1993 Volume 61 Issue 4 Pages 277-281
Effects of aniracetam on whole-cell calcium currents were studied in acutely isolated neuronal cells from postnatal rat ventromedial hypothalamus. There were three types of inward calcium currents, one low-threshold transient current and two high-threshold sustained currents. The nicardipine sensitive L-type current was activated at 20 mV or more depolarized potentials, and the ω-conotoxin sensitive N-type current was recorded at more positive potentials than the L-type. Aniracetam inhibited the N-type current in a dose-dependent manner without affecting the other two types of calcium currents. The effect appeared soon after the addition and lasted for several minutes during washing. Since the N-type current is thought to regulate the release of transmitters, the inhibitory effect may contribute to the nootropic property of aniracetam by modifying the neurotransmission.