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Evidence that GABA rho subunits contribute to functional ionotropic GABA receptors in mouse cerebellar Purkinje cells

Harvey, V.L., Duguid, I.C., Krasel, C. and Stephens, G.J. ORCID: (2006) Evidence that GABA rho subunits contribute to functional ionotropic GABA receptors in mouse cerebellar Purkinje cells. Journal of Physiology-London, 577 (1). pp. 127-139. ISSN 0022-3751

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1113/jphysiol.2006.112482


Ionotropic gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA) receptors composed of heterogeneous molecular subunits are major mediators of inhibitory responses in the adult CNS. Here, we describe a novel ionotropic GABA receptor in mouse cerebellar Purkinje cells (PCs) using agents reported to have increased affinity for rho subunit-containing GABA(C) over other GABA receptors. Exogenous application of the GABA(C)-preferring agonist cis-4-aminocrotonic acid (CACA) evoked whole-cell currents in PCs, whilst equimolar concentrations of GABA evoked larger currents. CACA-evoked currents had a greater sensitivity to the selective GABA(C) antagonist (1,2,5,6-tetrahydropyridin-4-yl)methylphosphinic acid (TPMPA) than GABA-evoked currents. Focal application of agonists produced a differential response profile; CACA-evoked currents displayed a much more pronounced attenuation with increasing distance from the PC soma, displayed a slower time-to-peak and exhibited less desensitization than GABA-evoked currents. However, CACA-evoked currents were also completely blocked by bicuculline, a selective agent for GABA(A) receptors. Thus, we describe a population of ionotropic GABA receptors with a mixed GABA(A)/GABA(C) pharmacology. TPMPA reduced inhibitory synaptic transmission at interneurone-Purkinje cell (IN-PC) synapses, causing clear reductions in miniature inhibitory postsynaptic current (mIPSC) amplitude and frequency. Combined application of NO-711 (a selective GABA transporter subtype 1 (GAT-1) antagonist) and SNAP-5114 (a GAT-(2)/3/4 antagonist) induced a tonic GABA conductance in PCs; however, TPMPA had no effect on this current. Immunohistochemical studies suggest that rho subunits are expressed predominantly in PC soma and proximal dendritic compartments with a lower level of expression in more distal dendrites; this selective immunoreactivity contrasted with a more uniform distribution of GABA(A) alpha 1 subunits in PCs. Finally, co-immunoprecipitation studies suggest that rho subunits can form complexes with GABA(A) receptor alpha 1 subunits in the cerebellar cortex. Overall, these data suggest that rho subunits contribute to functional ionotropic receptors that mediate a component of phasic inhibitory GABAergic transmission at IN-PC synapses in the cerebellum.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy > School of Pharmacy
ID Code:13734

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