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Neuroreport. 1995 Jul 31;6(11):1549-52.

Benzodiazepine antagonist flumazenil reduces hippocampal epileptiform activity.

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Department of Medicine (Neurology), Playfair Neuroscience Unit, Toronto Hospital Research Institute, Ontario, Canada.


We examined the effects of the benzodiazepine antagonist, flumazenil, on epileptiform discharges evoked in the hippocampal CA1 region in vitro. Application of 100 nM flumazenil did not affect normal synaptic responses; however, flumazenil did depress epileptiform discharges induced by 8 mM [K+]o. Epileptiform discharges induced by the GABAA channel antagonist picrotoxin or by the K+ channel blocker 4-aminopyridine were unaffected. Application of the high-affinity, low-efficacy benzodiazepine partial inverse agonist, Ro 19-4603, blocked the anticonvulsant effect of flumazenil, indicating that this action of flumazenil is mediated at a benzodiazepine binding site located on the GABAA receptor. A likely explanation of the present results is that flumazenil antagonizes the action of an endogenous benzodiazepine inverse agonist, which is released during epileptiform discharges evoked in high K+ ACSF.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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