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benzodiazepines and conductance increase of GABAa

John Mihic jmihic at bgsm.edu
Thu Sep 18 13:05:47 EST 1997

In article <5vrmmp$ao3$1 at fremont.ohsu.edu>, jonesmat at ohsu.edu says...

>I guess I've started to sound like I'm harping on the problems of this
>paper. If so, I apologize. Like I said, we should try to be open minded.
>But this result is so jarringly unfamiliar that I can't help but look for
>alternative explanations (is that so WRONG?). How about you, John? Got
>any benzo/conductance expts running these days? Not me, baby.

Matt I don't think you're harping on the problems at all.  Extraordinary results 
do demand extraordinary evidence and I'm really curious to see how this shakes 
out over the next few years (same for GABA-R epsilon and barbiturate 
insensitivity).  If I was a betting man I must admit I'd bet against this finding, given 
all the previous work showing no changes in conductance by benzos.  But we'll 
see...  Am I doing these kinds of experiments?  Hey, I'm measuring whole-cell 
currents in oocytes - kindergarten electrophysiology.  Maybe in a couple of 

If Albertino Bigiani, the originator of this thread, is still awake after all this 
pontificating, I have one piece of advice for you if you happen to be a graduate 
student - don't base your Ph.D. thesis on increased GABA-A receptor mediated 
conductance by benzodiazepines.  


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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