Differential Sensitivity of “Central” and “Peripheral” Type Benzodiazepine Receptors to Phospholipase A2

H. Havoundjian, R. M. Cohen, S. M. Paul, P. Skolnick

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Abstract: The effects of preincubating cerebral cortical membranes with phospholipase A2 (PLA2) were examined on radioligand binding to benzodiazepine receptors of the “central” and “peripheral” types. PLA2 (0.005–0.1 U/ml) increased [3H]flunitrazepam and [3H]3‐carbo‐ethoxy‐β‐carboline binding by increasing the apparent affinities of these ligands with no concomitant change in the maximum number of binding sites. In contrast, neither γ‐aminobutyric acid (GABA)‐enhanced [3H]fluni‐trazepam binding nor [3H]Ro 15–1788 binding was altered by preincubation with PLA2 at concentrations as high as 2 U/ml. Both pyrazolopyridine (SQ 65,396)‐ and barbiturate (pentobarbital)‐enhanced [3H]flunitrazepam binding and [35S]t‐butylbicyclophosphorothionate (TBPS) binding were markedly reduced by as little as 0.0025–0.005 U/ml of PLA2. These findings suggest that PLA2 inactivates the TBPS binding site on the benzodiazepine‐GABA receptor chloride ionophore complex, which results in a selective loss of allosteric “regulation” between the components of this complex. PLA2 also reduced the apparent affinity of [3H]Ro 5–4864 to peripheral‐type benzodiazepine receptors in cerebral cortical, heart, and kidney membranes, but increased the number of [3H]PK 11195 binding sites with no change in apparent affinity. These data demonstrate that PLA2 can differentially affect the lipid microenvironment of “central” and “peripheral” types of benzodiazepine receptors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)804-811
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neurochemistry
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1986


  • Benzodiazepine receptors
  • Chloride ionophore
  • PK 11195
  • Phospholipase A
  • Ro 5‐4864
  • t‐Butylbicyclo‐phosphorothionate


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