A correlation between changes in gamma-aminobutyric acid metabolism and seizures induced by antivitamin B6.
The effects of DL-penicillamine (DL-PeA), hydrazine and toxopyrimidine (TXP, 2-methyl-6-amino-5-hydroxymethylpyrimidine) on gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) metabolism in mouse brain were studied. All these compounds inhibited the activity of glutamate decarboxylase [EC 18.104.22.168] (GAD) and slightly inhibited that of 4-aminobutyrate: 2-oxoglutarate aminotransferase [EC 22.214.171.124] (GABA-T). In contrast, very different effects were observed on GABA levels; hydrazine caused a marked increase, DL-PeA had no effect, and TXP caused a slight decrease in the content of the amino acid. These results could be described by an equation which related the excitable state to changes in the flux of the GABA bypass. Since the values obtained from the equation clearly reflect the seizure activity, it is suggested that the decreased GABA flux might be a cause of convulsions induced by these drugs. (+info)
The irreversible gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) transaminase inhibitor gamma-vinyl-GABA blocks cocaine self-administration in rats.
gamma-Vinyl gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) (GVG) is an irreversible inhibitor of GABA transaminase, the primary enzyme involved in GABA metabolism. Acute administration of GVG increases brain GABA levels and blocks cocaine-induced locomotor activity, cocaine-induced lowering of brain stimulation reward thresholds, and cocaine-induced conditioned place preference. To further evaluate the effects of GVG on cocaine-induced reward, we examined its effects on cocaine self-administration in male Wistar rats on fixed ratio 5 and progressive ratio schedules of reinforcement. Additionally, the effects of GVG on operant responding for a food reward were examined on the same two schedules to determine whether the effects of GVG were specific to cocaine reward or generalized to other types of reward. GVG dose dependently decreased responding for cocaine on both schedules of reinforcement, suggesting that GVG attenuated the reward value of the cocaine. Responding for food was also decreased by GVG, suggesting that the effects of increased GABA levels induced by GVG may have a general effect on central reward systems. Data from this and other studies indicate that GVG does not induce motor impairment, decrease spontaneous locomotor activity, or induce catalepsy. Taken together, these data suggest that increases in GABAergic activity induced by GVG have an attenuating effect on centrally mediated reward systems and that the GABA system may be a useful target in the development of new therapeutic strategies for cocaine addiction. (+info)
The mature size of rat 4-aminobutyrate aminotransferase is different in liver and brain.
The amino acid sequence predicted from a rat liver cDNA library indicated that the precursor of beta-AlaAT I (4-aminobutyrate aminotransferase, beta-alanine-oxoglutarate aminotransferase) consists of a mature enzyme of 466 amino acid residues and a 34-amino acid terminal segment, with amino acids attributed to the leader peptide. However, the mass of beta-AlaAT I from rat brain was larger than that from rat liver and kidney, as assessed by Western-blot analysis, mass spectroscopy and N-terminal sequencing. The mature form of beta-AlaAT I from the brain had an ISQAAAK- peptide on the N-terminus of the liver mature beta-AlaAT I. Brain beta-AlaAT I was cleaved to liver beta-AlaAT I when incubated with fresh mitochondrial extract from rat liver. These results imply that mature rat liver beta-AlaAT I is proteolytically cleaved in two steps. The first cleavage of the motif XRX( downward arrow)XS is performed by a mitochondrial processing peptidase, yielding an intermediate-sized protein which is the mature brain beta-AlaAT I. The second cleavage, which generates the mature liver beta-AlaAT I, is also carried out by a mitochondrial endopeptidase. The second peptidase is active in liver but lacking in brain. (+info)
Effects of blocking GABA degradation on corticotropin-releasing hormone gene expression in selected brain regions.
PURPOSE: The gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) degradation blocker gamma-vinyl-GABA (VGB) is used clinically to treat seizures in both adult and immature individuals. The mechanism by which VGB controls developmental seizures is not fully understood. Specifically, whether the anticonvulsant properties of VGB arise only from its elevation of brain GABA levels and the resulting activation of GABA receptors, or also from associated mechanisms, remains unresolved. Corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), a neuropeptide present in many brain regions involved in developmental seizures, is a known convulsant in the immature brain and has been implicated in some developmental seizures. In certain brain regions, it has been suggested that CRH synthesis and release may be regulated by GABA. Therefore we tested the hypothesis that VGB decreases CRH gene expression in the immature rat brain, consistent with the notion that VGB may decrease seizures also by reducing the levels of the convulsant molecule, CRH. METHODS: VGB was administered to immature, 9-day-old rats in clinically relevant doses, whereas littermate controls received vehicle. RESULTS: In situ hybridization histochemistry demonstrated a downregulation of CRH mRNA levels in the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus but not in other limbic regions of VGB-treated pups compared with controls. In addition, VGB-treated pups had increased CRH peptide levels in the anterior hypothalamus, as shown by radioimmunoassay. CONCLUSIONS: These findings are consistent with a reduction of both CRH gene expression and secretion in the hypothalamus, but do not support an indirect anticonvulsant mechanism of VGB via downregulation of CRH levels in limbic structures. However, the data support a region-specific regulation of CRH gene expression by GABA. (+info)
Effect of gonadal steroids and gamma-aminobutyric acid on LH release and dopamine expression and activity in the zona incerta in rats.
A dopaminergic system in the zona incerta stimulates LH release and may mediate the positive feedback effects of the gonadal steroids on LH release. In this study the mechanisms by which steroids might increase dopamine activity in the zona incerta were investigated. In addition, experiments were conducted to determine whether the inhibitory effects of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) on LH release in the zona incerta are due to suppression of dopamine activity in this area or conversely whether the stimulatory effects of dopamine on LH release are due to suppression of a tonic inhibitory GABAergic system. Ovariectomized rats were treated s.c. with oil, 5 micrograms oestradiol benzoate or 5 micrograms oestradiol benzoate followed 48 h later by 0.5 mg progesterone, and killed 54 h after the oestradiol benzoate injection. At this time the LH concentrations were suppressed in the oestradiol benzoate group and increased in the group treated with oestradiol benzoate and progesterone. The ratio of tyrosine hydroxylase:beta-actin mRNA in the zona incerta was significantly increased by the oestradiol benzoate treatment, but the addition of progesterone resulted in values similar to those in the control group. At the same time, the progesterone treatment increased tyrosine hydroxylase activity in the zona incerta as indicated by an increase in L-dihydroxyphenylalanine (L-DOPA) accumulation after 100 mg 3-hydroxybenzylhydrazine hydrochloric acid (NSD1015) kg-1 and an increase in dopamine release as indicated by a increase in dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC) concentrations (one of the major metabolites of dopamine). Ovariectomized rats treated with oestradiol benzoate plus progesterone were also injected i.p. with 75 mg gamma-acetylenic GABA kg-1 (a GABA transaminase inhibitor) to increase GABA concentrations in the brain. This treatment had no effect on the ratio of tyrosine hydroxylase:beta-actin mRNA but decreased L-DOPA accumulation and DOPAC concentrations in the zona incerta, indicating a post-translational inhibition of dopamine synthesis and release. Treatment of ovariectomized rats with oestradiol benzoate followed by 100 mg L-DOPA i.p. to increase dopamine concentrations in the whole brain had no effect on glutamic acid decarboxylase mRNA expression in the zona incerta, although it increased the glutamic acid decarboxylase:beta-actin mRNA ratio in other hypothalamic areas (that is, the medical preoptic area, ventromedial nucleus and arcuate nucleus). In conclusion, the steroids act to increase dopamine activity in different ways: oestrogen increases tyrosine hydroxylase mRNA expression and progesterone acts after translation to increase tyrosine hydroxylase activity and dopamine release (as indicated by increases in DOPAC concentrations). This latter effect may be due to progesterone removing a tonic GABAergic inhibition from the dopaminergic system. (+info)
The inhibitory effects of (gamma)-aminobutyric acid (GABA) on growth hormone secretion in the goldfish are modulated by sex steroids.
Double-labelling studies at the electron microscopic level demonstrated that gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-immunoreactive nerve endings are associated with growth-hormone-secreting cells in the proximal pars distalis of the goldfish pituitary gland, suggesting that GABA may be important for the control of growth hormone release in this species. An in vitro assay for GABA-transaminase activity demonstrated that the pituitary is a site for the metabolism of GABA to succinic acid. In vitro, GABA or the GABA antagonists bicuculline and saclofen did not affect the rate of growth hormone release from dispersed pituitary cells in static incubation. In contrast, intracerebroventricular injection of GABA reduced serum growth hormone levels within 30 min. During the seasonal gonadal cycle, intraperitoneal injection of GABA was without effect in sexually regressed goldfish, but caused a significant decrease in serum growth hormone levels in sexually recrudescent animals. Intraperitoneal implantation of solid silastic pellets containing oestradiol increased serum GH levels fivefold in sexually regressed and recrudescent goldfish; in both groups, GABA suppressed the oestradiol-stimulated increase in circulating growth hormone levels. The effect of oestradiol on basal serum growth hormone levels was specific since progesterone and testosterone were without effect. However, in recrudescent animals treated with progesterone and testosterone, the inhibitory effects of GABA on serum growth hormone levels were absent, indicating a differential role for these steroids in growth hormone release. Taken together, these results demonstrate that GABA has an inhibitory effect on growth hormone release in goldfish. (+info)
Recovery of visual field constriction following discontinuation of vigabatrin.
Epilepsy patients treated with vigabatrin may develop symptomatic or asymptomatic concentric visual field constriction due to GABA-associated retinal dysfunction. The prevalence and course of this side effect are not established yet; in previously reported adult patients the visual disturbances seem to be irreversible. We present two patients with a significant improvement of visual field constriction and retinal function after the discontinuation of vigabatrin. These findings suggest that vigabatrin-associated retinal changes are at least partly reversible in some patients, and that these patients may benefit significantly from a withdrawal of vigabatrin. Larger scale clinical studies are needed to identify predictive factors both for the occurrence and reversibility of vigabatrin-associated visual field defects. (+info)
Increased mesolimbic GABA concentration blocks heroin self-administration in the rat.
Opiate reinforcement has been hypothesized to be mediated by an inhibition of mesolimbic gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) release that subsequently disinhibits ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopamine neurons. In support of this hypothesis, this study demonstrates that when administered directly into the lateral ventricle, the VTA, or the ventral pallidum, but not the nucleus accumbens, gamma-vinyl-GABA (GVG, an irreversible GABA-transaminase inhibitor, 20-50 microg) dose dependently blocked heroin (0.06 mg/kg) self-administration (SA), as assessed by an increase in heroin SA at low doses of GVG and an initial increase followed 1 to 2 h later by a blockade of heroin SA at higher GVG doses. This effect lasted 3 to 5 days. In drug-naive rats, intra-VTA GVG pretreatment also prevented or delayed acquisition of heroin SA for 2 days. This GVG effect was prevented or reversed by systemic or intra-VTA pretreatment with the GABA(B) antagonist 2-hydroxysaclofen, but not the GABA(A) antagonist bicuculline. Similarly, coadministration of heroin with aminooxy-acetic acid (1-4 mg/kg) or ethanolamine-O-sulfate (50-100 mg/kg), two reversible GABA transaminase inhibitors, dose dependently reduced heroin reinforcement. Coadministration of (+/-)-nipecotic acid (0.1-5 mg/kg) with heroin, or intra-VTA or -ventral pallidum pretreatment with (+/-)-nipecotic acid (10 microg) or NO-711 (2 microg), two GABA uptake inhibitors, significantly increased heroin SA behavior, an effect also blocked by systemic 2-hydroxysaclofen, but not bicuculline. Taken together, these experiments, for the first time, demonstrate that pharmacological elevation of mesolimbic GABA concentration blocks heroin reinforcement by activating GABA(B) receptors, supporting the GABAergic hypothesis of opiate reinforcement and the incorporation of GABA agents in opiate abuse treatment. (+info)