Peripheral-type benzodiazepines inhibit proliferation of astrocytes in culture

Jocelyn H. Bruce, Arnold M. Ramirez, Lin Lin, Allan Oracion, Ram P. Agarwal, Michael D. Norenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Peripheral-type benzodiazepine (BZD) receptors have been identified in brain and are predominantly localized to astrocytes. To determine their potential role in controlling astroglial proliferation, DNA synthesis, growth curves and mitotic index were investigated in primary astrocytes. cultures which had been exposed to Ro5-486 (a peripheral-type BZD ligand) and PK11195 (a peripheral-type BZD receptor antagonist). There was a dose-dependent inhibition of mitosis when two-week-old cells in culture were exposed to 50 nM, 500 nM, 1 μM and 10 μM Ro5-4864 for 24 h. Exposure of 5-, 8-, 12- and 15-day-old cultures to Ro5-4864 and PK11195 for 24 h did not affect growth rate and DNA synthesis; however, continuous exposure to 10 μM Ro5-4864 caused a persisten inhibition of cell growth and [3H]thymidine incorporation (P < 0.05) while nanomolar concentrations did not cause any significant change. Concurrent administration of Ro5-4864 with PK11195 resulted in a partial reversal of Ro5-4864-induced inhibition in DNA synthesis and mitosis. These results indicate that peripheral-type BZDs are capable of inhibiting proliferation of astrocytes in culture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)167-170
Number of pages4
JournalBrain research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 8 1991


  • Astrocytes
  • Benzodiazepine
  • Cell growth
  • Deoxy-ribonucleic acid synthesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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