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J Neurochem. 1995 Aug;65(2):912-8.

[3H]aniracetam binds to specific recognition sites in brain membranes.

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Department of Experimental Medicine and Biochemical Sciences, University of Perugia, Italy.


[3H]Aniracetam bound to specific and saturable recognition sites in membranes prepared from discrete regions of rat brain. In crude membrane preparation from rat cerebral cortex, specific binding was Na+ independent, was still largely detectable at low temperature (4 degrees C), and underwent rapid dissociation. Scatchard analysis of [3H]aniracetam binding revealed a single population of sites with an apparent KD value of approximately 70 nM and a maximal density of 3.5 pmol/mg of protein. Specifically bound [3H]aniracetam was not displaced by various metabolites of aniracetam, nor by other pyrrolidinone-containing nootropic drugs such as piracetam or oxiracetam. Subcellular distribution studies showed that a high percentage of specific [3H]aniracetam binding was present in purified synaptosomes or mitochondria, whereas specific binding was low in the myelin fraction. The possibility that at least some [3H]aniracetam binding sites are associated with glutamate receptors is supported by the evidence that specific binding was abolished when membranes were preincubated at 37 degrees C under fast shaking (a procedure that substantially reduced the amount of glutamate trapped in the membranes) and could be restored after addition of either glutamate or alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionate (AMPA) but not kainate. The action of AMPA was antagonized by DNQX, which also reduced specific [3H]aniracetam binding in unwashed membranes. High levels of [3H]aniracetam binding were detected in hippocampal, cortical, or cerebellar membranes, which contain a high density of excitatory amino acid receptors.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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