Suppression of the immune response by benzodiazepine receptor inverse agonists

Prince K. Arora, Edgar E. Hanna, Steven M. Paul, Phil Skolnick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


24 h after administration of a single dose of the benzodiazepine receptor inverse agonists N′-methyl-β-carboline-3-carboxamide (FG 7142) and 3-carbomethoxy-4-ethyl-6,7-dimethoxy-β-carboline (DMCM), a profound suppression of the immune response was observed in rodents. This immunosuppression was manifest as a decrease in phytohemagglutinin (PHA) and concanavalin-A (Con-A) stimulated T cell proliferation in rats and mice administered FG 7142 and a decrease in allogeneic cytotoxic T lymphocyte activity in mice administered either FG 7142 or DMCM. The effects of FG 7142 were antagonized by the prior administration of Ro 15-1788, a benzodiazepine receptor antagonist. These findings demonstrate that the neural pathways subserved by benzodiazepine receptors can modulate immune function, and suggest that these receptors may be involved in the stress-induced modulation of immune function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neuroimmunology
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 1987


  • Benzodiazepine receptor
  • Immunosuppression
  • β-Carboline


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