Oct 24, 1994

The protective effects of stress control may be mediated by increased brain levels of benzodiazepine receptor agonists

Brain Research
R C DruganR J Ferland


Control over stress protects against many of the deleterious effects of stress exposure, but the endogenous mediators responsible for these prophylactic effects have remained elusive. Using behavioral pharmacology, in vitro radioligand binding and neurochemical analyses, we demonstrate that exposure to escapable stress results in brain and behavior changes reminiscent of benzodiazepine administration. The stress control group shows significant protection against picrotoxinin-induced seizures, reductions in [35S]t-butylbicyclophosphorothionate (TBPS) binding and a 3-fold increase of benzodiazepine-like substances in brain in comparison to both yoked-inescapable shock and non-shock controls. These observations suggest that coping behavior leads to the release of endogenous benzodiazepine-like compounds in brain which protect the organism from stress pathology.

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Mentioned in this Paper

GABA-A Receptor Agonists
Bicyclo Compounds
Mental Suffering
Benzodiazepine [EPC]
Strychnine Nitrate
GABA-A Receptor gamma Subunit
Radioligand Assay

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