Abstract Title:

Caffeine Protects Against Anticonvulsant-Induced Neurotoxicity in the Developing Rat Brain.

Abstract Source:

Neurotox Res. 2017 Jun 22. Epub 2017 Jun 22. PMID: 28643232

Abstract Author(s):

Stefanie Endesfelder, Ulrike Weichelt, Cornelia Schiller, Marco Sifringer, Ivo Bendix, Christoph Bührer

Article Affiliation:

Stefanie Endesfelder


Phenobarbital is the most commonly used drug for the treatment of neonatal seizures but may induce neurodegeneration in the developing brain. Methylxanthine caffeine is used for the treatment of apnea in newborn infants and appears to be neuroprotective, as shown by antiapoptotic and anti-inflammatory effects in oxidative stress models in newborn rodents and reduced rates of cerebral palsy in human infants treated with caffeine. We hypothesized that caffeine may counteract the proapoptotic effects of phenobarbital in newborn rats. Postnatal day 4 (P4) rats received phenobarbital (50 mg/kg) +/- caffeine (10 mg/kg) for three consecutive days. Brains examined at 6, 12, and 24 h after last injection of phenobarbital showed a drastic increase of apoptotic cell death (TUNEL+), which was attenuated by co-treatment with caffeine at 6 and 24 h but not at 12 h. Phenobarbital also increased protein levels of apoptosis inducing factor (AIF) and cleaved caspase-3, which was reduced by caffeine co-administration at all time points investigated. RNA expression of the pro-inflammatory cytokines TNFα, IFNγ, and IL-1β, but not IL-18, was upregulated by phenobarbital. Co-treatmentwith caffeine significantly decreased these upregulations at all time points investigated, while caffeine without phenobarbital resulted in increased expression of TNFα, IL-1β, and IL-18, but not IFNγ at 6 h. Downregulation of the adenosine A1 and A2a receptors, both of which bind caffeine, by 24 h of phenobarbital exposure was partly antagonized by caffeine. These results raise the possibility that the phenobarbital-induced adverse effects could be reduced by a co-treatment with caffeine.

Study Type : Animal Study

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