sedative or anxiolytic

Robert Mihalek rmihalek at
Wed Nov 8 09:01:23 EST 2000

In article <200011080625.WAA08245 at>
shixiang at (Xiang Shi) writes:

> hello,everyone.
>   I am a graduate student in Peking University,P.R.china. It is my first to be here. 
> I find it a quite good place for me as I can learn and discuss some probelms with you all.
> wish you good luck with your research work.
> I am now reading a papar about GABA receptor, I met with two word : sedative and anxiloytic.
> I am not sure the exact differece between them,hope someone can help me.
> Another thing, if you work is related to GABA receptor, 
> could you inform me some classic papers and experiments or books.
> Thanks very much.

Sedative implies that locomotion (or the motive to locomote) is
reduced, and that perhaps motor skills are going to be reduced.
Anxiolytic related strictly to anxiety; a drug that is claimed to be
anxiolytic should reduce anxiety.

Many (or all?) anxiolytic drugs have sedative side-effects. It used to
be thought that sedation was a necessary component of anxiolysis. Uwe
Rudolph et al., made a "knockin" mouse model in the GABA receptor
system (Nature, 1999). Comparing mutant mice to wild-type mice, the
classic anxiolytic drug valium (diazepam) had no effect on sedation in
mutants and (as expected) significant effects on sedation in wild-type.

However, the drug still functioned as an anxiolytic in both mutant and
wild-type mice. So,they showed that sedation is not required for
anxiolysis and that there is distinct genetic control over the
different behavioral effects of diazepam.

As far as classic GABA receptor papers, it really depends on what
aspect of this system you're interested in: GABA receptors and
benzodiazepines, GABA receptors and alcohol, cloning of GABA receptors,
etc. There's probably 10,000 references you could access that contain
'GABA receptor' as a key word!

Bob Mihalek  rmihalek at
remove name of race series to reply
Views, comments, etc. are not representative of MGH or its affiliates

More information about the Neur-sci mailing list