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Neuron. 1990 May;4(5):759-65.

Neurosteroids act on recombinant human GABAA receptors.

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Fidia-Georgetown Institute for the Neurosciences, Georgetown University, Washington D.C. 20007.


The endogenous steroid metabolites 3 alpha,21dihydroxy-5 alpha-pregnan-20-one and 3 alpha-hydroxy-5 alpha-pregnan-20-one potentiate GABA-activated Cl- currents recorded from a human cell line transfected with the beta 1, alpha 1 beta 1, and alpha 1 beta 1 gamma 2 combinations of human GABAA receptor subunits. These steroids are active at nanomolar concentrations in potentiating GABA-activated Cl- currents and directly elicit bicuculline-sensitive Cl- currents when applied at micromolar concentrations. The potentiating and direct actions of both steroids were expressed with every combination of subunits tested. However, an examination of single-channel currents recorded from outside-out patches excised from these transfected cells suggests that despite the common minimal structural requirements for expressing steroid and barbiturate actions, the mechanism of GABAA receptor modulation by these pregnane steroids may differ from that of barbiturates.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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