Author(s): Fink K, Meder W, Dooley DJ, Gthert M
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Abstract Cytosolic calcium ion concentrations ([Ca(2+)](i)) were measured in rat neocortical synaptosomes using fura-2, and depolarization of synaptosomal membranes was induced by K(+) (30 mM). The release of the endogenous excitatory amino acids glutamate and aspartate was evoked by K(+) (50 mM) and determined by HPLC. The release of [(3)H]-noradrenaline from rat neocortical synaptosomes or slices was evoked by K(+) (15 and 25 mM) and measured by liquid scintillation counting. Gabapentin produced a concentration-dependent inhibition of the K(+)-induced [Ca(2+)](i) increase in synaptosomes (IC(50)=14 microM; maximal inhibition by 36\%). The inhibitory effect of gabapentin was abolished in the presence of the P/Q-type Ca(2+) channel blocker omega-agatoxin IVA, but not by the N-type Ca(2+) channel antagonist omega-conotoxin GVIA. Gabapentin (100 microM) decreased the K(+)-evoked release of endogenous aspartate and glutamate in neocortical slices by 16 and 18\%, respectively. Gabapentin reduced the K(+)-evoked [(3)H]-noradrenaline release in neocortical slices (IC(50)=48 microM; maximal inhibition of 46\%) but not from synaptosomes. In the presence of the AMPA receptor antagonists 6-cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione (CNQX) and 2, 3-dioxo-6-nitro-1,2,3,4-tetrahydro[f]quinoxaline-7-sulphonamide (NBQX), gabapentin did not reduce [(3)H]-noradrenaline release. Gabapentin did, however, cause inhibition in the presence of the NMDA receptor antagonist DL-(E)-2-amino-4-methyl-5-phosphono-3-pentanoic acid (CGP 37849). Gabapentin is concluded to reduce the depolarization-induced [Ca(2+)](i) increase in excitatory amino acid nerve terminals by inhibiting P/Q-type Ca(2+) channels; this decreased Ca(2+) influx subsequently attenuates K(+)-evoked excitatory amino acid release. The latter effect leads to a reduced activation of AMPA receptors which contribute to K(+)-evoked noradrenaline release from noradrenergic varicosities, resulting in an indirect inhibition of noradrenaline release.
This article was published in Br J Pharmacol
and referenced in Pharmaceutica Analytica Acta