Ethanol stimulates gamma-aminobutyric acid receptor-mediated chloride transport in rat brain synaptoneurosomes.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

The effects of ethanol on Cl- uptake were studied using a cell-free subcellular preparation from brain that contains a gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)/barbiturate receptor-sensitive Cl- transport system. In isolated vesicles prepared from rat cerebral cortex, ethanol, at concentrations that are present during acute intoxication (20-50 mM), stimulated 36Cl- uptake in a concentration-dependent and biphasic manner. The ethanol-stimulated uptake of 36Cl- was markedly inhibited by the GABA antagonists picrotoxin and bicuculline but not by a variety of other neurotransmitter receptor antagonists. The effects of ethanol in stimulating 36Cl- uptake in isolated brain vesicles were qualitatively and quantitatively similar to that of pentobarbital. Ethanol also markedly potentiated both muscimol- and pentobarbital-stimulated 36Cl- uptake at concentrations below those that directly stimulate 36Cl- uptake. Under our incubation conditions, ethanol did not release GABA, suggesting that it interacts with the postsynaptic GABA/barbiturate receptor complex. The ability of ethanol to stimulate GABA/barbiturate receptor-mediated Cl- transport may explain many of its pharmacological properties and provides a mechanism for the common psychopharmacological actions of ethanol, barbiturates, and benzodiazepines.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Suzdak, PD; Schwartz, RD; Skolnick, P; Paul, SM

Published Date

  • June 1986

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 83 / 11

Start / End Page

  • 4071 - 4075

PubMed ID

  • 2424017

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC323668

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0027-8424

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1073/pnas.83.11.4071


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States