Patch-clamp in cerebellar slices and computer modeling show that ethanol excites Golgi cells by inhibiting the Na+/K+ ATPase. In particular, voltage-clamp recordings of Na+/K+ ATPase currents indicated that ethanol partially inhibits this pump and this effect could be mimicked by low concentrations of the Na+/K+ ATPase blocker ouabain. The partial inhibition of Na+/K+ ATPase in a computer model of the Golgi cell reproduced these experimental findings that established a novel mechanism of action of ethanol on neural excitability.
Botta P, de Souza FM, Sangrey T, De Schutter E, Valenzuela CF (2010) Alcohol excites cerebellar Golgi cells by inhibiting the Na(+)-K(+) ATPase. Neuropsychopharmacology 35:1984-96 [PubMed]