The effect of chronic administration of the adenosine A1 receptor agonist N6-cyclopentyladenosine (CPA) and the adenosine A1 antagonist 8-cyclopentyl-1,3-dipropylxanthine (CPX) on N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)-evoked seizures was studied in C57BL/6 mice (20/group). Animals were injected i.p. for 9 days with either 1.0 mg/kg CPA or 1.0 mg/kg CPX followed by 2 injection-free days (the washout period) and subsequent administration of a single dose of 60 mg/kg NMDA. As in our previous study, this dose of NMDA caused clonic/tonic seizures resulting in high (60%) mortality within 3 h after injection of the drug. Despite insignificant changes in seizure latency, chronic pretreatment with CPA increased the incidence of clonic/tonic episodes and end-point mortality. Conversely; chronic exposure to CPX completely eliminated clonic/tonic episodes, significantly increased average survival time, and reduced end-point mortality (P < 0.05). The results indicate that chronic treatment with adenosine A1 receptor antagonist may protect against NMDA-evoked seizures to the same degree as previously observed following a single, acute exposure to CPA. Since the density of adenosine receptor binding sites was unchanged after chronic treatment with either CPX or CPA, it is likely that the mechanism behind the observed protection may rest at the level of second messenger systems coupled to adenosine A1 receptors.