The effect of cyclopyrrolones on GABAA receptor function is different from that of benzodiazepines

Naunyn Schmiedebergs Arch Pharmacol. 1994 Sep;350(3):294-300. doi: 10.1007/BF00175035.


The effects of the cyclopyrrolones zopiclone and suriclone on the function of the central gamma-amino-butyric acid type A (GABAA) receptor complex in mouse brain were evaluated both in vitro and in vivo. Added in vitro to mouse cerebral cortical membranes, these compounds potently inhibited [3H]flumazenil binding with IC50 (50% inhibitory concentration) values of 35.8 nM (zopiclone) and 1.1 nM (suriclone). Similar results were obtained with cerebellar membranes, indicating that these drugs do not discriminate between putative type I and type II benzodiazepine receptors. The interaction of cyclopyrrolones with recognition sites present at the level of the GABA receptor complex appears to be competitive, because zopiclone decreased the affinity of the receptors for [3H]flumazenil without affecting the maximal number of binding sites. Moreover, zopiclone and suriclone did not affect the rate of dissociation of [3H]flumazenil from benzodiazepine receptors. The in vitro efficacy of zopiclone appeared different from that of suriclone and the benzodiazepines diazepam and flunitrazepam. Thus, zopiclone failed to affect muscimol-stimulated 36Cl- uptake and only slightly inhibited t-[35S]butylbicyclophosphorothionate ([35S]TBPS) binding. In contrast, like diazepam and flunitrazepam, suriclone increased muscimol-stimulated 36Cl- uptake and markedly inhibited [35S]TBPS binding. In contrast, like diazepam and flunitrazepam, suriclone increased muscimol-stimulated 36Cl- uptake and markedly inhibited [35S]TBPS binding. On the other hand, suriclone, like zopiclone, did not modify [3H]muscimol binding to mouse cerebral cortical membranes. Moreover, zopiclone antagonized the reduction in [35S]TBPS binding elicited by the benzodiazepine receptor full of agonist diazepam. Consistent with its low efficacy in vitro, oral administration of zopiclone (2.5 to 100 mg/kg, p.o.) in mice failed to modify [35S]TBPS binding subsequently measured in cerebral cortical membranes "ex vitro".(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Anxiety Agents / pharmacology
  • Azabicyclo Compounds
  • Benzodiazepines / pharmacology*
  • Binding, Competitive
  • Bridged Bicyclo Compounds / metabolism
  • Bridged Bicyclo Compounds, Heterocyclic*
  • Cerebral Cortex / drug effects
  • Cerebral Cortex / metabolism
  • Cerebral Cortex / ultrastructure
  • Chlorides / pharmacokinetics
  • Chlorine
  • Flumazenil / metabolism
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives / pharmacology
  • Kinetics
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Muscimol / metabolism
  • Naphthyridines
  • Piperazines / pharmacology*
  • Radioisotopes
  • Receptors, GABA-A / drug effects*
  • Receptors, GABA-A / metabolism
  • Receptors, GABA-A / physiology*
  • Sulfur Compounds
  • Sulfur Radioisotopes
  • Tritium


  • Anti-Anxiety Agents
  • Azabicyclo Compounds
  • Bridged Bicyclo Compounds
  • Bridged Bicyclo Compounds, Heterocyclic
  • Chlorides
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives
  • Naphthyridines
  • Piperazines
  • Radioisotopes
  • Receptors, GABA-A
  • Sulfur Compounds
  • Sulfur Radioisotopes
  • zopiclone
  • Tritium
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Muscimol
  • Flumazenil
  • Chlorine
  • tert-butylbicyclophosphorothionate
  • suriclone