Anisatin, a potent GABA antagonist, isolated from Illicium anisatum

Neurosci Lett. 1981 Aug 7;25(1):83-8. doi: 10.1016/0304-3940(81)90105-1.


The neuropharmacological properties of anisatin were tested on the frog spinal cord and the crude synaptic membrane from rat brain. Anisatin (10(-5) M) reduced the amplitude of dorsal root potentials induced by stimulation of the adjacent dorsal root and presynaptic inhibition of the ventral root reflex. Anisatin shifted the dose-response curve for GABA-induced depolarization in the primary afferent terminal to the right and also reduced the maximum response to GABA. [3H]Muscimol binding to the crude synaptic membrane was not inhibited by anisatin. These results indicate that anisatin is a picrotoxin-like, non-competitive GABA-antagonist.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Afferent Pathways / drug effects
  • Animals
  • Bicuculline / pharmacology
  • Brain / drug effects
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Evoked Potentials / drug effects
  • Ganglia, Spinal / drug effects
  • Lactones*
  • Picrotoxin / pharmacology
  • Plants, Toxic / analysis*
  • Rana catesbeiana
  • Rats
  • Sesquiterpenes*
  • Spinal Cord / drug effects
  • Spiro Compounds / isolation & purification*
  • Spiro Compounds / pharmacology
  • Synaptic Membranes / drug effects


  • Lactones
  • Sesquiterpenes
  • Spiro Compounds
  • Picrotoxin
  • anisatin
  • Bicuculline