(1/6551) Analysis of gabapentin in serum and plasma by solid-phase extraction and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry for therapeutic drug monitoring.

A simple method for the determination of gabapentin (Neurontin) is described. The method uses solid-phase extraction by disk column and derivatization followed by gas chromatographic-mass spectrometric analysis. The single-step derivatization with MTBSTFA produces a t-BDMS derivative of both the carboxylic and amine moieties of the molecule. Each step of the procedure was optimized to assure reliable performance of the method. The assay limit of detection was 0.1 microg/mL with a linear range from 1.0 to 35 microg/mL. Within-run (n = 3) and between-run (n = 40) coefficients of variation were less than 8.2 and 15.9%, respectively. The method has proven reliable in routine production for more than a year, producing clean chromatography with unique ion fragments, consistent ion mass ratios, and no interferences. Statistical analysis of the gabapentin concentrations measured in 1020 random specimens over a 2-month period showed a mean concentration of 6.07 microg/mL with a standard deviation of 5.28.  (+info)

(2/6551) Somatic recording of GABAergic autoreceptor current in cerebellar stellate and basket cells.

Patch-clamp recordings were performed from stellate and basket cells in rat cerebellar slices. Under somatic voltage clamp, short depolarizing pulses were applied to elicit action potentials in the axon. After the action potential, a bicuculline- and Cd2+-sensitive current transient was observed. A similar response was obtained when eliciting axonal firing by extracellular stimulation. With an isotonic internal Cl- solution, the peak amplitude of this current varied linearly with the holding potential, yielding an extrapolated reversal potential of -20 to 0 mV. Unlike synaptic or autaptic GABAergic currents obtained in the same preparation, the current transient had a slow rise-time and a low variability between trials. This current was blocked when 10 mM BAPTA was included in the recording solution. In some experiments, the current transient elicited axonal action potentials. The current transient was reliably observed in animals aged 12-15 d, with a mean amplitude of 82 pA at -70 mV, but was small and rare in the age group 29-49 d. Numerical simulations could account for all properties of the current transient by assuming that an action potential activates a distributed GABAergic conductance in the axon. The actual conductance is probably restricted to release sites, with an estimated mean presynaptic current response of 10 pA per site (-70 mV, age 12-15 d). We conclude that in developing rats, stellate and basket cell axons have a high density of GABAergic autoreceptors and that a sizable fraction of the corresponding current can be measured from the soma.  (+info)

(3/6551) GABAergic excitatory synapses and electrical coupling sustain prolonged discharges in the prey capture neural network of Clione limacina.

Afterdischarges represent a prominent characteristic of the neural network that controls prey capture reactions in the carnivorous mollusc Clione limacina. Their main functional implication is transformation of a brief sensory input from a prey into a lasting prey capture response. The present study, which focuses on the neuronal mechanisms of afterdischarges, demonstrates that a single pair of interneurons [cerebral A interneuron (Cr-Aint)] is responsible for afterdischarge generation in the network. Cr-Aint neurons are electrically coupled to all other neurons in the network and produce slow excitatory synaptic inputs to them. This excitatory transmission is found to be GABAergic, which is demonstrated by the use of GABA antagonists, uptake inhibitors, and double-labeling experiments showing that Cr-Aint neurons are GABA-immunoreactive. The Cr-Aint neurons organize three different pathways in the prey capture network, which provide positive feedback necessary for sustaining prolonged spike activity. The first pathway includes electrical coupling and slow chemical transmission from the Cr-Aint neurons to all other neurons in the network. The second feedback is based on excitatory reciprocal connections between contralateral interneurons. Recurrent excitation via the contralateral cell can sustain prolonged interneuron firing, which then drives the activity of all other cells in the network. The third positive feedback is represented by prominent afterdepolarizing potentials after individual spikes in the Cr-Aint neurons. Afterdepolarizations apparently represent recurrent GABAergic excitatory inputs. It is suggested here that these afterdepolarizing potentials are produced by GABAergic excitatory autapses.  (+info)

(4/6551) 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] (GAD) and slightly inhibited that of 4-aminobutyrate: 2-oxoglutarate aminotransferase [EC] (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)

(5/6551) Gabapentin suppresses ectopic nerve discharges and reverses allodynia in neuropathic rats.

Repetitive ectopic discharges from injured afferent nerves play an important role in initiation and maintenance of neuropathic pain. Gabapentin is effective for treatment of neuropathic pain but the sites and mechanisms of its antinociceptive actions remain uncertain. In the present study, we tested a hypothesis that therapeutic doses of gabapentin suppress ectopic afferent discharge activity generated from injured peripheral nerves. Mechanical allodynia, induced by partial ligation of the sciatic nerve in rats, was determined by application of von Frey filaments to the hindpaw. Single-unit afferent nerve activity was recorded proximal to the ligated sciatic nerve site. Intravenous gabapentin, in a range of 30 to 90 mg/kg, significantly attenuated allodynia in nerve-injured rats. Furthermore, gabapentin, in the same therapeutic dose range, dose-dependently inhibited the ectopic discharge activity of 15 injured sciatic afferent nerve fibers through an action on impulse generation. However, the conduction velocity and responses of 12 normal afferent fibers to mechanical stimulation were not affected by gabapentin. Therefore, this study provides electrophysiological evidence that gabapentin is capable of suppressing the ectopic discharge activity from injured peripheral nerves. This action may contribute, at least in part, to the antiallodynic effect of gabapentin on neuropathic pain.  (+info)

(6/6551) Novel characteristic for distinguishing Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis from subsp. cremoris.

Lactococcus lactis strains were examined for their ability to produce gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Results showed that strains of L. lactis subsp. lactis were able to produce this acid, whereas L. lactis subsp. cremoris were not. GABA production thus represents another effective characteristic for distinguishing L. lactis subsp. lactis from L. lactis subsp. cremoris.  (+info)

(7/6551) Neurite outgrowth-regulating properties of GABA and the effect of serum on mouse spinal cord neurons in culture.

Time-lapse photography was used to examine the effects of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) on the outgrowth and motility of neurites in cultures from mouse spinal cord. GABA at concentrations of 100, 10 and 1 microM caused significant inhibition of neurite outgrowth and the motility of growth cones was significantly reduced by treatment with 100 and 10 microM GABA. This effect was mimicked by the GABA(B) receptor agonist baclofen, whereas the GABA(A) receptor agonist muscimol had no effect. The effect of GABA on outgrowth and motility seems to be dependent on the type of serum employed. The results reported here were obtained only when heat-inactivated serum was used and not when non heat-inactivated serum was added to the culture medium. They suggest that GABA has a role in the regulation of process outgrowth within the embryonic mouse spinal cord.  (+info)

(8/6551) Presence of the vesicular inhibitory amino acid transporter in GABAergic and glycinergic synaptic terminal boutons.

The characterization of the Caenorhabditis elegans unc-47 gene recently allowed the identification of a mammalian (gamma)-amino butyric acid (GABA) transporter, presumed to be located in the synaptic vesicle membrane. In situ hybridization data in rat brain suggested that it might also take up glycine and thus represent a general Vesicular Inhibitory Amino Acid Transporter (VIAAT). In the present study, we have investigated the localization of VIAAT in neurons by using a polyclonal antibody raised against the hydrophilic N-terminal domain of the protein. Light microscopy and immunocytochemistry in primary cultures or tissue sections of the rat spinal cord revealed that VIAAT was localized in a subset (63-65%) of synaptophysin-immunoreactive terminal boutons; among the VIAAT-positive terminals around motoneuronal somata, 32.9% of them were also immunoreactive for GAD65, a marker of GABAergic presynaptic endings. Labelling was also found apposed to clusters positive for the glycine receptor or for its associated protein gephyrin. At the ultrastructural level, VIAAT immunoreactivity was restricted to presynaptic boutons exhibiting classical inhibitory features and, within the boutons, concentrated over synaptic vesicle clusters. Pre-embedding detection of VIAAT followed by post-embedding detection of GABA or glycine on serial sections of the spinal cord or cerebellar cortex indicated that VIAAT was present in glycine-, GABA- or GABA- and glycine-containing boutons. Taken together, these data further support the view of a common vesicular transporter for these two inhibitory transmitters, which would be responsible for their costorage in the same synaptic vesicle and subsequent corelease at mixed GABA-and-glycine synapses.  (+info)