Dextromethorphan binding sites in the guinea pig brain
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Dextromethorphan (DM), a dextrorotatory nonopioid antitussive, binds to specific high-affinity sites in the central nervous system. These sites are distinct from the opioid and other known neurotransmitter receptor sites. Antitussives such as carbetapentane and caramiphen also bind to DM sites with a nanomolar affinity.
The anticonvulsant drugs phenytoin and ropizine produce an allosteric enhancement of the binding of [3H]DM to guinea pig brain. DM, carbetapentane, and caramiphen also are efficacious anticonvulsant agents in the rat maximal electroshock seizures test, and DM enhances the anticonvulsant effects of phenytoin (PHT).
These results suggest that drugs that bind to the DM sites could be used alone as anticonvulsants or in combination with PHT to lower its effective dose and reduce its side effects.
The investigation of the DM binding sites may help to open new approaches for the treatment of convulsive disorders and to explain further some of the molecular mechanisms of neutronal excitability.
Key wordsanticonvulsant activity dextromethorphan dextromethorphan binding sites ion channels phenytoin
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