Increased dihydropyridine-sensitive calcium channels in rat brain may underlie ethanol physical dependence

S. Dolin, H. Little, M. Hudspith, C. Pagonis, J. Littleton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

159 Scopus citations

Abstract

Ethanol physical dependence can be viewed as a state of latent hyperexcitability in brain which is exposed on withdrawal of the drug. This hyperexcitability may reflect an increased sensitivity to Ca2+ of central neurones. Dihydropyridine (DHP) binding sites which represent a subtype of neuronal Ca2+-channel, are increased in brains from ethanol-dependent rats as are functional effects of the DHP Ca2+-channel activator, BAYK8644. These effects are reversed by DHP Ca2+ inhibitors, which also prevent the ethanol physical withdrawal syndrome. These results suggest that an increase in DHP-sensitive Ca2+-channels on central neurons may represent the molecular basis for ethanol physical dependence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-279
Number of pages5
JournalNeuropharmacology
Volume26
Issue number2-3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1987

Keywords

  • Ca-channels
  • brain
  • dihydropyridines
  • ethanol
  • physical dependence
  • rat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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