From the molecular mechanism to pre-clinical results: Anti-epileptic effects of fingolimod

Yam Nath Paudel, Efthalia Angelopoulou, Christina Piperi, Vadym Gnatkovsky, Iekhsan Othman, Mohd Farooq Shaikh

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Epilepsy is a devastating neurological condition characterized by long-term tendency to generate unprovoked seizures, affecting around 1-2 % of the population worldwide. Epilepsy is a serious health concern which often associates with other neurobehavioral comorbidities that further worsen disease conditions. Despite tremendous research, the mainstream anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) exert only symptomatic relief leading to 30% of untreatable patients. This reflects the complexity of the disease pathogenesis and urges the precise understanding of underlying mechanisms in order to explore novel therapeutic strategies that might alter the disease progression as well as minimize the epilepsy-associated comorbidities. Unfortunately, the development of novel AEDs might be a difficult process engaging huge funds, tremendous scientific efforts and stringent regulatory compliance with a possible chance of end-stage drug failure. Hence, an alternate strategy is drug repurposing, where anti-epileptic effects are elicited from drugs that are already used to treat non-epileptic disorders. Herein, we provide evidence of the anti-epileptic effects of Fingolimod (FTY720), a modulator of sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) receptor, USFDA approved already for Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis (RRMS). Emerging experimental findings suggest that Fingolimod treatment exerts disease-modifying anti-epileptic effects based on its anti-neuroinflammatory properties, potent neu-roprotection, anti-gliotic effects, myelin protection, reduction of mTOR signaling pathway and activation of microglia and astrocytes. We further discuss the underlying molecular crosstalk associated with the anti-epileptic effects of Fingolimod and provide evidence for repurposing Fingolimod to overcome the limitations of current AEDs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1126-1137
Number of pages12
JournalCurrent Neuropharmacology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Drug repurposing
  • Epilepsy
  • Fingolimod
  • Neuroinflammation
  • S1P receptor

Cite this