Faculty Research 1980 - 1989

Different genes specify hyporesponsiveness to seizures induced by caffeine and the benzodiazepine inverse agonist, DMCM.

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Caffeine, Carbolines, Crosses-Genetic, Disease-Susceptibility, Genes, Genetics-Behavioral, Male, Mice, Mice-Inbred-CBA, Mice-Inbred-Strains, Mutation, Receptors-GABA-Benzodiazepine: de, ge, Seizures: fg, ci, SUPPORT-NON-U-S-GOVT, SUPPORT-U-S-GOVT-P-H-S

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Pharmacol-Biochem-Behav. 1987 Jul; 27(3):451-6.




Two strains of inbred mice differed significantly in their susceptibility to tonic seizures induced by caffeine and the benzodiazepine inverse agonist, methyl 6,7-dimethoxy-4-ethyl-beta-carboline-3-carboxylate (DMCM). The hyporesponsive strain, SWR, was not less susceptible to the convulsant action of other chemical convulsants, an observation which indicated that the response differences between the strains were pharmacologically specific. These observations and drug interaction studies suggested that caffeine-induced seizures might be mediated through an "inverse: agonist-like action of caffeine on benzodiazepine receptors associated with GABA receptor-benzodiazepine receptor-chloride ionophore complex. To determine whether the coincident alteration in susceptibility to DMCM and caffeine resulted from a single mutational change or was the result of two different genetic changes occurring coincidentally between these two strains of mice, progeny from conventional Mendelian crosses (F1, F2 and reciprocal backcrosses) were analyzed for the co-segregation of susceptibility to DMCM and caffeine. The inheritance of DMCM sensitivity was consistent with a single autosomal gene determinant in which the allele specifying increased responsiveness was dominant to the allele determining hyporesponsiveness. The frequent occurrence of recombinant phenotypes (e.g., caffeine hyporesponsive but DMCM sensitive mice) among F2 and backcross progeny established that different genetic determinants encode DMCM susceptibility and caffeine susceptibility in these two strains of mice. Thus, while these data establish a simply inherited difference in benzodiazepine responsiveness between the two mouse strains, they also indicate that this pair of strains is inappropriate for a genetic analysis aimed at probing the relationship between caffeine-induced seizures and the benzodiazepine receptor.

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