gamma-Aminobutyric acidA receptor pharmacology in rat cerebral cortical synaptoneurosomes

J Neurochem. 1992 Jun;58(6):2162-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-4159.1992.tb10959.x.


Equilibrium binding interactions at the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and benzodiazepine recognition sites on the GABAA receptor-Cl- ionophore complex were studied using a vesicular synaptoneurosome (microsacs) preparation of rat brain in a physiological HEPES buffer similar to that applied successfully in recent GABAergic 36Cl- flux measurements. NO 328, a GABA reuptake inhibitor, was included in the binding assays to prevent the uptake of [3H]muscimol. Under these conditions, the equilibrium dissociation constant (KD) values for [3H]muscimol and [3H]diazepam bindings are 1.9 microM and 40 nM, respectively. Binding affinities for these and other GABA and benzodiazepine agonists and antagonists correlate well with the known physiological doses required to elicit functional activity. This new in vitro binding protocol coupled with 36Cl- flux studies should prove to be of value in reassessing the pharmacology of the GABAA receptor complex in a more physiological environment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Benzodiazepines / metabolism
  • Cerebral Cortex / metabolism*
  • Cerebral Cortex / ultrastructure
  • Diazepam / metabolism
  • Diazepam / pharmacokinetics
  • Male
  • Muscimol / metabolism
  • Muscimol / pharmacokinetics
  • Nipecotic Acids / pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Receptors, GABA-A / physiology*
  • Synaptosomes / metabolism*
  • Synaptosomes / ultrastructure
  • Tiagabine
  • Tritium


  • Nipecotic Acids
  • Receptors, GABA-A
  • Tritium
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Muscimol
  • Diazepam
  • Tiagabine