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Eur J Pharmacol. 1993 Jul 6;238(1):135-7.

Inhibition of hippocampal acetylcholine release by benzodiazepines: antagonism by flumazenil.

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  • 1Department of Neuroscience Bernard B. Brodie, University of Cagliari, Italy.


Diazepam (2.5-10 mg/kg i.p.) and midazolam (2.5-10 mg/kg i.p.) decreased acetylcholine release in the hippocampus of freely moving rats. This effect was antagonized by pretreatment with flumazenil (1 mg/kg i.p.). These results show that activation of benzodiazepine receptors reduces the in vivo release of acetylcholine in the hippocampus, suggesting that the septo-hippocampal cholinergic system, which has a major role in the regulation of cognitive functions, is under inhibitory control exerted by gamma-aminobutyrate (GABA) neurons.

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