DSusceptibility to epilepsy as well as BBB dysfunction in some pathological conditions varies depending on sex difference. It has recently been shown that systemically given NO donor and antagonists modify the nature of seizures induced by PTZ (pentylenetetrazol) differently in male and female rats. This study investigates the role of NO on BBB permability in PTZ seizures with sex differences using NO donor, sodium nitroprusside (SNP), and NOS inhibitor, NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME). Nitrite+nitrate levels as indices of NO generation in the brain were also assessed. L-NAME prolonged seizure latency in male rats, seizure intensity and seizure duration were lessened. L-NAME depicted opposite effects in seizure nature in female rats. SNP prolonged seizure latency, while seizure intensity and duration were lessened only in female rats. L-NAME in male rats increased L-NAME use in female rats (not in male rats) which resulted in a more leaky BBB especially in midbrain, thalamus, hippocampus, corpus striatum and cerebellum whereas SNP use in male rats and not in female rats resulted in pronounced BBB opening in all brain regions studied than PTZ per Se. L-NAME while decreasing nitrite+nitrate levels in male rat brains, acted in an opposite fashion in females. SNP use depicted an inverse picture with respect to L-NAME, with an opposite action in different sexes. This study reveals that NO effect on BBB in PTZ-induced seizures depends unequivocally on sex difference. The sex-dependent action of NO in seizures and in CNS pathologies warrants further investigation. (c) 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.