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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Investigations into the origin of the high pressure neurological syndrome: the interaction between pressure, strychnine and 1,2-propandiols in the mouse.

1. The effects of a variety of structural isomers of the centrally acting muscle relaxant mephenesin on the high pressure neurological syndrome have been investigated. Threshold pressures for the onset of the behavioural signs, tremors and convulsions, were established. The effects of these compounds on the response to pressure were also compared with their ability to antagonize the convulsive action of strychnine. 2. The dose-response relationships for strychnine and picrotoxin were investigated at fixed pressures. Additionally, the dose-response relationship of strychnine, in the presence of mephenesin, at pressure was investigated. 3. All the isomers of mephenesin protected against the effects of both pressure and strychnine. The relative potency was found to be identical with respect to both. Mephenesin was clearly the most effective; it raised the threshold pressure for tremors by 2.5 times, that for convulsions elicited by pressure by 1.5 and the ED50 for strychnine convulsions by 1.6 times. Strychnine was found to be strictly additive with pressure whereas picrotoxin exhibited gross deviations from additivity. Mephenesin ameliorated the combined effects of pressure and strychnine equally. 4. The marked dependence on structure of the anticonvulsant activity of the mephenesin isomers can be interpreted as evidence that pressure acts not by some general perturbation of the membranes of excitable cells but rather via some specific interaction. The finding that strychnine and pressure are strictly additive supports the idea of specificity and also indicates that they may share a common mechanism in the production of convulsions.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)[1]


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