GABA(B) receptor function and subunit expression in the rat spinal cord as indicators of stress and the antinociceptive response to antidepressants
McCarson KE, Duric V, Reisman SA, Winter M, Enna SJ.
Department of Pharmacology,
Toxicology and Therapeutics,
University of Kansas Medical Center,
3901 Rainbow Boulevard, Kansas City, KS 66160, USA.
Brain Res. 2005 Dec 17


Experiments were undertaken to examine whether once daily i.p. administration of either of two antidepressants used for the treatment of neuropathic pain, amitriptyline (10 mg/kg) and fluoxetine (5 mg/kg), to rats for 7 days modifies GABA(B) receptor function and subunit expression in the lumbar spinal cord. The results indicate that, as previously reported for desipramine, both amitriptyline and fluoxetine increase the pain threshold to a thermal stimulus, the expression of GABA(B(1)) subunits, and baclofen-stimulated [(35)S]GTPgammaS binding, a measure of GABA(B) receptor function. The effects of antidepressant administration on GABA(B(1b)) and GABA(B(2)) subunit expression in spinal cord are more variable than for GABA(B(1a)). It was also discovered that repeated daily exposure to a thermal stimulus or immobilization stress increases GABA(B(1a)) expression in the lumbar spinal cord, with no commensurate change in thermal pain threshold or GABA(B) receptor sensitivity. These results support a relationship between GABA(B) receptors and the action of antidepressants. The findings demonstrate that drug-induced increases in GABA(B) receptor function can occur independently of any change in GABA(B) receptor subunit expression and are consistent with the notion that GABA(B) receptor subunits have multiple functions, only one of which is dimerization to form GABA(B) receptors. The data also suggest that GABA(B) subunit gene expression may serve as a preclinical marker of antidepressant efficacy and of drug- or stress-induced modifications in central nervous system activity.
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GABA(A) and fluoxetine
Anxiolytics and antidepressants
GABA, pain and the cerebral cortex
GABA(B) receptors in anxiety and depression
Alpha 1 and alpha 2 GABA(A) receptor subunits
The alpha 2/alpha 3-subtypes of GABA(A) receptor

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