We evaluated the effect of zinc treatment on the blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeability and the levels of zinc (Zn), natrium (Na), magnesium (Mg), and copper (Cu) in the brain tissue during epileptic seizures. The Wistar albino rats were divided into four groups, each as follows: (1) control group, (2) pentylenetetrazole (PTZ) group: rats treated with PTZ to induce seizures, (3) Zn group: rats treated with ZnCl(2) added to drinking water for 2 months, and (4) Zn + PTZ group. The brains were divided into left, right hemispheres, and cerebellum + brain stem regions. Evans blue was used as BBB tracer. Element concentrations were analyzed by inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy. The BBB permeability has been found to be increased in all experimental groups (p < 0.05). Zn concentrations in all brain regions in Zn-supplemented groups (p < 0.05) showed an increase. BBB permeability and Zn level in cerebellum + brain stem region were significantly high compared to cerebral hemispheres (p < 0.05). In all experimental groups, Cu concentration decreased, whereas Na concentrations showed an increase (p < 0.05). Mg content in all the brain regions decreased in the Zn group and Zn + PTZ groups compared to other groups (p < 0.001). We also found that all elements' levels showed hemispheric differences in all groups. During convulsions, Zn treatment did not show any protective effect on BBB permeability. Chronic Zn treatment decreased Mg and Cu concentration and increased Na levels in the brain tissue. Our results indicated that Zn treatment showed proconvulsant activity and increased BBB permeability, possibly changing prooxidant/antioxidant balance and neuronal excitability during seizures.
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