Seizures is one of the most common neurological disorders in clinical medicine. Triggering mechanisms by which seizures form remain unclear, but are related to a rapid change in ionic composition, including an increase of intracellular potassium concentration and pH shifts within the brain. pH buffering of extra- and intracellular spaces is mainly carried out by the CO2 / HCO3 - buffer, the equilibration of the two species being assured by the zinc enzyme carbonic anhydrase (CA, EC 188.8.131.52). Some carbonic anhydrase inhibitors (CAIs) are used as anticonvulsants in the treatment of epilepsy. In this review, we will describe the link between CA and seizures on the basis of several putative mechanisms. Several CA isozymes have been pointed out for their contribution to epileptiform activity. An overview of the CA isozyme expression in the brain and of their specifics roles is also discussed. This article reviews the research achievements published on CA inhibitors, clinically used as anticonvulsant and those under development.
Keywords: Carbonic anhydrase, brain, seizures, epilepsy, pH, GABA (γ-aminobutyric), sulfonamides
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