Cecilia Borghese

Research Interests

My interest centers on the modulation by alcohols and anesthetics of different receptors and channels, particularly the γ-aminobutyric acid type A receptors (GABAARs). These receptors are ligand-gated ion channels that are crucial for fast inhibitory synaptic transmission in the central nervous system. The GABAARs are formed by different subunits, and the composition of the receptor by specific subunits determines the characteristics of the receptor function and its responses to modulators. After expressing these receptors in Xenopus oocytes, their response to alcohol and volatile anesthetics can be studied through electrophysiology (two-electrode voltage clamp). Point mutagenesis of the cDNA encoding the GABAARs allows changing specific amino acids for a more focal analysis of their role in the receptor function and its modulation by alcohol and volatile anesthetics.

Recent Publications

Borghese CM, Stórustovu S, Ebert B, Herd MB, Belelli D, Lambert JJ, Marshall G, Wafford KA, Harris RA. The delta subunit of gamma-aminobutyric acid type A receptors does not confer sensitivity to low concentrations of ethanol. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 2006;316(3):1360-8.

Borghese CM, Werner DF, Topf N, Baron NV, Henderson LA, Boehm SL 2nd, Blednov YA, Saad A, Dai S, Pearce RA, Harris RA, Homanics GE, Harrison NL. An isoflurane- and alcohol-insensitive mutant GABA(A) receptor alpha(1) subunit with near-normal apparent affinity for GABA: characterization in heterologous systems and production of knockin mice. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 2006;319(1):208-18.

Werner DF, Blednov YA, Ariwodola OJ, Silberman Y, Logan E, Berry RB, Borghese CM, Matthews DB, Weiner JL, Harrison NL, Harris RA, Homanics GE. Knockin mice with ethanol-insensitive alpha1-containing gamma-aminobutyric acid type A receptors display selective alterations in behavioral responses to ethanol. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 2006;319(1):219-27.

Borghese CM, Harris RA. Studies of ethanol actions on recombinant delta-containing gamma-aminobutyric acid type A receptors yield contradictory results. Alcohol 2007;41(3):155-62.

Cecilia Borghese

  • Research Associate
  • Section of Neurobiology


  • Ph.D., 1997
  • Universidad Nacional de C√≥rdoba, Argentina

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