Category Archives: Pharmacology animations

Benzodiazepines mechanism of action

Benzodiazepines and GABA receptors: an animation on their mechanism of action

Gamma amino butyric acid (GABA) is an inhibiting neurotransmitter that is present on human brains. As shown in the animation, gamma amino butyric acid promotes opening of a postsynaptic receptor, the GABA-A receptor.

This opening leads to a increased conductance to cloride ions, which produces membrane hiperpolarization, this induces a neuronal inhibition.

The binding of benzodiazepines to the GABA-A receptor increases the affinity of gamma amino butyric acid (GABA) and its receptor, thereby increasing the opening frecuency of GABA-A receptor.As a consequence of this, benzodiazepines potentiate GABAergic neurotransmission.

Drug list:

Some of the drugs included under the benzodiazepine class are:

  • Alprazolam
  • Diazepam
  • Flurazepam
  • Lorazepam
  • Midazolam
  • Oxazepam
  • Prazepam
  • Temazepam
  • Triazolam


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  • Modern Pharmacology with Clinical Applications, Sixth Edition by Charles Craig
  • Principles of Pharmacology: The Pathophysiologic Basis of Drug Therapy, Second Edition
    by David E Golan

Animation showing the Jak-Stat signalling pathway mechanism

The Jak-Stat pathway has recently attracted researchers’ attention. This has been motivated by the fact that this pathway is a potential target of future agents for the treatment of myeloproliferative disorders such as: polycythemia vera, essential thrombocythemia, and myeloid metaplasia with myelofibrosis. The animation below depicts the Jak-Stat signalling pathway mechanism: As mentioned above, there…

Animation: NRTIs mechanism of action

Animation: NRTIs mechanism of action

Nucleoside analog reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) are nucleoside analogues that act as competitive inhibitors of HIV-1 reverse transcriptase. As shown in the animation, these drugs compete with nucleoside triphosphates for access to reverse transcriptase. All NRTIs lack a 3-hydroxyl group; thus, their incorporation into a growing DNA chain results in its termination. They require intracytoplasmic…

Vancomycin mechanism of action: an animation

Vancomycin is a tricyclic glycopeptide that has gained clinical importance thanks to its effectiveness against organisms such as MRSA and enterococci. It has activity against Gram-positive rods and cocci, Gram-negative rods are resistant to its bactericidal action. Some clinical uses of IV vancomycin include treatment of infective endocarditis and sepsis caused by MRSA. Since vancomycin…

USMLE-like questions on antihypertensives

These questions from the UMKC School of Medicine have a different degree of difficulty, but are useful to review pharmacology of hypertension. Antihypertensives Item Number: 11201   correct answer: 4  category: Antihypertensives 1.   Gynecomastia, hyperkalemia, and menstrual abnormalities are potential adverse effects associated with: A.  amiloride B.  captopril C.  triamterene D.  spironolactone 1. A,B,C 2. A,C…Continue Reading

Animation on the mechanism of action of GnRH agonists and antagonists in the treatment of prostate cancer

The video animations below depict the mechanism of action of GnRH agonists and antagonists in the treatment of prostate cancer. The three movies will start playing at the same time, you can right-click on each of them and deselect “play” in case you want to stop any of them. This excerpt from the Wikipedia article…

Animation on histamine release and antihistamines mechanism of action

In this 3-D animation, oriented to the general public, we can see the process of histamine release by mast cell starting from the exposure to the allergen: This image shows the same process: H1 blockers are a class of widely prescribed drugs, here an excerpt of its pharmacodynamics (Source: Katzung’s Basic and Clinical Pharmacology) A.…

P-glycoprotein: animation showing its role in chemotherapy resistance

Some introductory information about MDR1, the protein that mediates resistance to chemotherapeutic agents, from Wikipedia: P-glycoprotein (plasma gycoprotein, abbreviated as P-gp or Pgp) is a well-characterized ABC-transporter of the MDR/TAP subfamily. P-gp is also called ABCB1, ATP-binding cassette sub-family B member 1, MDR1, and PGY1. P-glycoprotein has also recently been designated CD243 (cluster of differentiation 243).…

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