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picrotoxin Line breaks: picro|toxin
Pronunciation: /ˌpɪkrə(ʊ)ˈtɒksɪn/

Definition of picrotoxin in English:


[mass noun] Medicine
A bitter compound used to stimulate the respiratory and nervous system, especially in treating barbiturate poisoning.
  • This toxin is obtained from the seeds of the shrub Anamirta cocculus (family Menispermaceae)
Example sentences
  • When the synapses of these inhibitory neurons are blocked by drugs (such as of picrotoxin or penicillin), the excitatory network can sustain a chain reaction leading to an epileptiform discharge.
  • The only synaptic feedback to the pyloric pacemaker group through the EP to PD inhibitory synapse was removed by applying 10-5 M picrotoxin in the bath.
  • Picrotoxin eliminates frequency selectivity of an auditory interneuron in a bushcricket.


Mid 19th century: from Greek pikros 'bitter' + toxin.

Definition of picrotoxin in:
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