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benzodiazepines and conductance increase of GABAa

John Mihic jmihic at bgsm.edu
Wed Sep 17 08:33:12 EST 1997

In article <341FCECC.1FBA at c220.unimo.it>, bigiani at c220.unimo.it 
>Hi everybody!
>I have a question about a recent paper showing a conductance increase
>for GABAa receptors induced by benzodiazepines. Does anybody know 
>additional literature is available on this topic?
>Albertino Bigiani

Well Albertino, I think the reason that paper got into Nature is because 
they were the first, and as far as I know the only, group to demonstrate 
an increase in conductance by benzodiazepines.  Previous reports in the 
literature suggested that benzodiazepines affect the frequency of channel 
opening but not conductance.   In case you're interested, here are some 
other papers which did NOT show an increase in conductance by 

Poncer JC.  et al., Modulation of synaptic GABAA receptor function by 
benzodiazepines in area CA3 of rat hippocampal slice cultures. 
Neuropharmacol.  35:1169-1179, 1996.

Rogers CJ. et al., Benzodiazepine and beta-carboline regulation of single 
GABAA receptor channels of mouse spinal neurones in culture. J. 
Physiol.  475:69-82, 1994.

MacDonald RL and Twyman RE, Kinetic properties and regulation of 
GABAA receptor channels. Ion Channels. 3:315-343, 1992.  This is a 
review article.

Vicini S. et al., Actions of benzodiazepine and beta-carboline derivatives 
on gamma-aminobutyric acid-activated Cl- channels recorded from 
membrane patches of neonatal rat cortical neurons in culture. J.  
Pharmacol. Exp. Ther. 243:1195-1201, 1987.


S. John Mihic, Ph.D.
Dept. Physiology & Pharmacology
Bowman Gray School of Medicine of Wake Forest University
Winston-Salem, NC 27157

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