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Neuropharmacology. 2002 Feb;42(2):229-36.

Inhibition of neuronal Ca(2+) influx by gabapentin and pregabalin in the human neocortex.

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Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Bonn Medical School, Reuterstrasse 2b, 53113 Bonn, Germany.


Gabapentin and pregabalin (S-(+)-3-isobutylgaba) produced concentration-dependent inhibitions of the K(+)-induced [Ca(2+)](i) increase in fura-2-loaded human neocortical synaptosomes (IC(50)=17 microM for both compounds; respective maximal inhibitions of 37 and 35%). The weaker enantiomer of pregabalin, R-(-)-3-isobutylgaba, was inactive. These findings were consistent with the potency of these drugs to inhibit [(3)H]-gabapentin binding to human neocortical membranes. The inhibitory effect of gabapentin on the K(+)-induced [Ca(2+)](i) increase was prevented by the P/Q-type voltage-gated Ca(2+) channel blocker omega-agatoxin IVA. The alpha 2 delta-1, alpha 2 delta-2, and alpha 2 delta-3 subunits of voltage-gated Ca(2+) channels, presumed sites of gabapentin and pregabalin action, were detected with immunoblots of human neocortical synaptosomes. The K(+)-evoked release of [(3)H]-noradrenaline from human neocortical slices was inhibited by gabapentin (maximal inhibition of 31%); this effect was prevented by the AMPA receptor antagonist NBQX (2,3-dioxo-6-nitro-1,2,3,4-tetrahydro[f]quinoxaline-7-sulphonamide). Gabapentin and pregabalin may bind to the Ca(2+) channel alpha 2 delta subunit to selectively attenuate depolarization-induced Ca(2+) influx of presynaptic P/Q-type Ca(2+) channels; this results in decreased glutamate/aspartate release from excitatory amino acid nerve terminals leading to a reduced activation of AMPA heteroreceptors on noradrenergic nerve terminals.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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