G protein ss gamma subunits mediate presynaptic inhibition of transmitter release from rat superior cervical ganglion neurones in culture
Stephens, G.J. and Mochida, S. (2005) G protein ss gamma subunits mediate presynaptic inhibition of transmitter release from rat superior cervical ganglion neurones in culture. Journal of Physiology, 563 (3). pp. 765-776. ISSN 0022-3751
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1113/jphysiol.2004.080192
The activation of presynaptic G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) is widely reported to inhibit transmitter release; however, the lack of accessibility of many presynaptic terminals has limited direct analysis of signalling mediators. We studied GPCR-mediated inhibition of fast cholinergic transmission between superior cervical ganglion neurones (SCGNs) in culture. The adrenoceptor agonist noradrenaline (NA) caused a dose-related reduction in evoked excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs). NA-induced EPSP decrease was accompanied by effects on the presynaptic action potential (AP), reducing AP duration and amplitude of the after-hyperpolarization (AHP), without affecting the pre- and postsynaptic membrane potential. All effects of NA were blocked by yohimbine and synaptic transmission was reduced by clonidine, consistent with an action at presynaptic alpha 2-adrenoceptors. NA-induced inhibition of transmission was sensitive to pre-incubation of SCGNs with pertussis toxin (PTX), implicating the involvement of G alpha(i)/(o)beta y subunits. Expression of G alpha transducin, an agent which sequesters G protein beta gamma (G beta y) subunits, in the presynaptic neurone caused a time-dependent attenuation of NA-induced inhibition. Injection of purified G beta gamma subunits into the presynaptic neurone inhibited transmission, and also reduced the AHP amplitude. Furthermore, NA-induced inhibition was occluded by pre-injection of G beta gamma subunits. The Ca2+ channel blocker Cd2+ mimicked NA effects on transmitter release. Cd2+, NA and G beta gamma subunits also inhibited somatic Ca2+ current. In contrast to effects on AP-evoked transmitter release, NA had no clear action on AP-independent EPSPs induced by hypertonic solutions. These results demonstrate that G beta gamma subunits functionally mediate inhibition of transmitter release by alpha 2-adrenoceptors and represent important regulators of synaptic transmission at mammalian presynaptic terminals.