Regulation of action potential waveforms by axonal GABAA receptors in cortical pyramidal neurons.
ABSTRACT: GABAA receptors distributed in somatodendritic compartments play critical roles in regulating neuronal activities, including spike timing and firing pattern; however, the properties and functions of GABAA receptors at the axon are still poorly understood. By recording from the cut end (bleb) of the main axon trunk of layer -5 pyramidal neurons in prefrontal cortical slices, we found that currents evoked by GABA iontophoresis could be blocked by picrotoxin, indicating the expression of GABAA receptors in axons. Stationary noise analysis revealed that single-channel properties of axonal GABAA receptors were similar to those of somatic receptors. Perforated patch recording with gramicidin revealed that the reversal potential of the GABA response was more negative than the resting membrane potential at the axon trunk, suggesting that GABA may hyperpolarize the axonal membrane potential. Further experiments demonstrated that the activation of axonal GABAA receptors regulated the amplitude and duration of action potentials (APs) and decreased the AP-induced Ca2+ transients at the axon. Together, our results indicate that the waveform of axonal APs and the downstream Ca2+ signals are modulated by axonal GABAA receptors.
Project description:Neuronal output is modulated by inhibition onto both dendrites and axons. It is unknown whether inhibitory synapses at these two cellular compartments of an individual neuron are regulated coordinately or separately during in vivo development. Because neurotransmission influences synapse maturation and circuit development, we determined how loss of inhibition affects the expression of diverse types of inhibitory receptors on the axon and dendrites of mouse retinal bipolar cells. We found that axonal GABA but not glycine receptor expression depends on neurotransmission. Importantly, axonal and dendritic GABAA receptors comprise distinct subunit compositions that are regulated differentially by GABA release: Axonal GABAA receptors are down-regulated but dendritic receptors are up-regulated in the absence of inhibition. The homeostatic increase in GABAA receptors on bipolar cell dendrites is pathway-specific: Cone but not rod bipolar cell dendrites maintain an up-regulation of receptors in the transmission deficient mutants. Furthermore, the bipolar cell GABAA receptor alterations are a consequence of impaired vesicular GABA release from amacrine but not horizontal interneurons. Thus, inhibitory neurotransmission regulates in vivo postsynaptic maturation of inhibitory synapses with contrasting modes of action specific to synapse type and location.
Project description:Presynaptic inhibition onto axons regulates neuronal output, but how such inhibitory synapses develop and are maintained in vivo remains unclear. Axon terminals of glutamatergic retinal rod bipolar cells (RBCs) receive GABAA and GABAC receptor-mediated synaptic inhibition. We found that perturbing GABAergic or glutamatergic neurotransmission does not prevent GABAergic synaptogenesis onto RBC axons. But, GABA release is necessary for maintaining axonal GABA receptors. This activity-dependent process is receptor subtype specific: GABAC receptors are maintained, whereas GABAA receptors containing ?1, but not ?3, subunits decrease over time in mice with deficient GABA synthesis. GABAA receptor distribution on RBC axons is unaffected in GABAC receptor knockout mice. Thus, GABAA and GABAC receptor maintenance are regulated separately. Although immature RBCs elevate their glutamate release when GABA synthesis is impaired, homeostatic mechanisms ensure that the RBC output operates within its normal range after eye opening, perhaps to regain proper visual processing within the scotopic pathway.
Project description:GABA(A) receptors are found on the somatodendritic compartment and on the axon initial segment of many principal neurons. The function of axonal receptors remains obscure, although it is widely assumed that axonal receptors must have a strong effect on excitability. We found that activation of GABA(A) receptors on the dentate granule neuron axon initial segment altered excitability by depolarizing the voltage threshold for action potential initiation under conditions that minimally affected overall cell input resistance. In contrast, activation of somatic GABA(A) receptors strongly depressed the input resistance of granule neurons without affecting the voltage threshold of action potential initiation. Although these effects were observed over a range of intracellular chloride concentrations, average voltage threshold was unaffected when E(Cl) rendered GABA(A) axon initial segment responses explicitly excitatory. A compartment model of a granule neuron confirmed these experimental observations. Low ambient agonist concentrations designed to activate granule neuron tonic currents did not stimulate axonal receptors sufficiently to raise voltage threshold. Using excitatory postsynaptic current (EPSC)-like depolarizations, we show physiological consequences of axonal versus somatic GABA(A) receptor activation. With axonal inhibition, individual excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs) largely retained their amplitude and time course, but EPSPs that were suprathreshold under basal conditions failed to reach threshold with GABA(A) activation. By contrast, somatic inhibition depressed individual EPSPs because of strong shunting. Our results suggest that axonal GABA(A) receptors have a privileged effect on voltage threshold and that two major measures of neuronal excitability, voltage threshold and rheobase, are differentially affected by axonal and somatic GABA(A) receptor activation.
Project description:In neuronal cells the intracellular trafficking machinery controls the availability of neurotransmitter receptors at the plasma membrane, which is a critical determinant of synaptic strength. Metabotropic ? amino-butyric acid (GABA) type B receptors (GABA(B)Rs) are neurotransmitter receptors that modulate synaptic transmission by mediating the slow and prolonged responses to GABA. GABA(B)Rs are obligatory heteromers constituted by two subunits, GABA(B)R1 and GABA(B)R2. GABA(B)R1a and GABA(B)R1b are the most abundant subunit variants. GABA(B)R1b is located in the somatodendritic domain whereas GABA(B)R1a is additionally targeted to the axon. Sushi domains located at the N-terminus of GABA(B)R1a constitute the only difference between both variants and are necessary and sufficient for axonal targeting. The precise targeting machinery and the organelles involved in sorting and transport have not been described. Here we demonstrate that GABA(B)Rs require the Golgi apparatus for plasma membrane delivery but that axonal sorting and targeting of GABA(B)R1a operate in a pre-Golgi compartment. In the axon GABA(B)R1a subunits are enriched in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), and their dynamic behavior and colocalization with other secretory organelles like the ER-to-Golgi intermediate compartment (ERGIC) suggest that they employ a local secretory route. The transport of axonal GABA(B)R1a is microtubule-dependent and kinesin-1, a molecular motor of the kinesin family, determines axonal localization. Considering that progression of GABA(B)Rs through the secretory pathway is regulated by an ER retention motif our data contribute to understand the role of the axonal ER in non-canonical sorting and targeting of neurotransmitter receptors.
Project description:The sinusoidal locomotion of Caenorhabditis elegans requires synchronous activities of neighboring body wall muscle cells. However, it is unknown whether the synchrony results from muscle electrical coupling or neural inputs. We analyzed the effects of mutating gap junction proteins and blocking neuromuscular transmission on the synchrony of action potentials (APs) and Ca2+ transients among neighboring body wall muscle cells. In wild-type worms, the percentage of synchronous APs between two neighboring cells varied depending on the anatomical relationship and junctional conductance (Gj) between them, and Ca2+ transients were synchronous among neighboring muscle cells. Compared with the wild type, knock-out of the gap junction gene unc-9 resulted in greatly reduced coupling coefficient and asynchronous APs and Ca2+ transients. Inhibition of unc-9 expression specifically in muscle by RNAi also reduced the synchrony of APs and Ca2+ transients, whereas expression of wild-type UNC-9 specifically in muscle rescued the synchrony defect. Loss of the stomatin-like protein UNC-1, which is a regulator of UNC-9-based gap junctions, similarly impaired muscle synchrony as unc-9 mutant did. The blockade of muscle ionotropic acetylcholine receptors by (+)-tubocurarine decreased the frequencies of APs and Ca2+ transients, whereas blockade of muscle GABAA receptors by gabazine had opposite effects. However, both APs and Ca2+ transients remained synchronous after the application of (+)-tubocurarine and/or gabazine. These observations suggest that gap junctions in C. elegans body wall muscle cells are responsible for synchronizing muscle APs and Ca2+ transients.
Project description:Histamine/gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) neurons of posterior hypothalamus send wide projections to many brain areas and participate in stabilizing the wake state. Recent research has suggested that GABA released from the histamine/GABA neurons acts on extrasynaptic GABAA receptors and balances the excitatory effect of histamine. In the current study, we show the presence of vesicular GABA transporter mRNA in a majority of quantified hypothalamic histaminergic neurons, which suggest vesicular release of GABA. As histamine/GABA neurons form conventional synapses infrequently, it is possible that GABA released from these neurons diffuses to target areas by volume transmission and acts on extrasynaptic GABA receptors. To investigate this hypothesis, mice lacking extrasynaptic GABAA receptor ? subunit (Gabrd KO) were used. A pharmacological approach was employed to activate histamine/GABA neurons and induce histamine and presumably, GABA, release. Control and Gabrd KO mice were treated with histamine receptor 3 (Hrh3) inverse agonists ciproxifan and pitolisant, which block Hrh3 autoreceptors on histamine/GABA neurons and histamine-dependently promote wakefulness. Low doses of ciproxifan (1 mg/kg) and pitolisant (5 mg/kg) reduced locomotion in Gabrd KO, but not in WT mice. EEG recording showed that Gabrd KO mice were also more sensitive to the wake-promoting effect of ciproxifan (3 mg/kg) than control mice. Low frequency delta waves, associated with NREM sleep, were significantly suppressed in Gabrd KO mice compared with the WT group. Ciproxifan-induced wakefulness was blocked by histamine synthesis inhibitor ?-fluoromethylhistidine (?FMH). The findings indicate that both histamine and GABA, released from histamine/GABA neurons, are involved in regulation of brain arousal states and ?-containing subunit GABAA receptors are involved in mediating GABA response.
Project description:Cell membranes isolated from brain tissues, obtained surgically from six patients afflicted with drug-resistant temporal lobe epilepsy and from one nonepileptic patient afflicted with a cerebral oligodendroglioma, were injected into frog oocytes. By using this approach, the oocytes acquire human GABAA receptors, and we have shown previously that the "epileptic receptors" (receptors transplanted from epileptic brains) display a marked run-down during repetitive applications of GABA. It was found that exposure to the neurotrophin BDNF increased the amplitude of the "GABA currents" (currents elicited by GABA) generated by the epileptic receptors and decreased their run-down; both events being blocked by K252A, a neurotrophin tyrosine kinase receptor B inhibitor. These effects of BDNF were not mimicked by nerve growth factor. In contrast, the GABAA receptors transplanted from the nonepileptic human hippocampal uncus (obtained during surgical resection as part of the nontumoral tissue from the oligodendroglioma margins) or receptors expressed by injecting rat recombinant alpha1beta2gamma2 GABAA receptor subunit cDNAs generated GABA currents whose time-course and run-down were not altered by BDNF. Loading the oocytes with the Ca2+ chelator 1,2-bis(2-aminophenoxy)ethane-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetate-acetoxymethyl ester (BAPTA-AM), or treating them with Rp-8-Br-cAMP, an inhibitor of the cAMP-dependent PKA, did not alter the GABA currents. However, staurosporine (a broad spectrum PK inhibitor), bisindolylmaleimide I (a PKC inhibitor), and U73122 (a phospholipase C inhibitor) blocked the BDNF-induced effects on the epileptic GABA currents. Our results indicate that BDNF potentiates the epileptic GABAA currents and antagonizes their use-dependent run-down, thus strengthening GABAergic inhibition, probably by means of activation of tyrosine kinase receptor B receptors and of both PLC and PKC.
Project description:Fast-spiking, parvalbumin-expressing GABAergic interneurons, a large proportion of which are basket cells (BCs), have a key role in feedforward and feedback inhibition, gamma oscillations and complex information processing. For these functions, fast propagation of action potentials (APs) from the soma to the presynaptic terminals is important. However, the functional properties of interneuron axons remain elusive. We examined interneuron axons by confocally targeted subcellular patch-clamp recording in rat hippocampal slices. APs were initiated in the proximal axon ~20 ?m from the soma and propagated to the distal axon with high reliability and speed. Subcellular mapping revealed a stepwise increase of Na(+) conductance density from the soma to the proximal axon, followed by a further gradual increase in the distal axon. Active cable modeling and experiments with partial channel block revealed that low axonal Na(+) conductance density was sufficient for reliability, but high Na(+) density was necessary for both speed of propagation and fast-spiking AP phenotype. Our results suggest that a supercritical density of Na(+) channels compensates for the morphological properties of interneuron axons (small segmental diameter, extensive branching and high bouton density), ensuring fast AP propagation and high-frequency repetitive firing.
Project description:Dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) influence learned behaviors and neuropsychiatric diseases including addiction. The stress peptide corticotrophin-releasing factor (CRF) contributes to relapse to drug and alcohol seeking following withdrawal, although the cellular actions are poorly understood. In this study, we show that presynaptic CRF type 1 receptors (CRF-R1) potentiate GABA release onto mouse VTA dopamine neurons via a PKC-Ca2+ signaling mechanism. In naive animals, activation of CRF-R1 by bath application of CRF or ethanol enhanced GABAA inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs). Following 3 days of withdrawal from four weekly cycles of chronic intermittent ethanol (CIE) vapor exposure, spontaneous IPSC frequency was enhanced while CRF and ethanol potentiation of IPSCs was intact. However, withdrawal for 3 weeks or more was associated with reduced spontaneous IPSC frequency and diminished CRF and ethanol responses. Long-term withdrawal was also accompanied by decreased sensitivity to the CB1 receptor agonist WIN55212 as well as greatly enhanced sensitivity to the CB1 antagonist AM251. Inclusion of BAPTA in the internal recording solution restored the responsiveness to CRF or ethanol and reduced the potentiating actions of AM251. Together, these data suggest that GABAA inhibition of VTA dopamine neurons is regulated by presynaptic actions of CRF and endocannabinoids and that long-term withdrawal from CIE treatment enhances endocannabinoid-mediated inhibition, thereby suppressing CRF facilitation of GABA release. Such findings have implications for understanding the impact of chronic alcohol on stress-related, dopamine-mediated alcohol-seeking behaviors.
Project description:GABAA receptors are ligand-gated ion channels that mediate inhibitory synaptic signaling in the CNS. Fluorescent probes with the ability to target these receptors can provide insights into receptor location, distribution and dynamics in live cells, while revealing abnormalities in their distribution and dynamics that could occur in a variety of diseases. We have developed fluorescent probes of GABAA receptors that are composed of a CdSe/ZnS core-shell nanocrystal (quantum dot; qdot) conjugated to pegylated derivatives of the GABA receptor agonists GABA and muscimol (GABA-qdots and muscimol-qdots, respectively). Quantitative fluorescence imaging was used to analyze the binding activity of these conjugates to α1β2γ2 GABAA and ρ1 GABAA receptors expressed in Xenopus oocytes. The selectivity of these conjugates for α1β2γ2 GABAA and ρ1 GABAA receptors was determined by their ability to compete with the antagonists bicuculline and methyl-(1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridin-4-yl)phosphinic acid (TPMPA). Both GABA- and muscimol-qdots exhibited robust binding to both α1β2γ2 and ρ1 GABAA receptors. At α1β2γ2 receptors, pretreatment with bicuculline reduced conjugate binding by ≥8-fold on average, an extent far exceeding the reduction produced by TPMPA (~30%). Conversely, at ρ1 receptors, pretreatment with TPMPA inhibited binding by ~10-fold, an extent greatly exceeding the change produced by bicuculline (~50% or less). These results indicate specific binding of muscimol-qdots and GABA-qdots to α1β2γ2 GABAA and ρ1 GABAA receptors in a manner that preserves the respective pharmacological sensitivities of these receptors to TPMPA and bicuculline, and encourage the use of qdot-conjugated neurotransmitter analogs as labeling agents at GABAA receptors.