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GABA(A) receptors as in vivo substrate for the anxiolytic action of valerenic acid, a major constituent of valerian root extracts


Benke, D; Barberis, A; Kopp, S; Altmann, K H; Schubiger, M; Vogt, K E; Rudolph, U; Möhler, H (2009). GABA(A) receptors as in vivo substrate for the anxiolytic action of valerenic acid, a major constituent of valerian root extracts. Neuropharmacology, 56(1):174-181.

Abstract

Valerian extracts have been used for centuries to alleviate restlessness and anxiety albeit with unknown mechanism of action in vivo. We now describe a specific binding site on GABA(A) receptors with nM affinity for valerenic acid and valerenol, common constituents of valerian. Both agents enhanced the response to GABA at multiple types of recombinant GABA(A) receptors. A point mutation in the beta2 or beta3 subunit (N265M) of recombinant receptors strongly reduced the drug response. In vivo, valerenic acid and valerenol exerted anxiolytic activity with high potencies in the elevated plus maze and the light/dark choice test in wild type mice. In beta3 (N265M) point-mutated mice the anxiolytic activity of valerenic acid was absent. Thus, neurons expressing beta3 containing GABA(A) receptors are a major cellular substrate for the anxiolytic action of valerian extracts.

Valerian extracts have been used for centuries to alleviate restlessness and anxiety albeit with unknown mechanism of action in vivo. We now describe a specific binding site on GABA(A) receptors with nM affinity for valerenic acid and valerenol, common constituents of valerian. Both agents enhanced the response to GABA at multiple types of recombinant GABA(A) receptors. A point mutation in the beta2 or beta3 subunit (N265M) of recombinant receptors strongly reduced the drug response. In vivo, valerenic acid and valerenol exerted anxiolytic activity with high potencies in the elevated plus maze and the light/dark choice test in wild type mice. In beta3 (N265M) point-mutated mice the anxiolytic activity of valerenic acid was absent. Thus, neurons expressing beta3 containing GABA(A) receptors are a major cellular substrate for the anxiolytic action of valerian extracts.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:January 2009
Deposited On:10 Nov 2008 07:37
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:33
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0028-3908
Publisher DOI:10.1016/j.neuropharm.2008.06.013
PubMed ID:18602406
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-5137

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