Panic-like attack induced by microinfusion into the locus coeruleus of antagonists and inverse agonists at GABAA-receptors in rodents.

Article date: 1991/10/1

PubMed ID: 1667306

Journal name: Functional neurology (ISSN: 0393-5264)


The microinfusion of drugs inhibiting GABA-ergic transmission into the locus coeruleus (LC) of rats and mice produced a dramatic pattern of behavioural stimulation accompanied by marked electrocortical (ECoG) desynchronization. In rats, unilateral microinfusion into the LC of bicuculline (0.5-4 pmol) produced dose-dependent behavioural stimulation culminating in a panic-like attack, ECoG desynchronization and marked changes in ECoG spectrum power. These effects were prevented by a pretreatment into the same site with muscimol. Similarly, in mice, the microinfusion of ethyl-beta-carboline-3-carboxylate (beta-CCE, 4.1 nmol) into the LC of C57BL/6 mice produced an intense state of behavioural stimulation accompanied by intense stereotyped movements and increased excitability to external stimuli; these effects were prevented by prior microinfusion of diazepam or flumazenil into the same site. In conclusion, the present experiments show that in rodents drug manipulations leading to a decrease in the activity of GABA-benzodiazepine receptor complex in the LC are responsible for the occurrence of panic-like attacks.

Author List: Priolo E, Libri V, Lopilato R, David E, Nappi G, Nisticò G

Publication Types: Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Substances mentioned in the article: Carbolines; GABA Antagonists; Receptors, GABA-A; Flumazenil; gamma-Aminobutyric Acid; beta-carboline-3-carboxylic acid ethyl ester; Diazepam;

Mesh terms: Animals; Carbolines/pharmacology; Cerebral Cortex/drug effects; Diazepam/pharmacology; Electroencephalography/drug effects; Flumazenil/pharmacology; GABA Antagonists; Locus Coeruleus/drug effects; Male; Mice; Mice, Inbred C57BL; Panic/drug effects; Rats; Rats, Inbred Strains; Receptors, GABA-A/classification; Stereotyped Behavior/drug effects; gamma-Aminobutyric Acid/physiology;

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