Evidence of strain differences in GABA-benzodiazepine coupling
The effects of a single dose of oxazepam on seizure threshold, receptor occupancy and brain oxazepam concentration were investigated at several time points after drug treatment in two inbred strains of mice (NIH and C3H/HE). The C3H/HE strain showed a greater sensitivity to the effects of both pentylenetetrazol and oxazepam. Furthermore, the C3H/HE strain showed decreases in both receptor occupancy and seizure threshold across time, whereas the NIH strain showed no change in either measure. Although within-strain correlations were observed between seizure threshold and receptor occupancy, the C3H/HE strain had similar seizure thresholds to the NIH strain throughout but lower percentage receptor occupancies, thus a between-strain correlation was not observed. The C3H/HE strain had a higher number of specific benzodiazepine binding sites and these results may reflect a strain difference in GABA-benzodiazepine receptor coupling. In a further experiment, the development of acute tolerance to the effects of oxazepam was investigated. Brain concentrations of oxazepam and receptor occupancies were determined for each strain of mouse, at two different time points (1.5 and 7.5 h after drug treatment), at which equivalent seizure thresholds were obtained by manipulating the starting dose of oxazepam. For each strain, when equivalent seizure thresholds were observed at different time points, equivalent receptor occupancies were also observed. However, a trend towards higher brain concentrations of oxazepam at the later time point was detected for the two strains, suggesting that there may be some decrease across time in the affinity of the receptor for oxazepam.
Key wordsBenzodiazepines Oxazepam Pentylenetetrazol Anticonvulsant Receptor occupancy Strain differences Mouse Acute tolerance
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