Pre-clinical studies with the GABAergic compounds vigabatrin and tiagabine

Sills, G. J. (2003) Pre-clinical studies with the GABAergic compounds vigabatrin and tiagabine. Epileptic Disorders, 5(1), pp. 51-56.

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In the last decade, nine new antiepileptic drugs have reached the global marketplace. These new agents can be categorised according to their principal mechanisms of action. Vigabatrin and tiagabine are the only new compounds with selective effects on inhibitory neurotransmission. The principal inhibitory neurotransmitter in mammalian brain is gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Both vigabatrin and tiagabine exert their pharmacological effects by reducing the inactivation of GABA. Vigabatrin attenuates the metabolism of GABA by inhibiting the enzyme GABA-transaminase, whereas tiagabine blocks the uptake of GABA from the synaptic cleft by an action on the GAT-1 transporter. These mechanistic differences are borne out in a range of experimental seizure models in which vigabatrin and tiagabine have very different anticonvulsant profiles. Pre-clinical neurotoxicity and pharmacokinetic profiles also differ. Long-term vigabatrin treatment is associated with intramyelinic oedema in white matter tracts of several brain regions and further studies have revealed an accumulation of vigabatrin in the retina. In contrast, it seems that tiagabine does not precipitate any significant neurotoxicity and does not appear to accumulate in the retina. The results of these pre-clinical investigations suggest that vigabatrin and tiagabine are pharmacologically distinct compounds with different anticonvulsant, neurotoxicity and pharmacokinetic profiles. It is possible that they will ultimately prove to have different clinical efficacies and spectra of activity.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Sills, Dr Graeme
Authors: Sills, G. J.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences
Journal Name:Epileptic Disorders
Publisher:John Libbey Eurotext
ISSN (Online):1950-6945

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