A variety of neurotransmitter receptor changes occur after a course of electroconvulsive seizures (ECS) in rats, including an increased density of adenosine A1 sites. Adenosine antagonism has been related to the proconvulsant action of methylxanthines such as caffeine. We determined tonic-clonic seizure duration in rats given ECS with caffeine (0-175 mg/kg, IP) after a course of one or six daily ECS. A single day of ECS did not affect the dose-dependent proconvulsant action of caffeine. After six daily ECS, the proconvulsant action of caffeine was reduced. After nine daily ECS, an A1 antagonist (8-cyclopentyl-1,3-dipropylxanthine) and an A2A antagonist (1-allyl-3,7-dimethyl-8-p-sulfophenylxanthine) showed reduced proconvulsant activity. The results suggest that the reduced proconvulsant action of caffeine after chronic ECS depends on adenosine antagonism.
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