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Brain Res. 1978 Jun 9;148(1):153-62.

Muscimol binding in rat brain: association with synaptic GABA receptors.


[3H]Muscimol binding to crude synaptic membrane fractions of the rat central nervous is saturable with a high affinity dissociation constant of 2.2 nM. The regional distribution of this binding in rat brain and the effects of freezing, sodium and Triton X-100 are similar to those previously reported for [3H]GABA binding to the the synaptic GABA receptor site. Also, the substrate specificity of [3H]muscimol binding is identifical to that observed for the GABA receptor. Thus, [3H]muscimol is displaced, stereospecifically, only by those drugs and amino acids which are known to neurophysiologically interact with the synaptic GABA receptor but is unaffected by agents which activate or inhibit other neurotransmitter receptors. This suggests that the behavioral effects observed after the systemic administration of muscimol are probably the result of GABA receptor activation.

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