Carnosine is a compound of naturally-occurring dipeptide that synthesized by the carnosine synthetase from beta-alanine and L-histidine. Recent reports claim that carnosine plays an important role in the control of epilepsy but its involvement in anticonvulsant functions remains unknown. In this study, we investigated the effects of carnosine in a rat model of epilepsy using the intracortical penicillin injection method. Thirty minutes after penicillin injection, the doses of 125, 250, 500, 1000 mg/kg carnosine and 90 min before penicillin injection the dose of 500 mg/kg carnosine were administered intraperitoneally. The epileptiform activity was verified by electrocorticographic (ECoG) recordings. The mean spike frequency of penicillin-induced epileptiform activity was significantly decreased in all carnosine-treated rats when compared with those of penicillin-injected. The dose of 500 mg/kg for carnosine treated and pretreated rats was found to be the most effective dose in reducing the frequency of penicillin-induced epileptiform activity. There was no significant difference in the mean onset of epileptiform activity between penicillin and 500 mg/kg camosine pretreated groups. These findings indicate that carnosine has an anticonvulsant effect on penicillin-induced epilepsy in rats. Thus, our data support the hypothesis that carnosine may be a potential anticonvulsant drug for clinical therapy of epilepsy in the future. (C) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.