Brain benzodiazepine receptor-mediated effects on plasma catecholamine and corticosterone concentrations in rats

S F De Boer, J Van der Gugten, J L Slangen, Sietse de Boer

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The effects of the benzodiazepine (BDZ) receptor agonist chlordiazepoxide (CDP) and antagonist flumazenil (Ro 15-1788), given alone and in combination, on basal and novel environment stress (NES)-elevated plasma noradrenaline (NA), adrenaline (A) and corticosterone (CS) contents were investigated. When administered on their own, a medium dose of CDP (2.5 mg/kg) and a moderate dose of flumazenil (5 mg/kg) did not affect basal hormone levels. However, flumazenil potentiated the NES-induced CS elevation and suppressed the NA rise in response to NES. The 2.5 mg/kg dose of CDP attenuated the NES-elicited rise of CS and A, without changing the NES-enhanced NA concentrations. High doses of CDP (10 and 12.5 mg/kg), which elevated basal CS levels, prevented a further CS increase by NES and completely abolished the NA and A response to NES. The CDP effects on CS and NA were antagonized by pretreatment with flumazenil, in contrast to the CDP effect on A which was not blocked. The data indicate that brain (central-type) BDZ receptor systems are involved in regulating the neurosympathetic and adrenocortical, but not adrenomedullary, responses to mild stress.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)843-847
Number of pages5
JournalBrain Research Bulletin
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun-1990


  • Animals
  • Catecholamines
  • Chlordiazepoxide
  • Corticosterone
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Interactions
  • Flumazenil
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Receptors, GABA-A
  • Stress, Physiological

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