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Neuroreport. 2004 May 19;15(7):1145-9.

Triazolam suppresses the induction of hippocampal long-term potentiation.

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  • 1Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience, Merck Sharp and Dohme Research Laboratories, Terlings Park, Harlow, Essex, CM20 2QR, UK.


Benzodiazepines are sedative hypnotics that produce marked anterograde amnesia in humans. These pharmacological properties are thought to result from the potentiation of GABA-A receptor function and subsequent attenuation of long-term potentiation (LTP), however many reports have suggested this is not the case for triazolam. Using electrophysiological recordings in a cell line expressing recombinant GABA-A receptors, we confirm that triazolam is an efficacious positive allosteric modulator of GABA-A receptors. Triazolam also slowed the decay of spontaneous inhibitory synaptic currents, reduced the amplitude of fEPSPs elicited during a theta burst and reduced the magnitude of LTP in hippocampal CA1 neurones in vitro. These data show that triazolam modifies LTP induction consistent with an enhancement of GABA-A receptor function via activation of the allosteric benzodiazepine-site.

Copyright 2004 Lippincott Williams and Wilkins

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