PMID: 2579357Jan 1, 1985Paper

Behavioural pharmacology of food, water and salt intake in relation to drug actions at benzodiazepine receptors

Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
S J Cooper, L B Estall


Drugs which are agonists at benzodiazepine receptors produce many interesting behavioural effects, and amongst these are the stimulation of food, water and salt intake. This review examines the evidence for benzodiazepine effects on these forms of ingestion, and makes tentative proposals about their modes of action. The recent advent of putative benzodiazepine antagonists and inverse agonists provides important new pharmacological tools for the analysis of factors which control ingestion. Preliminary data on examples of such drugs are considered. Anorectic effects of inverse agonists are described. It is clear, though, that the categorization of a drug in one test situation may not apply to another. For example, the compound Ro15-1788 appears as a specific antagonist in one test, a partial agonist in another, and apparently lacks effect in a third. We are not yet sufficiently forward in our understanding of drug actions at benzodiazepine receptors, and their interactions with particular test circumstances, to predict and account for divergent effects of this kind.


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