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Neurochem Res. 1999 Nov;24(11):1373-8.

Effects of Valeriana officinalis extracts on [3H]flunitrazepam binding, synaptosomal [3H]GABA uptake, and hippocampal [3H]GABA release.

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Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine, San Juan 00936-5067, USA. JG_ORTIZ@YAHOO.COM


Extracts of Valeriana officinalis have been used in folkloric medicine for its sedative, hypnotic, tranquilizer and anticonvulsant effects, and may interact with gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and/or benzodiazepine sites. At low concentrations, valerian extracts enhance [3H]flunitrazepam binding (EC50 4.13 x 10(-10) mg/ml). However, this increased [3H]flunitrazepam binding is replaced by an inhibition at higher concentrations (IC50 of 4.82 x 10(-1) mg/ml). These results are consistent with the presence of at least two different biological activities interacting with [3H]flunitrazepam binding sites. Valerian extracts also potentiate K+ or veratridine-stimulated release of radioactivity from hippocampal slices preloaded with [3H]GABA. Finally, inhibition of synaptosomal [3H]GABA uptake by valerian extracts also displays a biphasic interaction with guvacine. The results confirm that valerian extracts have effects on GABA(A) receptors, but can also interact at other presynaptic components of GABAergic neurons.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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