Chlormethiazole--mode of action.

Article date: 1986/1/1

PubMed ID: 2875615

Journal name: Acta psychiatrica Scandinavica. Supplementum (ISSN: 0065-1591)


Studies in mice demonstrated that the anticonvulsant profile of chlormethiazole differs from that of diazepam and the barbiturates. Chlormethiazole protects animals from convulsions induced by a wide variety of chemoconvulsants known to block the action of the inhibitory neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), such as bicuculline, picrotoxin, isoniazid and pentetrazol, thus confirming and extending earlier studies on its broad anticonvulsant characteristics. Chlormethiazole is particularly potent against isoniazid-induced convulsions, which are probably induced by reductions of GABA levels in the brain. Chlormethiazole was found to have a weak action on benzodiazepine receptor binding, GABA receptor binding and kainic acid receptor binding. Chlormethiazole inhibited picrotoxin binding at very high concentrations, but lowered the functional effects of picrotoxin at much lower concentrations than those affecting picrotoxin binding. Moreover, chlormethiazole failed to change GABA or glutamate levels in the brain and did not affect glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) activities in the rat brain. Muscimol (a GABAA agonist) enhanced the anticonvulsant activity of chlormethiazole against picrotoxin but not against bicuculline-induced convulsions. Muscimol enhanced the anticonvulsant potency of diazepam against both chemoconvulsants. These data suggest that the anticonvulsant activity of chlormethiazole is not mediated directly through changes in GABA or glutamate levels or by a direct (agonist) action at the GABA or benzodiazepine receptor complex. These findings suggest that chlormethiazole may enhance GABA transmission beyond the GABA receptors, hypothetically at the level of the GABA receptor coupled ionophore (e.g. the chloride ion channel). Applied micro-iontophoretically, chlormethiazole was found to potentiate the inhibitory responses to GABA, muscimol and glycine, but not to acetylcholine. The potentiation of glycine-mediated inhibition is unique for chlormethiazole and does not occur with any other known anticonvulsant (barbiturates, benzodiazepine, phenytoin or sodium valproate). Studies in primary cultures, derived from spinal cord neurones, showed that chlormethiazole produces hyperpolarization together with an increase in the threshold for action potential generation. Further in vitro studies indicated that chlormethiazole acts on some types of Ca2+-dependent chloride ion channels.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

Author List: Ogren S O

Publication Types: Journal Article

Substances mentioned in the article: Convulsants; Glutamates; Receptors, Cholinergic; Receptors, Dopamine; Receptors, GABA-A; Receptors, Glutamate; Receptors, Neurotransmitter; Receptors, Serotonin; barbiturate receptor; Chlormethiazole; Serotonin; Glutamic Acid; gamma-Aminobutyric Acid; Dopamine;

Mesh terms: Animals; Brain/drug effects; Chlormethiazole/pharmacology; Convulsants/antagonists & inhibitors; Dopamine/metabolism; Dose-Response Relationship, Drug; Glutamates/metabolism; Glutamic Acid; Mice; Neural Inhibition/drug effects; Rats; Receptors, Cholinergic/drug effects; Receptors, Dopamine/drug effects; Receptors, GABA-A/drug effects; Receptors, Glutamate; Receptors, Neurotransmitter/drug effects; Receptors, Serotonin/drug effects; Serotonin/metabolism; gamma-Aminobutyric Acid/metabolism;

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