Reversal of benzodiazepine inverse agonist FG 7142-induced anxiety syndrome by neurosteroids in mice. Academic Article uri icon


  • We have previously shown that neurosteroids produce GABA-A receptor mediated antistress, anxiolytic and other behavioral effects in rodents. In the present study, the effects of neuroactive steroids on benzodiazepine receptor inverse agonist FG 7142-induced anxiogenesis were investigated using mirrored chamber and elevated plus-maze paradigms in mice. FG 7142 (5-20 mg/kg) not only produced a dose-dependent reduction in the duration of open arm exploration and the total number of open arm entries, but also increased the latency to enter the mirrored chamber, decreased the number of entries and total time spent in the chamber, indicative of anxiogenic-like effects. Neurosteroids allopregnanolone (0.5 and 1.5 mg/kg) and pregnenolone sulfate (2 mg/kg) significantly reversed the FG 7142 (10 mg/kg)-induced anxiogenic response in both the paradigms, without producing any neurotoxicity. While dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (1 and 2 mg/kg) failed to influence the anxiogenic effects of FG 7142. The neuroactive steroid progesterone (1-10 mg/kg), and the mitochondrial diazepam binding inhibitor (DBI) receptor agonist 4'-chlordiazepam (0.5 and 1 mg/kg) dose-dependently blocked the FG 7142-induced anxiogenesis in a flumazenil (2 mg/kg)-insensitive manner. The 4'-chlordiazepam-induced reversal response was, however, prevented by pretreatment with PK11195 (2 mg/kg), a selective mitochondrial DBI receptor antagonist. Further, at the anxiolytic doses, these neurosteroids did not produce locomotor inhibition and ataxia. These data suggest that neurosteroids allopregnanolone, pregnenolone sulfate, progesterone and the mitochondrial DBI receptor agonist 4'-chlordiazepam reverses the anxiogenic-like effects of benzodiazepine receptor inverse agonist FG 7142 in the mouse models of anxiety.

published proceedings

  • Methods Find Exp Clin Pharmacol

author list (cited authors)

  • Reddy, D. S., & Kulkarni, S. K.

citation count

  • 21

complete list of authors

  • Reddy, DS||Kulkarni, SK

publication date

  • December 1997