CNS benzodiazepine receptors: Physiological studies and putative endogenous ligands

Phil Skolnick, Paul J. Marangos, Peter Syapin, Frederick K. Goodwin, Steven M. Paul

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


The recent demonstration of benzodiazepine receptors in the mammalian CNS has provided new information on the mechanism of action of this important class of drugs. In addition, the presence of these receptors has prompted studies on their physiological significance, including attempts at isolating an endogenous ligand. The isolation of a number of substances from bovine brain that competitively inhibit (3H)-diazepam binding to synaptosomal membrane suggests the presence of an endogenous ligand. Two of these substances have been identified as the purines inosine and hypoxanthine. Pharmacological studies of these purines suggest that they may have diazepam-like effects in vivo. The possibility that the brain may contain its own benzodiazepine-like compound is currently being studied.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)815-823
Number of pages9
JournalPharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1979


  • Benzodiazepine receptors
  • Endogenous ligands
  • Physiological studies
  • Purines
  • Seizures


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