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J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 1986 May;237(2):659-65.

Zolpidem, a novel nonbenzodiazepine hypnotic. II. Effects on cerebellar cyclic GMP levels and cerebral monoamines.


The effect of zolpidem, a novel nonbenzodiazepine short-acting hypnotic, on cerebellar cyclic GMP (cGMP) and biochemical indices of cerebral norepinephrine, serotonin and dopamine metabolism has been investigated in the rat and mouse. Zolpidem diminished the levels of cerebellar cGMP in the rat markedly (ED50 = 0.7 mg/kg i.p.). This effect was antagonized, in a competitive manner, by the benzodiazepine antagonist Ro 15-1788. The zolpidem-induced decrease of cerebellar cGMP levels was rapid in onset and of short duration (less than 1 hr). When given in combination with muscimol (in a dose which by itself did not alter cerebellar cGMP content) zolpidem potentiated the diminution of the cyclic nucleotide levels induced by the gamma-aminobutyric acid mimetic. Zolpidem (up to 30 mg/kg i.p.) failed to alter the rate of utilization of norepinephrine or the levels of total 3,4-dihydroxyphenylethyleneglycol or 3-methoxy, 4-hydroxyphenylethyleneglycol sulfate in the rat brain. However, the compound (10-30 mg/kg) diminished serotonin synthesis in the hippocampus, striatum and frontal cortex. At high doses (30-100 mg/kg i.p.), zolpidem also decreased the rate of utilization of dopamine and 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid levels in the rat striatum. Moreover, zolpidem (10 mg/kg i.p.) prevented partially the haloperidol-induced increase in 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid concentrations in both striatum and frontal cortex. Finally, zolpidem prevented the increase in 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid levels in the frontal cortex induced by electric footshock stress in rats (ED50 = 2 mg/kg i.p.) and BALB/C mice. This effect was antagonized by coadministration of Ro 15-1788.

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