Background and purpose: The G-protein coupled receptor 39 (GPR39) may be activated by zinc ions. Activation of GPR39 was suggested as a novel pharmacological strategy for treating seizures. Experimental approach: We utilized a specific agonist of GPR39, TC-G 1008, and the nonspecific agonist, zinc chloride and a variety of models of acute seizures or a chronic model of epilepsy which were induced in non-genetically modified mice, GPR39 knockout mice or in zebrafish larvae. We examined total serum zinc (by Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectrometry) as well as intracellular zinc ([Zn2+]I) (by Zinpyr-1 staining) concentrations and the expression of selected proteins (by Western blot) which are associated with GPR39 signaling in the hippocampus. Key results: Liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry analysis showed that TC-G 1008 is brain penetrant. TC-G 1008 decreased the seizure threshold in the maximal electroshock seizure (MES) threshold test, but it increased the seizure threshold in the 6-Hz induced seizure threshold test. The behavioral effects of TC-G 1008 and MES or 6-Hz seizure were accompanied by alterations in hippocampal [Zn2+]I. TC-G 1008 increased the mean duration of EEG discharges in response to pentylenetetrazole (PTZ) in zebrafish larvae and facilitated the development of PTZ kindling in mice. Using GPR39 knockout mouse line, generated by the CRISPR-Cas-9 method, we showed that GPR39 is a target for TC-G 1008 regarding PTZ-induced epileptogenesis. Conclusion and implications: Our in vivo data obtained using TC-G 1008 generally argue against GPR39 activation as a therapeutic strategy for alleviating seizures/epilepsy.