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Eur J Pharmacol. 1992 May 14;215(2-3):237-44.

Competitive inhibition by NBQX of kainate/AMPA receptor currents and excitatory synaptic potentials: importance of 6-nitro substitution.

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Institut de Recherches Servier, Suresnes, France.


We evaluated the inhibitory potencies at excitatory amino acid receptors of 2,3-dihydroxy-7-sulfamoyl-benzo[f]quinoxaline (BQX) and its 6-nitro derivative, NBQX. Currents activated by kainate or (RS)-alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole-propionic acid (AMPA) in two-electrode voltage-clamp recordings of Xenopus oocytes injected with rat cortex mRNA were inhibited by BQX and NBQX: the apparent Ki values versus kainate were 14 microM and 78 nM, respectively, and versus AMPA were 23 microM and 63 nM, respectively. Thus, to a degree even more marked than with other quinoxalinedione derivatives, 6-nitro substitution of BQX to yield NBQX increases potency (200-fold) at the non-NMDA ionotropic receptor, but does not confer selectivity for kainate or AMPA. Schild analysis of the NBQX inhibition of the kainate and AMPA currents yielded pA2 values of 7.17 +/- 0.05 and 7.05 +/- 0.10, respectively, and slopes near unity confirming the competitive nature of the inhibition. Neither BQX nor NBQX significantly inhibited the current activated by glycine plus NMDA. The selectivity ratio of NBQX (greater than 5000-fold) is by far the greatest of any quinoxalinedione derivative antagonist of the kainate/AMPA receptor. BQX and NBQX also inhibited the excitatory postsynaptic field potentials mediated by kainate/AMPA receptors in the CA1 region of hippocampal slices after stimulation of the Schaffer collateral-commissural pathways with IC50 values of 130 and 0.90 microM, respectively. The 10-fold differences between the IC50 values in hippocampal slices and the Ki values in Xenopus oocytes correlate closely with data for other quinoxalinedione derivative antagonists.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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