Clavulanic acid improves ethanol withdrawal symptoms in rats

Document Type : Original Article


1 Student Research Committee, Sabzevar University of Medical Sciences, Sabzevar, Iran

2 Department of Internal Medicine, Sabzevar University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, I.R. Iran

3 Cellular and Molecular Research Center, Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, Sabzevar University of Medical Sciences, Sabzevar, Iran

4 Department of physiology and pharmacology, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, I.R. Iran

5 Department of Pharmacodynamics and Toxicology, Pharmaceutical Research Center, School of Pharmacy, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, I.R. Iran


Objective(s): Ethanol withdrawal following chronic use, is an important challenge clinically. In this study, the effect of clavulanic acid was evaluated on the symptoms of ethanol withdrawal in rats.
Materials and Methods: Alcohol dependence was induced by the gavage of ethanol (10% v/v, 2 g/kg), twice daily for 10 days. Clavulanic acid (10, 20, 40, and 80 mg/kg) was administered concurrently with ethanol (sub-acute study), or a single dose after ethanol withdrawal (acute study). Six hours after the last dose of ethanol, anxiety was assessed by the elevated plus-maze (EPM). Seizure-like behavior was evaluated by a sub-convulsive dose of pentylenetetrazol (PTZ, 25 mg/kg/IP). Locomotor activity and motor coordination were measured by the open field and rotarod tests, respectively. Lipid peroxidation marker and antioxidant content were assessed through measuring malondialdehyde (MDA) and glutathione (GSH), respectively.
Results: The number of entries and time spent on the open arms of EPM decreased during the withdrawal state. Motor coordination and locomotor activity were significantly decreased. In the sub-acute study, clavulanic acid 80 mg/kg increased time spent and the number of entries to the open arms of EPM, in withdrawn animals. Both motor incoordination and locomotor activity reduction were normalized by clavulanic acid (10, 20, 40 and 80 mg/kg). Withdrawal-induced PTZ kindling seizure was also suppressed by all of the doses. MDA increased, while GSH decreased after withdrawal. Clavulanic acid attenuated such changes.
Conclusion: Clavulanic acid could prevent the development of alcohol withdrawal-induced anxiety and seizure. Alcohol withdrawal causes oxidative stress which can be prevented by clavulanic acid.


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