The heterogeneity of central benzodiazepine receptor subtypes in the human hippocampal formation, frontal cortex and cerebellum using [3H]flumazenil and zolpidem

Mark McLeod, Daniele Pralong, David Copolov, Brian Dean

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8 Citations (Scopus)


The ability of clonazepam and zolpidem to displace [3H]flumazenil binding was measured in the human hippocampal formation, frontal cortex (BA9) and the cerebellum using in situ radioligand binding and autoradiography. The use of high resolution phosphorimaging in all regions indicated the displacement of [3H]flumazenil by clonazepam was monophasic with K(i) values ranging from 2.73±0.17 to 6.49±0.21 nM. [3H]flumazenil binding that was not displaced by clonazepam ranged from 3.39±0.86 to 7.15±1.11%. The ability of zolpidem to displace [3H]flumazenil was also monophasic in the frontal cortex and cerebellum with K(i) values of 37.53±1.79 and 31.80±1.68 nM, respectively. In contrast, within all hippocampal regions, zolpidem displacement of [3H]flumazenil was biphasic, with K(i) values for the high affinity site ranging from 0.13±0.04 to 0.54±0.03 nM, whereas the low affinity site was between 84.98±1.58 and 98.84±1.89 nM. In addition, zolpidem insensitive [3H]flumazenil binding was observed to vary markedly between brain regions, ranging between 37.85±1.60 and 6.13±0.83%. In conclusion, the present results indicate that in situ radioligand binding and high-resolution phosphorimaging techniques can be utilized to measure the differential displacement of [3H]flumazenil by zolpidem and clonazepam. Moreover, our data suggests that the differential distribution of the zolpidem insensitive component of [3H]flumazenil binding is an indicator of GABA/BZ receptors assembled by different subunits within the human brain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-209
Number of pages7
JournalMolecular Brain Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2002
Externally publishedYes

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