Panic-like attack induced by microinfusion into the locus coeruleus of antagonists and inverse agonists at GABA(a)-receptors in rodents

E. Priolo, V. Libri, R. Lopilato, E. David, G. Nappi, G. Nistico

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The microfunction of drugs inhibiting GABA-ergic transmission into the locus coeruleus (LC) of rats and mice produced a dramatic pattern of behavioural stimulation accompanied by marked electrocortical (ECoG) desynchronization. In rats, unilateral microinfusion into the LC of bicuculline (0.5-4 pmol) produced dose-dependent behavioural stimulation culminating in a panic-like attack, ECoG desynchronization and marked changes in ECoG spectrum power. These effects were prevented by a pretreatment into the same site with muscimol. Similarly, in mice, the microinfusion of ethyl-β-carboline-3-carboxylate (β-CCE, 4.1 nmol) into the LC of C57BL/6 mice produced an intense state of behavioural stimulation accompanied by intense stereotyped movements and increased excitability to external stimuli; these effects were prevented by prior microinfusion of diazepam or flumazenil into the same site. In conclusion, the present experemiments show that in rodents drug manipulations leading to a decrease in the activity of GABA-benzodiazepine receptor complex in the LC are responsible for the occurrence of panic-like attacks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)393-403
Number of pages11
JournalFunctional Neurology
Volume6
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)

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