[3H] aniracetam binds to specific recognition sites in brain membranes

F. Fallarino, A. A. Genazzani, S. Silla, M. R. L'Episcopo, O. Camici, L. Corazzi, F. Nicoletti, M. C. Fioretti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


[3H] Aniracetam bound to specific and saturable recognition sites in membranes prepared from discrete regions of rat brain. In crude membrane preparation from rat cerebral cortex, specific binding was Na+ independent, was still largely detectable at low temperature (4°C), and underwent rapid dissociation. Scatchard analysis of [3H] aniracetam binding revealed a single population of sites with an apparent KD value of ∼70 nM and a maximal density of 3.5 pmol/mg of protein. Specifically bound [3H] aniracetam was not displaced by various metabolites of aniracetam, nor by other pyrrolidinone-containing nootropic drugs such as piracetam or oxiracetam. Subcellular distribution studies showed that a high percentage of specific [3H] aniracetam binding was present in purified synaptosomes or mitochondria, whereas specific binding was low in the myelin fraction. The possibility that at least some [3H] aniracetam binding sites are associated with glutamate receptors is supported by the evidence that specific binding was abolished when membranes were preincubated at 37°C under fast shaking (a procedure that substantially reduced the amount of glutamate trapped in the membranes) and could be restored after addition of either glutamate or α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionate (AMPA) but not kainate. The action of AMPA was antagonized by DNQX, which also reduced specific [3H] aniracetam binding in unwashed membranes. High levels of [3H] aniracetam binding were detected in hippocampal, cortical, or cerebellar membranes, which contain a high density of excitatory amino acid receptors. Although synaptosomal aniracetam binding sites may well be associated with AMPA-sensitive glutamate receptors, specifically bound [3H]-aniracetam could not be displaced by cyclothiazide or GYKI 52466, which act as a positive and negative modulator of AMPA receptors, respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)912-918
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neurochemistry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1995


  • [H]-Aniracetam binding
  • Cyclothiazide
  • Glutamate
  • GYKI 52466

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of '[3H] aniracetam binds to specific recognition sites in brain membranes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this