Effect of probiotic supplementation on seizure activity and cognitive performance in PTZ-induced chemical kindling

Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological disorders that severely affect life quality of many people worldwide. Ion transport in the neuronal membrane, inhibitory–excitatory mechanisms, and regulatory modulator systems have been implicated in the pathogenesis of epilepsy. A bidirectional communication is proposed between brain and gut where the brain modulates the gastrointestinal tract, and the gut can affect brain function and behavior. The gut microbiome takes an important role in health and disease where dysbiosis is involved in several neurological disorders. Probiotics as living microorganisms are beneficial to humans and animals when adequately administered. In the present work, we evaluated the effect of a probiotic bacteria mixture on seizure activity, cognitive function, and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), nitric oxide (NO), malondealdehyde (MDA), and total antioxidant capacity (TAC) level of the brain tissue in the pentylenetetrazole (PTZ)-induced kindled rats. The Racine score and performance in water maze were considered as indices of the epileptic severity and the spatial learning and memory, respectively. We found that the probiotic supplementation substantially reduces seizure severity so that almost no probiotic-treated animals showed full kindling. The oral bacteriotherapy partially improved the spatial learning and memory in the kindled rats. The intervention decreased NO and MDA and increased TAC concentration of the brain. The probiotic treatment also increased the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA. Our findings are the first preclinical report to show positive effect of probiotic bacteria on seizure-induced neurological disorders. Further investigation is required to answer the questions raised about the probable mechanisms involved.