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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Neurotoxic convulsions induced by theophylline and its metabolites in mice.

To evaluate the risk of neurotoxicity induced by theophylline and its main metabolites, 1-methylxanthine (1-MX), 3-methylxanthine (3-MX), 1,3-dimethyluric acid (1,3-DMUA) and 1-methyluric acid (1-MUA), we compared their convulsive potency to central nervous system (CNS) after intracerebral administration to mice. All compounds studied induced clonic convulsion in a dose-dependent manner, and the ED50 values for convulsion were 490, 546, 1107, 360 and 620 nmol/kg for theophylline, 1-MX, 3-MX, 1,3-DMUA and 1-MUA, respectively. These compounds were also administered intravenously to mice by constant rate infusion until the onset of convulsion. Clonic convulsion was induced by i.v. infusion of theophylline, 1-MX and 3-MX, while convulsion was not observed during 1,3-DMUA or 1-MUA infusion for 60 min. This finding may be due to the poor blood-brain barrier permeability of both 1-MUA and 1,3-DMUA as compared with theophylline, 1-MX and 3-MX. However, it may be also necessary to consider the possibility of 1,3-DMUA-induced-neurotoxicity judging from its intrinsic convulsive potency.[1]


  1. Neurotoxic convulsions induced by theophylline and its metabolites in mice. Yamamoto, K., Toyama, E., Kawakami, J., Sawada, Y., Iga, T. Biol. Pharm. Bull. (1996) [Pubmed]
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