Barbiturate and picrotoxin-sensitive chloride efflux in rat cerebral cortical synaptoneurosomes

Rochelle D. Schwartz, Phil Skolnick, Elizabeth B. Hollingsworth, Steven M. Paul

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The effects of various barbiturates and picrotoxin in modifying the efflux of chloride (36Cl-) was studied in a novel subcellular preparation from rat cerebral cortex, the 'synaptoneurosome'. Dilution of synaptoneurosomes pre-loaded with 36Cl- resulted in rapid efflux of 36Cl- that could be measured as early as 10 s following dilution. In the presence of barbiturates such as pentobarbital and hexobarbital there was a significant increase in 36Cl- efflux which was not observed with the pharmacologically-inactive barbiturate, barbital. The effect of barbiturates in enhancing 36Cl- efflux was also stereospecific [(-)-DMBB > (+)-DMBB] and reversed by picrotoxin. By contrast, picrotoxin alone significantly inhibited 36Cl- efflux. These data demonstrate pharmacologically relevant Cl- transport for the first time in a subcellular brain preparation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-196
Number of pages4
JournalFEBS Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 17 1984


  • Barbiturate
  • Brain synaptoneurosome
  • Chloride efflux
  • GABA
  • Picrotoxin


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