PMID: 212151Sep 1, 1978

Central actions of benzodiazepines: general introduction

The British Journal of Psychiatry : the Journal of Mental Science
W E Haefely


After a brief review of the characteristic somatic and psychotropic effects of benzodiazepines evidence is presented which supports a specific facilitatory action of these drugs on GABA ergic synapses within the mammalian central nervous system. Benzodiazepines enhance presynaptic inhibition in the spinal cord and dorsal column nuclei as well as postsynaptic inhibition in dorsal column nuclei, hippocampus, hypothalamus, cerebral cortex, cerebellar cortex, which are all examples of recurrent and collateral inhibition mediated by GABA ergic intrinsic neurones. In addition, the compounds also enhance the inhibitory effect of GABA ergic long projection neurones in the substantia nigra and the lateral vestibular nucleus of Deiters. Several problems remain to be solved, such as the exact site at which benzodiazepines initiate their action (pre-synaptically at GABA ergic nerve endings or postsynaptically at the target cells) and the possible existence of endogenous ligands for the benzodiazepine receptor. Some suspected implications which studies on benzodiazepine binding sites could have for a deeper understanding of the mode of action of these drugs are discussed.


Jul 16, 1976·Naunyn-Schmiedeberg's Archives of Pharmacology·H H KellerW E Haefely
Aug 1, 1976·Naunyn-Schmiedeberg's Archives of Pharmacology·P Polc, W E Haefely
Sep 1, 1977·Agents and Actions·W E Haefely
Sep 12, 1978·Naunyn-Schmiedeberg's Archives of Pharmacology·H M GellerB J Hoffer
Jul 15, 1975·Life Sciences·E CostaA Suria
Jan 1, 1977·Progress in Neurobiology·R A Levy
May 1, 1978·British Journal of Pharmacology·N G Bowery, A Dray
Sep 1, 1977·Nature·S N Kozhechkin, R U Ostrovskay
Oct 6, 1977·Naunyn-Schmiedeberg's Archives of Pharmacology·P Wolf, H L Haas
Dec 29, 1976·Naunyn-Schmiedeberg's Archives of Pharmacology·L Pieri, W Haefely
Jan 1, 1974·Naunyn-Schmiedeberg's Archives of Pharmacology·P PolcW Haefely


Jun 1, 1983·Pflügers Archiv : European journal of physiology·M Riley, C N Scholfield
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May 1, 1979·Pharmacology, Biochemistry, and Behavior·J F Tallman, D W Gallager
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Sep 7, 2013·The Consultant Pharmacist : the Journal of the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists·Jeannette Y Wick
May 28, 2010·Expert Opinion on Drug Metabolism & Toxicology·Shiuan-Woei LinWuFu-Chuo Peng
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Mar 27, 2012·Biochemical Pharmacology·Shiuan-Woei LinWuAndrew H-J Wang
Jan 1, 1983·Journal of Psychoactive Drugs·W Haefely
Jan 1, 1988·International Journal of Health Services : Planning, Administration, Evaluation·J Lexchin
Jul 1, 1984·Medicinal Research Reviews·M Simonyi
Nov 2, 2001·The British Journal of Psychiatry : the Journal of Mental Science·D J Nutt, A L Malizia
Dec 1, 1980·The British Journal of Psychiatry : the Journal of Mental Science·P Tyrer
Dec 1, 1979·The British Journal of Psychiatry : the Journal of Mental Science·A V Mackay, G P Sheppard
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