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Genistein modulation of seizure: involvement of estrogen and serotonin receptors.


Genistein, a major source of phytoestrogen exposure for humans and animals, has been shown to mediate neuroprotection in Alzheimer's disease and status epilepticus. In the present study, we investigated the effect of genistein on pentylenetetrazole-induced seizures in ovariectomized mice and the possible involvement of estrogenic and serotonergic pathways in the probable effects of genistein. Intraperitoneal (i.p.) administration of genistein (10 mg/kg) significantly increased the seizure threshold 30 min prior to induction of seizures 14 days after ovariectomy surgery. Administration of fulvestrant (1 mg/kg, i.p.), an estrogen receptor antagonist, completely reversed the anticonvulsant effect of genistein (10 mg/kg) in ovariectomized mice. Administration of the antagonist of serotonin receptor (5-HT3), tropisetron (10 mg/kg, i.p.), eliminated the anticonvulsant effect of genistein, whereas co-administration of m-chlorophenylbiguanide (5-HT3 receptor agonist; 1 mg/kg) and a non-effective dose of genistein (5 mg/kg) increased the seizure threshold. To conclude, it seems that estrogenic/serotonergic systems might be involved in the anticonvulsant properties of genistein.