Epilepsy Model

Epilepsy is characterized by recurrent, unprovoked seizures that result from excessive and hypersynchronous electrical discharges in the brain.

Exposure to the common convulsant agent pentylenetetrazole (PTZ) induce a stereotyped and concentration-dependent sequence of behavioral changes culminating in convulsions in zebrafish larvae. 

Zebrafish has demonstrated to be a powerful system to study the causes and mechanisms of seizures and identify new anti-convulsive drugs.

Method description

Embryos are exposed to the compound of interest, together with PTZ to unchain seizures.  Anti-seizure controls compare activity. 

Behavior and seizures are assessed using the following scheme to evaluate the anti-convulsant properties of compounds:

Figure: Experimental design


  • Locomotion activity: Total distance moved, locomotion pattern and visual stimuli response.
  • Convulsive response: Seizures can be evaluated as a response to a flashlight. These are evaluated though velocity and angle turn parameters.
Pentyleneterazole (PTZ) produces seizures that can be reverted by the anti-convulsive compounds Topiramate and Valproic Acid.