Endogenous substances which inhibited the binding of [3H]flunitrazepam ([3H]FNZ) to bovine synaptosomal membranes have been purified from the hot acetic acid extracts of the bovine brain. Three peaks of inhibitory activity were obtained by Sephadex G-10 gel chromatography. Two of the peaks (Peak 2, and Peak 3) which had lower molecular weights that that of peak 1 were identified as inosine and hypoxanthine by TLC methods. Another peak (Peak 1) was further purified to homogeneity using both cation and anion ion-exchange chromatography and the following two-step reversed-phase HPLC. The purified substance inhibited the [3H]FNZ binding dose-dependently and competitively but did not have an effect on the binding of the peripheral-type BZ ligand [3H]Ro 5-4864. It was also shown that the substance was heat-stable and resistant to proteolytic degradation (trypsin, α-chymotrypsin, pronase). However, a significant loss of inhibitory activity to [3H]FNZ binding was observed after acid hydrolysis. Molecular weight estimates based on gel filtration methods were less than 500 dalton, and the maximal ultraviolet absorption peak was at 314 nm. These results suggest that this substance is a new endogenous ligand for the central BZ receptor and may play an important role in regulating the GABAergic tone in the central nervous system.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes