The calcium channel agonist BAY k 8644 was used to investigate the role of the calcium ion (Ca2+) in epileptogenesis. Intracerebroventricular administration of the compound induced murine seizures that were reversed by calcium channel inhibitors (CCIs) but not by anticonvulsants such as carbamazepine, pentobarbital, and diazepam. The seizures were exacerbated by phenytoin and valproic acid. Chronic administration of CCI's, previously shown to produce down-regulation of the binding of the CCI [3H]nitrendipine, resulted in augmentation of BAY k 8644-induced seizures. © 1987.