Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

GABAAreceptor subtype selectivity of the proconvulsant rodenticide TETS

  • Author(s): Pressly, B
  • Nguyen, HM
  • Wulff, H
  • et al.

© 2017, The Author(s). The rodenticide tetramethylenedisulfotetramine (TETS) is a potent convulsant (lethal dose in humans 7–10 mg) that is listed as a possible threat agent by the United States Department of Homeland Security. TETS has previously been studied in vivo for toxicity and in vitro in binding assays, with the latter demonstrating it to be a non-competitive antagonist on GABAAreceptors. To determine whether TETS exhibits subtype selectivity for a particular GABAAreceptor combination, we used whole-cell patch-clamp to determine the potency of TETS on the major synaptic and extrasynaptic GABAAreceptors associated with convulsant activity. The active component of picrotoxin, picrotoxinin, was used as a control. While picrotoxinin did not differentiate well between 13 GABAAreceptors, TETS exhibited the highest activity on α2β3γ2 (IC50480 nM, 95% CI 320–640 nM) and α6β3γ2 (IC50400 nM, 95% CI 290–510 nM). Introducing β1 or β2 subunits into these receptor combinations reduced or abolished TETS sensitivity, suggesting that TETS preferentially affects receptors with α2/β3 or α6/β3 composition. Since α2β3γ2 receptors make up 15–20% of the GABAAreceptors in the mammalian CNS, we suggest that α2β3γ2 is probably the most important GABAAreceptor for the seizure-inducing activity of TETS.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC Academic Senate's Open Access Policy. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
Current View