Chronic phenobarbital administration affects GABA and benzodiazepine receptors in the brain and periphery

Abraham Weizman, Fuad Fares, Chaim G. Pick, Joseph Yanai, Moshe Gavish

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Chronic phenobarbital administration for 20 days to mice resulted in significant increases in the density of peripheral benzodiazepine binding sites in the heart, kidney and cerebellum, but did not affect the density of these sites in the olfactory bulb. No alteration in the affinity (KD) of peripheral benzodiazepine binding sites for their ligand [3H]PK 11195 was observed in any of the organs examined. Phenobarbital treatment did not affect the maximal binding capacity or the affinity of the central benzodiazepine receptors for [3H]flunitrazepam in the cerebral cortex, hippocampus and olfactory bulb. A significant reduction in [3H]muscimol binding the hippocampus was obtained following chronic phenabarbital treatment. Such an alteration was not detected in the cerebral cortex. The KD values remained unaltered in both tissues. The modulatory effect of phenobarbital on peripheral benzodiazepine binding sites could be related to alterations in the functions of these organs or to the neurochemical effects of the drug.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-240
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Pharmacology
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - 10 Oct 1989
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by Grant 87-00234 to M.G. and A.W. from the U.S.-lsrael Binational Science Foundation. We thank Miss Ruth Singer for typing the manuscript.


  • Benzodiazepine receptors (central and peripheral types)
  • Phenobarbital
  • [H]PK 11195
  • []Flunitrazepam

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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