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ISSN : 1226-7155(Print)
ISSN : 2287-6618(Online)
International Journal of Oral Biology Vol.33 No.4 pp.217-221

Bicuculline Methiodide (BMI) Induces Membrane Depolarization of The Trigeminal Subnucleus Caudalis Substantia Gelatinosa Neuron in Mice Via Non- Receptor-Mediated Action

Seong-Kyu Han, Yin Hua, Park Seon-Ah, Choi Soon-Jeong, Bhattarai Janardhan P. Park Soo-Joung, Suh Bong-Jik
Department of Oral Physiology, Chonbuk National University
Department of Oral Medicine, School of Dentistry & Institute of Oral Bioscience, Chonbuk National University


Bicuculline is one of the most commonly used GABAд eceptor antagonists in electrophysiological research. Because of its poor water solubility, bicuculline quaternary ammonium salts such as bicuculline methiodide (BMI) and bicuculline methbromide are preferred. However, a number of studies have shown that BMI has non-GABAд eceptor-mediated effects. The substantia gelatinosa (SG) of the trigeminal subnucleus caudalis (Vc) is implicated in the processing of nociceptive signaling. In this study, we investigated whether BMI has non-GABA receptor-mediated activity in Vc SG neurons using a whole cell patch clamp technique. SG neurons were depolarized by application of BMI (20M) using a high Cℓ⁻ipette solution. GABA ( 30-100μM) also induced membrane depolarization of SG neuron. Although BMI is known to be a GABAд receptor antagonist, GABA-induced membrane depolarization was enhanced by co-application with BMI. However, free base bicuculline (fBIC) and picrotoxin (PTX), a GABAд and GABAс receptor antagonist, blocked the GABA-induced response. Furthermore, BMI-induced membrane depolarization persisted in the presence of PTX or an antagonist cocktail consisting of tetrodotoxin (Nα+ nnel blocker),AP-5 (NMDA receptor antagonist), CNQX (non-NMDA receptor antagonist), and strychnine (glycine receptor antagonist). Thus BMI induces membrane depolarization by directly acting on postsynaptic Vc SG neurons in a manner which is independent of GABAд receptors. These results suggest that other unknown mechanisms may be involved in BMI-induced membrane depolarization.