Effect of eugenol on lithium-pilocarpine model of epilepsy: behavioral, histological, and molecular changes

Document Type: Original Article


1 School of Biology, Damghan University, Damghan, Iran

2 Institute of Biological Sciences, Damghan University, Damghan, Iran


Objective(s): Epilepsy establishment gives rise to biochemical and morphological changes in the hippocampus. Oxidative stress, morphological changes, and mossy fiber sprouting (MFS) in the hippocampus underpin the epilepsy establishment. Eugenol is the main component of the essential oil extracted from cloves with the potential to modulate neuronal excitability. Therefore, we investigated the effect of eugenol on convulsive behavior, oxidative stress, and histological changes of the hippocampus in lithium- pilocarpine model of epilepsy.
Materials and Methods: Male Wistar rats weighing 220–250 g were divided into 4 groups; Control, Pilocarpine, Eugenol-Pilocarpine, and Eugenol. Oxidative stress markers were assayed by a biochemical method. Nissl and Timm staining were used to show neuronal survival and MFS, respectively. Behavioral convulsions were evaluated using the modified Racine scale.
Results: Eugenol decreased seizure stage and duration as well as mortality. Neuronal numbers were preserved by eugenol treatment in epileptic animals, while eugenol alone reduced the number by itself in all hippocampal sub-regions including DG, CA3, and CA1. Furthermore, eugenol alone increased MDA, GPx and SOD markers, while it increased MDA not only in combined treatment with pilocarpine but also in pilocarpine-treated animals.  In contrast to MFS enhancement in naïve animals, eugenol partially reversed the MFS enhancement induced by pilocarpine.
Conclusion: Eugenol could prevent behavioral convulsions and show neuroprotective effects through increasing neuronal survival probably by decreasing MFS and increasing the GPx antioxidant marker.


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