Two sources of medium-chain triglycerides—triheptanoin with anaplerotic properties and coconut oil with antioxidant features—have emerged as promising therapeutic options for the management of pharmacoresistant epilepsy. We investigated the effects of ketogenic diets (KDs) containing coconut oil, triheptanoin, or soybean oil on pilocarpine-induced status epilepticus (SE) in rats. Twenty-four adult male Wistar rats were divided into 4 groups and fed a control diet (7 % lipids) or a KD containing soybean oil, coconut oil, or triheptanoin (69.8 % lipids). The ketogenic and control diets had a lipid:carbohydrate + protein ratio of 1:11.8 and 3.5:1, respectively. SE was induced in all rats 20 days after initiation of the dietary treatment, through the administration of pilocarpine (340 mg/kg; i.p.). The latency, frequency, duration, and severity of seizures before and during SE were observed with a camcorder. SE was aborted after 3 h with the application of diazepam (5 mg/kg; i.p.). The rats in the triheptanoin-based KD group needed to undergo a higher number of seizures to develop SE, as compared to the control group (P < 0.05). Total weight gain, intake, energy intake, and feed efficiency coefficient, prior to induction of SE, differed between groups (P < 0.05), where the triheptanoin-based KD group showed less weight gain than all other groups, less energy intake than the Control group and intermediate values of feed efficiency coefficient between Control and other KDs groups. Triheptanoin-based KD may have a neuroprotective effect on the establishment of SE in Wistar rats.
Coconut oil Ketogenic diet Pilocarpine Status epilepticus Triheptanoin
feed efficiency coefficient
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The present study was partially supported by the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES), by means of a studentship to I.R.L. Gama. The sponsor had no role in study design, data collection and manuscript writing. We would like to acknowledge professor Adriano Eduardo Lima da Silva and professor Daniel Leite Góes Gitaí, for the wise orientations; and to Tâmara Kelly de Castro Gomes and Leila Rodrigues de Mendonça for their important contributions.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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