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Nat Neurosci. 1999 Dec;2(12):1091-7.

Ethanol opens G-protein-activated inwardly rectifying K+ channels.

Author information

1
Department of Molecular Neuropathology, Brain Research Institute, Niigata University, 1-757 Asahimachi, Niigata, Niigata 951-8585, Japan. kobato@bri.niigata-u.ac.jp

Abstract

Ethanol affects many functions of the brain and peripheral organs. Here we show that ethanol opens G-protein-activated, inwardly rectifying K + (GIRK) channels, which has important implications for inhibitory regulation of neuronal excitability and heart rate. At pharmacologically relevant concentrations, ethanol activated both brain-type GIRK1/2 and cardiac-type GIRK1/4 channels without interaction with G proteins or second messengers. Moreover, weaver mutant mice, which have a missense mutation in the GIRK2 channel, showed a loss of ethanol-induced analgesia. These results suggest that the GIRK channels in the brain and heart are important target sites for ethanol.

PMID:
10570486
DOI:
10.1038/16019
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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