GABAA receptors activate fish feeding behaviour via two distinct functional pathways

Sergey Snigirov, Sergiy Sylantyev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Benzodiazepines, acting through ionotropic receptor of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABAA receptor, GABAR), were shown to modify feeding behaviour and increase appetite in humans and non-human subjects. However, the cellular and molecular mechanisms which underlie connected short-term behavioural fluctuations are still unclear. In the present study, we used Carassius gibelio (Prussian carp) as a model organism to research the impact of scantily explored benzodiazepine phenazepam (PNZ) on feeding behaviour and the related molecular mechanisms of PNZ action at single-cell and single-receptor levels. We found that the feeding activity of C. gibelio is under control of GABARs via two distinct mechanisms: orthosteric (triggered by GABA binding site) and allosteric (triggered by benzodiazepine binding site). PNZ displayed clear stimulatory effects on both mechanisms in GABA-dependent manner. On top of this, orthosteric and allosteric effects were found to be partially competitive, which leads to complex behavioural repercussions of conjoint effects of GABAR ligands.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Experimental Biology
Early online date30 Nov 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 Nov 2017


  • Journal Article


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