Triheptanoin in acute mouse seizure models

Nicola K. Thomas, Sarah Willis, Lawrence Sweetman, Karin Borges

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Triheptanoin, the triglyceride of heptanoate, is used to treat certain hereditary metabolic diseases in USA because of its anaplerotic potential. In two chronic mouse seizure models this clear tasteless oil was found to be reproducibly anticonvulsant. Here we investigated the effects of triheptanoin feeding in C3H and CD1 mice using standard acute seizure models. Feeding 30-40% triheptanoin (caloric intake) consistently elevated blood propionyl-carnitines, but inconsistent anticonvulsant effects were observed in the fluorothyl, pentylenetetrazole and 6. Hz seizure models. A 2. mA consistent increase in the maximal electroshock threshold was found after 3. weeks of 35% triheptanoin feeding (p= 0.018). In summary, triheptanoin shows a unique anticonvulsant profile in seizure models, compared to other treatments that are in the clinic. Therefore, despite small and/or inconsistent effects of triheptanoin in acute seizure models, triheptanoin remains of interest as a potential add-on treatment for patients with medically refractory epilepsy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)312-317
Number of pages6
JournalEpilepsy Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • 6Hz
  • Anaplerosis
  • Maximal electroshock
  • Metabolism
  • Mouse seizure models

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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