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3beta-hydroxypregnane steroids are pregnenolone sulfate-like GABA(A) receptor antagonists
Department of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri.
Department of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri.
Department of Neurology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri.
Department of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri.
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2002 (English)In: Journal of Neuroscience, ISSN 0270-6474, E-ISSN 1529-2401, Vol. 22, no 9, 3366-3375 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Endogenous neurosteroids have rapid actions on ion channels, particularly GABA(A) receptors, which are potentiated by nanomolar concentrations of 3alpha-hydroxypregnane neurosteroids. Previous evidence suggests that 3beta-hydroxypregnane steroids may competitively antagonize potentiation induced by their 3alpha diastereomers. Because of the potential importance of antagonists as experimental and clinical tools, we characterized the functional effect of 3beta-hydroxysteroids. Although 3beta-hydroxysteroids reduced the potentiation induced by 3alpha-hydroxysteroids, 3beta-hydroxysteroids acted noncompetitively with respect to potentiating steroids and inhibited the largest degrees of potentiation most effectively. Potentiation by high concentrations of barbiturates was also reduced by 3beta-hydroxysteroids. 3beta-Hydroxysteroids are also direct, noncompetitive GABA(A) receptor antagonists. 3beta-Hydroxysteroids coapplied with GABA significantly inhibited responses to > or =15 microm GABA. The profile of block was similar to that exhibited by sulfated steroids, known blockers of GABA(A) receptors. This direct, noncompetitive effect of 3beta-hydroxysteroids was sufficient to account for the apparent antagonism of potentiating steroids. Mutated receptors exhibiting decreased sensitivity to sulfated steroid block were insensitive to both the direct effects of 3beta-hydroxysteroids on GABA(A) responses and the reduction of potentiating steroid effects. At concentrations that had little effect on GABAergic synaptic currents, 3beta-hydroxysteroids and low concentrations of sulfated steroids significantly reversed the potentiation of synaptic currents induced by 3alpha-hydroxysteroids. We conclude that 3beta-hydroxypregnane steroids are not direct antagonists of potentiating steroids but rather are noncompetitive, likely state-dependent, blockers of GABA(A) receptors. Nevertheless, these steroids may be useful functional blockers of potentiating steroids when used at concentrations that do not affect baseline neurotransmission.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2002. Vol. 22, no 9, 3366-3375 p.
Keyword [en]
neurosteroids; inhibitory postsynaptic current; GABAA receptors; pregnenolone sulfate; anesthetic; hippocampal culture
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-37057PubMedID: 11978813OAI: diva2:357624
Available from: 2010-10-19 Created: 2010-10-19 Last updated: 2010-11-15Bibliographically approved

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