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GABA-ergic mechanisms in central respiratory control in the anesthetized rat.


Rats lightly anesthetized with halothane were injected intracerebroventricularly (i.c.v.) with gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) and the GABA-like drugs muscimol, baclofen, and gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHBA). Respiratory frequency (f) was reduced after GABA (1 mg) but increased after baclofen (0.5 microgram), while muscimol (0.5 microgram) or GHBA (1 mg) did no affect f. However, GHBA administered repeatedly caused a dose-dependent increase in f. Tidal volume (VT) decreased in a dose-dependent fashion after i.c.v. administration of all the drugs used. Taken together, these changes in f and VT resulted mainly in a dose dependent decrease in minute volume (VE) after GABA and muscimol while after baclofen and GHBA VE was increased due to the marked stimulation of f after repeated administration. Mean arterial pressure (MAP) decreased after GABA and muscimol while no effect or a slight increase was seen after baclofen and GHBA. Heart rate (HR) was unaltered after muscimol, decreased after gaba but slightly increased after GHBA and baclofen. No alterations were seen in blood gases except after administration of GABA which induced a slight hypoxia, hypercapnia and acidosis. The data indicate that an activation of GABA-ergic mechanisms results in a respiratory depression. Moreover, the effects of GABA and muscimol are probably due to a direct GABA-ergic receptor activation while the effects elicited by baclofen and GHBA are due to other mechanisms than direct GABA receptor activation or indirect effects via other system on respiratory regulating centers.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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