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Eur J Pharmacol. 2001 Oct 12;428(3):315-21.

Role of GABA(B) receptors in the sedative/hypnotic effect of gamma-hydroxybutyric acid.

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Bernard B. Brodie Department of Neuroscience, University of Cagliari, S.S. 554 Km. 4.5, I-09042 Monserrato, CA, Italy.


The present study was aimed at identifying the receptor systems involved in the mediation of the sedative/hypnotic effect of gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) in DBA mice. Administration of the putative antagonist of the GHB binding site, 6,7,8,9-tetrahydro-5-hydroxy-5H-benzocyclohept-6-ylideneacetic acid (NCS-382; 50-500 mg/kg, i.p.), significantly increased the duration of loss of righting reflex induced by GHB (1000 mg/kg, i.p.). In contrast, the GABA(B) receptor antagonists, (2S)(+)-5,5-dimethyl-2-morpholineacetic acid (SCH 50911; 25-100 mg/kg, i.p.) and (3-aminopropyl)(cyclohexylmethyl)phosphinic acid (CGP 46381; 12.5-150 mg/kg, i.p.), completely prevented the sedative/hypnotic effect of GHB. SCH 50911 (100 and 300 mg/kg, i.p.) was also capable to readily reverse the sedative/hypnotic effect of GHB (1000 mg/kg, i.p.) in mice that had lost the righting reflex. SCH 50911 (100 mg/kg, i.p.) also completely abolished the sedative/hypnotic effect of the GABA(B) receptor agonist, baclofen. These results indicate that the sedative/hypnotic effect of GHB is mediated by the stimulation of GABA(B) receptors and add further support to the hypothesis that the GABA(B) receptor constitutes a central site of action of GHB.

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