Low doses of ethanol inhibit the firing of neurons in the substantia nigra, pars reticulata: a GABAergic effect?

Article date: 1985/12/23

PubMed ID: 3000533

Journal name: Brain research (ISSN: 0006-8993)


The intravenous administration of relatively low doses of ethanol (0.25-2.00 g/kg) produced a dose-dependent inhibition of the firing rate of the neurons located in the substantia nigra, pars reticulata (PR neurons). This effect was eliminated both by picrotoxin and bicuculline, two blockers of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) transmission, and potentiated by muscimol (a direct GABA agonist) and diazepam (a representative of the benzodiazepine class which facilitate GABA transmission). The specific benzodiazepine antagonist, Ro 15-1788, blocked the potentiating effect of diazepam on the ethanol effect but failed to antagonize ethanol-induced inhibition of the firing rate of the neurons. These results indicate that ethanol might inhibit the firing of PR neurons through a GABAergic mechanism. Moreover, since PR neurons are thought to exert an inhibitory control on nigral dopaminergic neurons, it is suggested that the depression of the activity of such inhibitory interneurons may be responsible for ethanol-induced stimulation of dopaminergic activity.

This document is available from: http://directlinks.cc/files/muscimol/3000533.pdf

Author List: Mereu G, Gessa G L

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

Substances mentioned in the article: Ethanol; gamma-Aminobutyric Acid; Dopamine;

Mesh terms: Animals; Dopamine/physiology; Ethanol/pharmacology; Interneurons/drug effects; Male; Neural Inhibition; Rats; Rats, Inbred Strains; Substantia Nigra/drug effects; Synaptic Transmission/drug effects; gamma-Aminobutyric Acid/physiology;

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