Elevated intracellular chloride level in albino visual cortex neurons is mediated by Na-K-Cl co-transporter.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: During development the switch from a depolarizing to a hyperpolarizing action of GABA is a consequence of a decrease of the Na+-K+-2Cl- co-transporter (NKCC1, Cl--uptake) and increase of the K+-Cl- co-transporter (KCC2, Cl--extrusion) expression. However albino visual cortex neurons don't show a corresponding decrease in intracellular chloride concentration during development of the visual system as compared to pigmented animals. RESULTS: Our study revealed that more cells express NKCC1 in albinos compared to pigmented rat visual cortex neurons whereas KCC2 is expressed in all cells in both strains. We determined a positive relationship between the presence of NKCC1 and an inhibitory deficit in single neurons of the albino visual cortex. After pharmacological blockade of NKCC1 function with its specific inhibitor, bumetanide, the reversal potential of electrically evoked GABAA receptor-mediated postsynaptic currents and, as a consequence, [Cl-]i in albino visual cortex neurons shifted to the pigmented rat brain value. In conclusion, our pharmacological experiments and subsequent single cell real time PCR analysis of the co-transporter mRNA demonstrated that the inhibitory deficit present in the albino visual cortical network is almost exclusively mediated by NKCC1. CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest that blocking of NKCC1 in albino visual cortex neurons could improve processing in visual cortex and therefore might be beneficial for vision in albinos.
Project description:The thalamus is important for sensory integration with the ventrobasal thalamus (VB) as relay controlled by GABAergic projections from the nucleus reticularis thalami (NRT). Depending on the [Cl-]i primarily set by cation-chloride-cotransporters, GABA is inhibitory or excitatory. There is evidence that VB and NRT differ in terms of GABA action, with classical hyperpolarization in VB due to the expression of the Cl- extruder KCC2 and depolarizing/excitatory GABA action in the NRT, where KCC2 expression is low and Cl- accumulation by the Cl- inward transporter NKCC1 has been postulated. However, data on NKCC1 expression and functional analysis of both transporters are missing. We show that KCC2-mediated Cl- extrusion set the [Cl-]i in VB, while NKCC1 did not contribute substantially to Cl- accumulation and depolarizing GABA action in the NRT. The finding that NKCC1 did not play a major role in NRT neurons is of high relevance for ongoing studies on the therapeutic use of NKCC1 inhibitors trying to compensate for a disease-induced up-regulation of NKCC1 that has been described for various brain regions and disease states like epilepsy and chronic pain. These data suggest that NKCC1 inhibitors might have no major effect on healthy NRT neurons due to limited NKCC1 function.
Project description:Electroclinical uncoupling of neonatal seizures refers to electrographic seizure activity that is not clinically manifest. Uncoupling increases after treatment with Phenobarbital, which enhances the GABA(A) receptor (GABA(A)R) conductance. The effects of GABA(A)R activation depend on the intracellular Cl(-) concentration ([Cl(-)](i)) that is determined by the inward Cl(-) transporter NKCC1 and the outward Cl(-) transporter KCC2. Differential maturation of Cl(-) transport observed in cortical versus subcortical regions should alter the efficacy of GABA-mediated inhibition. In perinatal rat pups, most thalamic neurons maintained low [Cl(-)](i) and were inhibited by GABA. Phenobarbital suppressed thalamic seizure activity. Most neocortical neurons maintained higher [Cl(-)](i), and were excited by GABA(A)R activation. Phenobarbital had insignificant anticonvulsant responses in the neocortex until NKCC1 was blocked. Regional differences in the ontogeny of Cl(-) transport may thus explain why seizure activity in the cortex is not suppressed by anticonvulsants that block the transmission of seizure activity through subcortical networks.
Project description:K(+)-Cl(-) co-transporter (KCC2) and Na(+)-K(+)-2Cl(-) co-transporter (NKCC1) are the main regulators of neuronal intracellular chloride concentration; altered expression patterns of KCC2 and NKCC1 have been reported in several neurodegenerative diseases. In this paper, we show the effect of repeated stress on KCC2, NKCC1, and serine 940 phosphorylated KCC2 (pKCC2(ser940)) immunoreactivity. The data were obtained from the hippocampus of female mice using single-plane confocal microscopy images. The mean fluorescence intensity of the perisomatic area of neurons, defined as raw fluorescence intensity (RFI) was calculated. Repeated stress (RS) resulted in a decrease in perisomatic area of immunoreactive (IR)-KCC2 and an increase of the IR-NKCC1. In addition, RS decreased perisomatic IR-pKCC2(ser940), corresponding to that of KCC2. The data in this article support the results of a previous study  and provide the details of immunohistological methods. Interpretation of the data in this article can be found in "Repeated stress-induced expression pattern alterations of the hippocampal chloride transporters KCC2 and NKCC1 associated with behavioral abnormalities in female mice" by Tsukahara et al. .
Project description:The intracellular concentration of chloride ([Cl(-)]i) determines the strength and polarity of GABA neurotransmission. STE20/SPS1-related proline/alanine-rich kinase (SPAK) is known as an indirect regulator of [Cl(-)]i for its activation of Na-K-2 Cl(-)co-transporters (NKCC) and inhibition of K-Cl(-)co-transporters (KCC) in many organs. NKCC1 or KCC2 expression changes have been demonstrated previously in the hippocampal neurons of mice with pilocarpine-induced status epilepticus (PISE). However, it remains unclear whether SPAK modulates [Cl(-)]i via NKCC1 or KCC2 in the brain. Also, there are no data clearly characterizing SPAK expression in cortical or hippocampal neurons or confirming an association between SPAK and epilepsy. In the present study, we examined SPAK expression and co-expression with NKCC1 and KCC2 in the hippocampal neurons of mice with PISE, and we investigated alterations in SPAK expression in the hippocampus of such mice. Significant increases in SPAK mRNA and protein levels were detected during various stages of PISE in the PISE mice in comparison to levels in age-matched sham (control) and blank treatment (control) mice. SPAK and NKCC1 expression increased in vitro, while KCC2 was down-regulated in hippocampal neurons following hypoxic conditioning. However, SPAK overexpression did not influence the expression levels of NKCC1 or KCC2. Using co-immunoprecipitation, we determined that the intensity of interaction between SPAK and NKCC1 and between SPAK and KCC2 increased markedly after oxygen-deprivation, whereas SPAK overexpression strengthened the relationships. The [Cl(-)]i of hippocampal neurons changed in a corresponding manner under the different conditions. Our data suggests that SPAK is involved in the plasticity of GABA signaling function in acquired epilepsy via adjustment of [Cl(-)]i in hippocampal neurons.
Project description:Glycine and GABA, the dominant inhibitory neurotransmitters in the CNS, assume a depolarizing role in early development, leading to increased cytoplasmic Ca2+ levels and action potentials. The effect is thought to be of some significance for maturation. The depolarization is caused by Cl- efflux, and chloride transporters contribute to the phenomenon by raising the intracellular Cl- concentration ([Cl-]i) above equilibrium, thereby generating an outward-directed electrochemical gradient for Cl-. In mature neurons, the [Cl-]i is reduced below equilibrium, thus rendering glycine activity hyperpolarizing. Here, we investigated the temporal expression of the K-Cl cotransporter KCC2 and the Na-K-Cl cotransporter NKCC1 in the lateral superior olive (LSO) of rats and mice. The two cation cotransporters normally extrude and accumulate Cl-, respectively. As evidenced by several methods, KCC2 mRNA was present in LSO neurons during both the depolarizing and hyperpolarizing periods. Western blots confirmed a constant level of KCC2 in the brainstem, and immunohistochemistry showed that the protein is diffusely distributed within neonatal LSO neurons, becoming integrated into the plasma membrane only with increasing age. The glycine reversal potential in KCC2 knock-out mice differed significantly from that determined in wild-type controls at postnatal day 12 (P12) but not at P3, demonstrating that KCC2 is not active in neonates, despite its early presence. NKCC1 mRNA was not detected during the depolarizing phase in the LSO, implying that this transporter does not contribute to the high [Cl-]i. Our results reveal major differences in the development of [Cl-]i regulation mechanisms seen in brainstem versus forebrain regions.
Project description:Epileptiform neuronal activity during seizures is observed in many brain areas, but its origins following status epilepticus (SE) are unclear. We have used the Li low-dose pilocarpine rat model of temporal lobe epilepsy to examine early development of epileptiform activity in the deep entorhinal cortex (EC). We show that during the 3-week latent period that follows SE, an increasing percentage of neurons in EC layer 5 respond to a single synaptic stimulus with polysynaptic burst depolarizations. This change is paralleled by a progressive depolarizing shift of the inhibitory postsynaptic potential reversal potential in layer 5 neurons, apparently caused by upregulation of the Cl(-) inward transporter NKCC1 and concurrent downregulation of the Cl(-) outward transporter KCC2, both changes favoring intracellular Cl(-) accumulation. Inhibiting Cl(-) uptake in the latent period restored more negative GABAergic reversal potentials and eliminated polysynaptic bursts. The changes in the Cl(-) transporters were highly specific to the deep EC. They did not occur in layers 1-3, perirhinal cortex, subiculum or dentate gyrus during this period. We propose that the changes in Cl(-) homeostasis facilitate hyperexcitability in the deep entorhinal cortex leading to epileptiform discharge there, which subsequently affects downstream cortical regions.
Project description:In addition to hypopigmentation of the skin and red iris colouration, albino animals also display distinct physiological and behavioural alterations. However, information on the social interactions of albino animals is rare and has mostly been limited to specially bred strains of albino rodents and animals from unique environments in caves. Differentiating between the effects of albinism and domestication on behaviour in rodents can be difficult, and social behaviour in cave fish changes according to species-specific adaptations to conditions of permanent darkness. The agonistic behaviours of albino offspring of pigmented parents have yet to be described. In this study, we observed agonistic behaviour in albino and pigmented juvenile Silurus glanis catfish. We found that the total number of aggressive interactions was lower in albinos than in pigmented catfish. The distance between conspecifics was also analysed, and albinos showed a tendency towards greater separation from their same-coloured conspecifics compared with pigmented catfish. These results demonstrate that albinism can be associated with lower aggressiveness and with reduced shoaling behaviour preference, as demonstrated by a tendency towards greater separation of albinos from conspecifics.
Project description:Na-K-Cl cotransporter 1 (NKCC1) and K-Cl cotransporter 2 (KCC2) have fundamental roles in neuron differentiation that are integrated with gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and glutamate receptors, GABA synthesized by GAD25/65/67 encoded by GAD1/GAD2 genes, and GABA transporters (GATs). Cells in the eye lens express at least 13 GABA receptor subunits, ?-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) and N-methyl D-aspartate (NMDA) glutamate receptors, GAD1/GAD2, GAT1-4 and vGAT, and NKCC1. NKCC1:KCC2 ratios determine the switch in GABA actions from trophic/growth promoting early in development to their classic inhibitory roles in adult neurons. Lens epithelial cells cover the anterior surface and differentiate to elongated fiber cells in the lens interior with comparable morphology and sub-cellular structures as neurons. NKCC1 is expressed before KCC2 in neuron development and increases cell chloride, which stimulates differentiation and process formation. Subsequently, KCC2 increases and extrudes cell chloride linked with maturation. KCC2 has an additional structural moonlighting role interacting with F-actin scaffolding in dendritic spine morphogenesis. We examined KCC2 versus NKCC1 spatial expression in relation to fiber cell developmental status within the lens.Immunofluorescence and immunoblots were used to detect expression in mouse and rabbit lenses.NKCC1 was restricted to peripheral elongating lens fiber cells in young adult mouse and rabbit lenses. Lens KCC2 expression included the major KCC2b neuronal isoform and was detected in interior fiber cells with decreased NKCC1 expression and localized at the membranes. Lens expression of RE-1 silencing transcription factor (REST) regulated KCC2 is consistent with GAD1 and GAD2, several GABA and glutamate receptor subunits, miR-124, and other REST-regulated genes expressed in lenses.NKCC1 in peripheral elongating fiber cells is superseded by KCC2 expression in interior mature fiber cells that also express >20 additional integral GABA biology genes, AMPA/NMDA glutamate receptors, and an array of accessory proteins that together underlie morphogenesis in neurons. The present findings provide further evidence that this fundamental neuronal regulation is extensively conserved in lens and identify additional parallels in the morphogenetic programs that underlie lens fiber cell and neuronal differentiation and contribute to the development of visual acuity.
Project description:The regulation of Cl(-) transport into and out of cells plays a critical role in the maintenance of intracellular volume and the excitability of GABA responsive neurons. The molecular determinants of these seemingly diverse processes are related ion cotransporters: Cl(-) influx is mediated by the Na-K-2Cl cotransporter NKCC1 and Cl(-) efflux via K-Cl cotransporters, KCC1 or KCC2. A Cl(-)/volume-sensitive kinase has been proposed to coordinately regulate these activities via altered phosphorylation of the transporters; phosphorylation activates NKCC1 while inhibiting KCCs, and dephosphorylation has the opposite effects. We show that WNK3, a member of the WNK family of serine-threonine kinases, colocalizes with NKCC1 and KCC1/2 in diverse Cl(-)-transporting epithelia and in neurons expressing ionotropic GABA(A) receptors in the hippocampus, cerebellum, cerebral cortex, and reticular activating system. By expression studies in Xenopus oocytes, we show that kinase-active WNK3 increases Cl(-) influx via NKCC1, and that it inhibits Cl(-) exit through KCC1 and KCC2; kinase-inactive WNK3 has the opposite effects. WNK3's effects are imparted via altered phosphorylation and surface expression of its downstream targets and bypass the normal requirement of altered tonicity for activation of these transporters. Together, these data indicate that WNK3 can modulate the level of intracellular Cl(-) via opposing actions on entry and exit pathways. They suggest that WNK3 is part of the Cl(-)/volume-sensing mechanism necessary for the maintenance of cell volume during osmotic stress and the dynamic modulation of GABA neurotransmission.
Project description:During the early postnatal period, GABA(B) receptor activation facilitates L-type calcium current in rat hippocampus. One developmental process that L-type current may regulate is the change in expression of the K(+)Cl(-) co-transporter (KCC2) and N(+)K(+)2Cl(-) co-transporter (NKCC1), which are involved in the maturation of the GABAergic system. The present study investigated the connection between L-type current, GABA(B) receptors, and expression of chloride transporters during development. The facilitation of L-type current by GABA(B) receptors is more prominent in the second week of development, with the highest percentage of cells exhibiting facilitation in cultures isolated from 7 day old rats (37.5%). The protein levels of KCC2 and NKCC1 were investigated to determine the developmental timecourse of expression as well as expression following treatment with an L-type channel antagonist and a GABA(B) receptor agonist. The time course of both chloride transporters in culture mimics that seen in hippocampal tissue isolated from various ages. KCC2 levels increased drastically in the first two postnatal weeks while NKCC1 remained relatively stable, suggesting that the ratio of the chloride transporters is important in mediating the developmental change in chloride reversal potential. Treatment of cultures with the L-type antagonist nimodipine did not affect protein levels of NKCC1, but significantly decreased the upregulation of KCC2 during the first postnatal week. In addition, calcium current facilitation occurs slightly before the large increase in KCC2 expression. These results suggest that the expression of KCC2 is regulated by calcium influx through L-type channels in the early postnatal period in hippocampal neurons.