The effects of the nonselective benzodiazepine lorazepam and the α2 /α3 subunit-selective GABAA receptor modulators AZD7325 and AZD6280 on plasma prolactin levels.

Te Beek ET, Chen X, Jacobs GE, Nahon KJ, de Kam ML, Lappalainen J, Cross AJ, van Gerven JM, Hay JL

Compounds with selectivity for GABAA receptor subtypes may differ significantly from nonselective benzodiazepines in their dopaminergic effects in vivo. To explore the exact role of the GABAA receptor subtypes in the regulation of prolactin secretion and the differential effects of selective and nonselective GABA receptor modulators, the effects of the nonselective benzodiazepine lorazepam, as well as two novel α2 /α3 subunit-selective GABAA receptor modulators AZD7325 and AZD6280, on prolactin levels were measured in healthy male volunteers. Following administration of lorazepam at 2 mg doses and AZD6280 at 10 mg and 40 mg doses, prolactin levels increased significantly compared with placebo (difference 42.0%, 19.8%, and 32.8%, respectively), suggesting that the α2 and/or α3 receptor subtypes are involved in GABAergic modulation of prolactin secretion, although possible roles of the α1 and α5 receptor subtypes are not excluded. The increases in prolactin levels after administration of AZD7325 at 2 mg and 10 mg doses (difference 7.6% and 10.5%, respectively) did not reach statistical significance, suggesting that doses of AZD7325 or intrinsic efficacy at the α2 and α3 receptor subtypes may have been too low.