptiform-like activity following application of an electric current to the head is dependent upon excitatory amino acid receptors. The reflex suppression that also arises following an electric stun is contributed to by the activation of GABA receptor mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-56
Number of pages9
JournalResearch in Veterinary Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1992
Externally publishedYes


Cite this