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Sample records for selective gabaa receptor

  1. Zinc Selectively Blocks Neurosteroid-Sensitive Extrasynaptic δGABAA Receptors in the Hippocampus

    PubMed Central

    Carver, Chase Matthew; Chuang, Shu-Hui

    2016-01-01

    hippocampus circuits. Zn2+ inhibits synaptic GABAA receptors, but its interaction is less well appreciated at the extrasynaptic receptors, which respond sensitively to endogenous neurosteroids. Here, we describe selective functional blockade by Zn2+ of neurosteroid-sensitive, extrasynaptic GABAA receptors in the mouse hippocampus dentate gyrus, a key region associated with epilepsy and memory disorders. By demonstrating that extracellular Zn2+ prevents neurosteroid augmentation of tonic current and protection against limbic seizures, our findings provide novel implications of this potential antagonistic interaction in a variety of neurological conditions. PMID:27488628

  2. GABA(A) receptor subtype-selectivity of novel bicuculline derivatives.

    PubMed

    Ramerstorfer, Joachim; Foppa, Verena; Thiery, Hanna; Hermange, Philippe; Janody, Simon; Berger, Michael L; Dodd, Robert H; Sieghart, Werner

    2015-01-01

    GABA(A) receptors are the major inhibitory neurotransmitter receptors in the central nervous system and are targets of clinically important drugs modulating GABA induced ion flux by interacting with distinct allosteric binding sites. ROD 185 is a previously investigated structural analogue of the GABA site antagonist bicuculline, and a positive allosteric modulator acting via the benzodiazepine binding site. Here, we investigated 13 newly synthesized structural analogues of ROD 185 for their interaction with rat GABA(A) receptors. Using [(3)H]flunitrazepam binding assays, we identified four compounds exhibiting a higher affinity for the benzodiazepine binding site than ROD 185. Two electrode voltage clamp electrophysiology at recombinant GABA(A) receptors indicated that most of these compounds positively modulated GABA-induced currents at these receptors. Additionally, these experiments revealed that this compound class not only interacts with the benzodiazepine binding site at αβγ receptors but also with a novel, so far unidentified binding site present in αβ receptors. Compounds with a high affinity for the benzodiazepine binding site stimulated GABA-induced currents stronger at αβγ than at αβ receptors and preferred α3β3γ2 receptors. Compounds showing equal or smaller effects at αβγ compared to αβ receptors differentially interacted with various αβ or αβγ receptor subtypes. Surprisingly, five of these compounds interacting with αβ receptors showed a strong stimulation at α6β3γ2 receptors. The absence of any direct effects at GABA(A) receptors, as well as their potential selectivity for receptor subtypes not being addressed by benzodiazepines, make this compound class to a starting point for the development of drugs with a possible clinical importance.

  3. Substance P selectively modulates GABA(A) receptor-mediated synaptic transmission in striatal cholinergic interneurons.

    PubMed

    Govindaiah, G; Wang, Yanyan; Cox, Charles L

    2010-02-01

    Substance P (SP) is co-localized and co-released with gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA) from approximately 50% of GABAergic medium spiny neurons (MSNs) in the striatum. MSNs innervate several cellular targets including neighboring MSNs and cholinergic interneurons via collaterals. However, the functional role of SP release onto striatal interneurons is unknown. Here we examined SP-mediated actions on inhibitory synaptic transmission in cholinergic interneurons using whole-cell recordings in mouse corticostriatal slices. We found that SP selectively suppressed GABA(A) receptor-mediated inhibitory post-synaptic currents (IPSCs), but not excitatory post-synaptic currents (EPSCs) in cholinergic interneurons. In contrast, SP did not alter IPSCs in fast-spiking interneurons and MSNs. SP suppressed IPSC amplitude in a concentration-dependent and reversible manner, and the NK1 receptor antagonist RP67580 attenuated the SP-mediated suppression. In addition, RP67580 alone enhanced the evoked IPSC amplitude in cholinergic interneurons, suggesting an endogenous action of SP on regulation of inhibitory synaptic transmission. SP did not alter the paired-pulse ratio, but reduced the amplitudes of GABA(A) agonist muscimol-induced outward currents and miniature IPSCs in cholinergic interneurons, suggesting SP exerts its effects primarily at the post-synaptic site. Our results indicate that the physiological effects of SP are to enhance the activity of striatal cholinergic interneurons and provide a rationale for designing potential new antiparkinsonian agents.

  4. Photo-antagonism of the GABAA receptor.

    PubMed

    Mortensen, Martin; Iqbal, Favaad; Pandurangan, Arun P; Hannan, Saad; Huckvale, Rosemary; Topf, Maya; Baker, James R; Smart, Trevor G

    2014-07-29

    Neurotransmitter receptor trafficking is fundamentally important for synaptic transmission and neural network activity. GABAA receptors and inhibitory synapses are vital components of brain function, yet much of our knowledge regarding receptor mobility and function at inhibitory synapses is derived indirectly from using recombinant receptors, antibody-tagged native receptors and pharmacological treatments. Here we describe the use of a set of research tools that can irreversibly bind to and affect the function of recombinant and neuronal GABAA receptors following ultraviolet photoactivation. These compounds are based on the competitive antagonist gabazine and incorporate a variety of photoactive groups. By using site-directed mutagenesis and ligand-docking studies, they reveal new areas of the GABA binding site at the interface between receptor β and α subunits. These compounds enable the selected inactivation of native GABAA receptor populations providing new insight into the function of inhibitory synapses and extrasynaptic receptors in controlling neuronal excitation.

  5. Neurosteroids and GABA-A Receptor Function

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Mingde

    2011-01-01

    Neurosteroids represent a class of endogenous steroids that are synthesized in the brain, the adrenals, and the gonads and have potent and selective effects on the GABAA-receptor. 3α-hydroxy A-ring reduced metabolites of progesterone, deoxycorticosterone, and testosterone are positive modulators of GABAA-receptor in a non-genomic manner. Allopregnanolone (3α-OH-5α-pregnan-20-one), 5α-androstane-3α, 17α-diol (Adiol), and 3α5α-tetrahydrodeoxycorticosterone (3α5α-THDOC) enhance the GABA-mediated Cl- currents acting on a site (or sites) distinct from the GABA, benzodiazepine, barbiturate, and picrotoxin binding sites. 3α5α-P and 3α5α-THDOC potentiate synaptic GABAA-receptor function and activate δ-subunit containing extrasynaptic receptors that mediate tonic currents. On the contrary, 3β-OH pregnane steroids and pregnenolone sulfate (PS) are GABAA-receptor antagonists and induce activation-dependent inhibition of the receptor. The activities of neurosteroid are dependent on brain regions and types of neurons. In addition to the slow genomic action of the parent steroids, the non-genomic, and rapid actions of neurosteroids play a significant role in the GABAA-receptor function and shift in mood and memory function. This review describes molecular mechanisms underlying neurosteroid action on the GABAA-receptor, mood changes, and cognitive functions. PMID:22654809

  6. Emamectin is a non-selective allosteric activator of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and GABAA/C receptors.

    PubMed

    Xu, Xiaojun; Sepich, Caraline; Lukas, Ronald J; Zhu, Guonian; Chang, Yongchang

    2016-05-13

    Avermectins are a group of compounds isolated from a soil-dwelling bacterium. They have been widely used as parasiticides and insecticides, acting by relatively irreversible activation of invertebrate chloride channels. Emamectin is a soluble derivative of an avermectin. It is an insecticide, which persistently activates glutamate-gated chloride channels. However, its effects on mammalian ligand-gated ion channels are unknown. To this end, we tested the effect of emamectin on two cation selective nicotinic receptors and two GABA-gated chloride channels expressed in Xenopus oocytes using two-electrode voltage clamp. Our results demonstrate that emamectin could directly activate α7 nAChR, α4β2 nAChR, α1β2γ2 GABAA receptor and ρ1 GABAC receptor concentration dependently, with similar potencies for each channel. However, the potencies for it to activate these channels were at least two orders of magnitude lower than its potency of activating invertebrate glutamate-gated chloride channel. In contrast, ivermectin only activated the α1β2γ2 GABAA receptor. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Emamectin is a non-selective allosteric activator of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and GABAA/C receptors

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Xiaojun; Sepich, Caraline; Lukas, Ronald J; Zhu, Guonian; Chang, Yongchang

    2016-01-01

    Avermectins are a group of compounds isolated from a soil-dwelling bacterium. They have been widely used as parasiticides and insecticides, acting by relatively irreversible activation of invertebrate chloride channels. Emamectin is a soluble derivative of an avermectin. It is an insecticide, which persistently activates glutamate-gated chloride channels. However, its effects on mammalian ligand-gated ion channels are unknown. To this end, we tested the effect of emamectin on two cation selective nicotinic receptors and two GABA-gated chloride channels expressed in Xenopus oocytes using two-electrode voltage clamp. Our results demonstrate that emamectin could directly activate α7 nAChR, α4β2 nAChR, α1β2γ2 GABAA receptor and ρ1 GABAC receptor concentration dependently, with similar potencies for each channel. However, the potencies for it to activate these channels were at least two orders of magnitude lower than its potency of activating invertebrate glutamate-gated chloride channel. In contrast, ivermectin only activated the α1β2γ2 GABAA receptor. PMID:27049309

  8. Selective Pyramidal Cell Reduction of GABAA Receptor α1 Subunit Messenger RNA Expression in Schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Glausier, Jill R; Lewis, David A

    2011-01-01

    Levels of messenger RNA (mRNA) for the α1 subunit of the GABAA receptor, which is present in 60% of cortical GABAA receptors, have been reported to be lower in layer 3 of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) in subjects with schizophrenia. This subunit is expressed in both pyramidal cells and interneurons, and thus lower α1 subunit levels in each cell population would have opposite effects on net cortical excitation. We used dual-label in situ hybridization to quantify GABAA α1 subunit mRNA expression in calcium/calmodulin-dependent kinase II α (CaMKIIα)-containing pyramidal cells and glutamic acid decarboxylase 65 kDa (GAD65)-containing interneurons in layer 3 of the PFC from matched schizophrenia and healthy comparison subjects. In subjects with schizophrenia, mean GABAA α1 subunit mRNA expression was significantly 40% lower in pyramidal cells, but was not altered in interneurons. Lower α1 subunit mRNA expression in pyramidal cells was not attributable to potential confounding factors, and thus appeared to reflect the disease process of schizophrenia. These results suggest that pyramidal cell inhibition is reduced in schizophrenia, whereas inhibition of GABA neurons is maintained. The cell type specificity of these findings may reflect a compensatory response to enhance layer 3 pyramidal cell activity in the face of the diminished excitatory drive associated with the lower dendritic spine density on these neurons. PMID:21677653

  9. Mechanisms Underlying Tolerance after Long-Term Benzodiazepine Use: A Future for Subtype-Selective GABAA Receptor Modulators?

    PubMed Central

    Vinkers, Christiaan H.; Olivier, Berend

    2012-01-01

    Despite decades of basic and clinical research, our understanding of how benzodiazepines tend to lose their efficacy over time (tolerance) is at least incomplete. In appears that tolerance develops relatively quickly for the sedative and anticonvulsant actions of benzodiazepines, whereas tolerance to anxiolytic and amnesic effects probably does not develop at all. In light of this evidence, we review the current evidence for the neuroadaptive mechanisms underlying benzodiazepine tolerance, including changes of (i) the GABAA receptor (subunit expression and receptor coupling), (ii) intracellular changes stemming from transcriptional and neurotrophic factors, (iii) ionotropic glutamate receptors, (iv) other neurotransmitters (serotonin, dopamine, and acetylcholine systems), and (v) the neurosteroid system. From the large variance in the studies, it appears that either different (simultaneous) tolerance mechanisms occur depending on the benzodiazepine effect, or that the tolerance-inducing mechanism depends on the activated GABAA receptor subtypes. Importantly, there is no convincing evidence that tolerance occurs with α subunit subtype-selective compounds acting at the benzodiazepine site. PMID:22536226

  10. Drug interactions at GABA(A) receptors.

    PubMed

    Korpi, Esa R; Gründer, Gerhard; Lüddens, Hartmut

    2002-06-01

    Neurotransmitter receptor systems have been the focus of intensive pharmacological research for more than 20 years for basic and applied scientific reasons, but only recently has there been a better understanding of their key features. One of these systems includes the type A receptor for the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which forms an integral anion channel from a pentameric subunit assembly and mediates most of the fast inhibitory neurotransmission in the adult vertebrate central nervous system. Up to now, depending on the definition, 16-19 mammalian subunits have been cloned and localized on different genes. Their assembly into proteins in a poorly defined stoichiometry forms the basis of functional and pharmacological GABA(A) receptor diversity, i.e. the receptor subtypes. The latter has been well documented in autoradiographic studies using ligands that label some of the receptors' various binding sites, corroborated by recombinant expression studies using the same tools. Significantly less heterogeneity has been found at the physiological level in native receptors, where the subunit combinations have been difficult to dissect. This review focuses on the characteristics, use and usefulness of various ligands and their binding sites to probe GABA(A) receptor properties and to gain insight into the biological function from fish to man and into evolutionary conserved GABA(A) receptor heterogeneity. We also summarize the properties of the novel mouse models created for the study of various brain functions and review the state-of-the-art imaging of brain GABA(A) receptors in various human neuropsychiatric conditions. The data indicate that the present ligands are only partly satisfactory tools and further ligands with subtype-selective properties are needed for imaging purposes and for confirming the behavioral and functional results of the studies presently carried out in gene-targeted mice with other species, including man.

  11. GABAA Receptors at Hippocampal Mossy Fibers

    PubMed Central

    Ruiz, Arnaud; Fabian-Fine, Ruth; Scott, Ricardo; Walker, Matthew C.; Rusakov, Dmitri A.; Kullmann, Dimitri M.

    2012-01-01

    Summary Presynaptic GABAA receptors modulate synaptic transmission in several areas of the CNS but are not known to have this action in the cerebral cortex. We report that GABAA receptor activation reduces hippocampal mossy fibers excitability but has the opposite effect when intracellular Cl− is experimentally elevated. Synaptically released GABA mimics the effect of exogenous agonists. GABAA receptors modulating axonal excitability are tonically active in the absence of evoked GABA release or exogenous agonist application. Presynaptic action potential-dependent Ca2+ transients in individual mossy fiber varicosities exhibit a biphasic dependence on membrane potential and are altered by GABAA receptors. Antibodies against the α2 subunit of GABAA receptors stain mossy fibers. Axonal GABAA receptors thus play a potentially important role in tonic and activity-dependent heterosynaptic modulation of information flow to the hippocampus. PMID:12971896

  12. Synthesis of GABAA Receptor Agonists and Evaluation of their α-Subunit Selectivity and Orientation in the GABA Binding Site

    PubMed Central

    Jansen, Michaela; Rabe, Holger; Strehle, Axelle; Dieler, Sandra; Debus, Fabian; Dannhardt, Gerd; Akabas, Myles H.; Lüddens, Hartmut

    2008-01-01

    Drugs used to treat various disorders target GABAA receptors. To develop α subunit selective compounds, we synthesized 5-(4-piperidyl)-3-isoxazolol (4-PIOL) derivatives. The 3-isoxazolol moiety was substituted by 1,3,5-oxadiazol-2-one, 1,3,5-oxadiazol-2-thione, and substituted 1,2,4-triazol-3-ol heterocycles with modifications to the basic piperidine substituent as well as substituents without basic nitrogen. Compounds were screened by [3H]muscimol binding and in patch-clamp experiments with heterologously expressed GABAA αiβ3γ2 receptors (i = 1–6). The effects of 5-aminomethyl-3H-[1,3,4]oxadiazol-2-one 5d were comparable to GABA for all α subunit isoforms. 5-piperidin-4-yl-3H-[1,3,4]oxadiazol-2-one 5a and 5-piperidin-4-yl-3H- [1,3,4]oxadiazol-2-thione 6a were weak agonists at α3–, α3–, and α5–containing receptors. When coapplied with GABA they were antagonistic inα2–, α4–, and α6–containing receptors and potentiated α3-containing receptors. 6a protected GABA binding site cysteine-substitution mutants α1F64C and α1S68C from reacting with methanethiosulfonate-ethylsulfonate. 6a specifically covalently modified the α1R66C thiol, in the GABA binding site, through its oxadiazolethione sulfur. These results demonstrate the feasibility of synthesizing α subtype selective GABA mimetic drugs. PMID:18651727

  13. Valerenic acid derivatives as novel subunit-selective GABAA receptor ligands –in vitro and in vivo characterization

    PubMed Central

    Khom, S; Strommer, B; Ramharter, J; Schwarz, T; Schwarzer, C; Erker, T; Ecker, GF; Mulzer, J; Hering, S

    2010-01-01

    BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Subunit-specific modulators of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) type A (GABAA) receptors can help to assess the physiological function of receptors with different subunit composition and also provide the basis for the development of new drugs. Valerenic acid (VA) was recently identified as a β2/3 subunit-specific modulator of GABAA receptors with anxiolytic potential. The aim of the present study was to generate VA derivatives as novel GABAA receptor modulators and to gain insight into the structure–activity relation of this molecule. EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH The carboxyl group of VA was substituted by an uncharged amide or amides with different chain length. Modulation of GABAA receptors composed of different subunit compositions by the VA derivatives was studied in Xenopus oocytes by means of the two-microelectrode voltage-clamp technique. Half-maximal stimulation of GABA-induced chloride currents (IGABA) through GABAA receptors (EC50) and efficacies (maximal stimulation of IGABA) were estimated. Anxiolytic activity of the VA derivatives was studied in mice, applying the elevated plus maze test. KEY RESULTS Valerenic acid amide (VA-A) displayed the highest efficacy (more than twofold greater IGABA enhancement than VA) and highest potency (EC50= 13.7 ± 2.3 µM) on α1β3 receptors. Higher efficacy and potency of VA-A were also observed on α1β2γ2s and α3β3γ2s receptors. Anxiolytic effects were most pronounced for VA-A. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS Valerenic acid derivatives with higher efficacy and affinity can be generated. Greater in vitro action of the amide derivative correlated with a more pronounced anxiolytic effect in vivo. The data give further confidence in targeting β3 subunit containing GABAA receptors for development of anxiolytics. PMID:20718740

  14. Axonal GABAA receptors.

    PubMed

    Trigo, Federico F; Marty, Alain; Stell, Brandon M

    2008-09-01

    Type A GABA receptors (GABA(A)Rs) are well established as the main inhibitory receptors in the mature mammalian forebrain. In recent years, evidence has accumulated showing that GABA(A)Rs are prevalent not only in the somatodendritic compartment of CNS neurons, but also in their axonal compartment. Evidence for axonal GABA(A)Rs includes new immunohistochemical and immunogold data: direct recording from single axonal terminals; and effects of local applications of GABA(A)R modulators on action potential generation, on axonal calcium signalling, and on neurotransmitter release. Strikingly, whereas presynaptic GABA(A)Rs have long been considered inhibitory, the new studies in the mammalian brain mostly indicate an excitatory action. Depending on the neuron that is under study, axonal GABA(A)Rs can be activated by ambient GABA, by GABA spillover, or by an autocrine action, to increase either action potential firing and/or transmitter release. In certain neurons, the excitatory effects of axonal GABA(A)Rs persist into adulthood. Altogether, axonal GABA(A)Rs appear as potent neuronal modulators of the mammalian CNS.

  15. Intracellular trafficking of GABA(A) receptors.

    PubMed

    Barnes, E M

    2000-02-11

    Some of the mechanisms that control the intracellular trafficking of GABA(A) receptors have recently been described. Following the synthesis of alpha, beta, and gamma subunits in the endoplasmic reticulum, ternary receptor complexes assemble slowly and are inefficiently inserted into surface membranes of heterologous cells. While beta3, beta4, and gamma2S subunits appear to contain polypeptide sequences that alone are sufficient for surface targeting, these sequences are neither conserved nor essential for surface expression of heteromeric GABA(A) receptors formed from alpha1beta or alpha1betagamma subunits. At the neuronal surface, native GABA(A) receptor clustering and synaptic targeting require a gamma2 subunit and the participation of gephyrin, a clustering protein for glycine receptors. A linker protein, such as the GABA(A) receptor associated protein (GABARAP), may be necessary for the formation of GABA(A) receptor aggregates containing gephyrin. A substantial fraction of surface receptors are sequestered by endocytosis, another process which apparently requires a GABA(A) receptor gamma2 subunit. In heterologous cells, constitutive endocytosis seems to predominate while, in cortical neurons, internalization is evoked when receptors are occupied by GABA(A) agonists. After constitutive endocytosis, receptors are relatively stable and can be rapidly recycled to the cell surface, a process that may be regulated by protein kinase C. On the other hand, a portion of the intracellular GABA(A) receptors derived from ligand-dependent endocytosis is apparently degraded. The clustering of GABA(A) receptors at synapses and at coated pits are two mechanisms that may compete for a pool of diffusable receptors, providing a model for plasticity at inhibitory synapses.

  16. A Novel Bifunctional Alkylphenol Anesthetic Allows Characterization of γ-Aminobutyric Acid, Type A (GABAA), Receptor Subunit Binding Selectivity in Synaptosomes*

    PubMed Central

    Woll, Kellie A.; Murlidaran, Sruthi; Pinch, Benika J.; Hénin, Jérôme; Wang, Xiaoshi; Salari, Reza; Covarrubias, Manuel; Dailey, William P.; Brannigan, Grace; Garcia, Benjamin A.; Eckenhoff, Roderic G.

    2016-01-01

    Propofol, an intravenous anesthetic, is a positive modulator of the GABAA receptor, but the mechanistic details, including the relevant binding sites and alternative targets, remain disputed. Here we undertook an in-depth study of alkylphenol-based anesthetic binding to synaptic membranes. We designed, synthesized, and characterized a chemically active alkylphenol anesthetic (2-((prop-2-yn-1-yloxy)methyl)-5-(3-(trifluoromethyl)-3H-diazirin-3-yl)phenol, AziPm-click (1)), for affinity-based protein profiling (ABPP) of propofol-binding proteins in their native state within mouse synaptosomes. The ABPP strategy captured ∼4% of the synaptosomal proteome, including the unbiased capture of five α or β GABAA receptor subunits. Lack of γ2 subunit capture was not due to low abundance. Consistent with this, independent molecular dynamics simulations with alchemical free energy perturbation calculations predicted selective propofol binding to interfacial sites, with higher affinities for α/β than γ-containing interfaces. The simulations indicated hydrogen bonding is a key component leading to propofol-selective binding within GABAA receptor subunit interfaces, with stable hydrogen bonds observed between propofol and α/β cavity residues but not γ cavity residues. We confirmed this by introducing a hydrogen bond-null propofol analogue as a protecting ligand for targeted-ABPP and observed a lack of GABAA receptor subunit protection. This investigation demonstrates striking interfacial GABAA receptor subunit selectivity in the native milieu, suggesting that asymmetric occupancy of heteropentameric ion channels by alkylphenol-based anesthetics is sufficient to induce modulation of activity. PMID:27462076

  17. Attenuating GABA(A) receptor signaling in dopamine neurons selectively enhances reward learning and alters risk preference in mice.

    PubMed

    Parker, Jones G; Wanat, Matthew J; Soden, Marta E; Ahmad, Kinza; Zweifel, Larry S; Bamford, Nigel S; Palmiter, Richard D

    2011-11-23

    Phasic dopamine (DA) transmission encodes the value of reward-predictive stimuli and influences both learning and decision-making. Altered DA signaling is associated with psychiatric conditions characterized by risky choices such as pathological gambling. These observations highlight the importance of understanding how DA neuron activity is modulated. While excitatory drive onto DA neurons is critical for generating phasic DA responses, emerging evidence suggests that inhibitory signaling also modulates these responses. To address the functional importance of inhibitory signaling in DA neurons, we generated mice lacking the β3 subunit of the GABA(A) receptor specifically in DA neurons (β3-KO mice) and examined their behavior in tasks that assessed appetitive learning, aversive learning, and risk preference. DA neurons in midbrain slices from β3-KO mice exhibited attenuated GABA-evoked IPSCs. Furthermore, electrical stimulation of excitatory afferents to DA neurons elicited more DA release in the nucleus accumbens of β3-KO mice as measured by fast-scan cyclic voltammetry. β3-KO mice were more active than controls when given morphine, which correlated with potential compensatory upregulation of GABAergic tone onto DA neurons. β3-KO mice learned faster in two food-reinforced learning paradigms, but extinguished their learned behavior normally. Enhanced learning was specific for appetitive tasks, as aversive learning was unaffected in β3-KO mice. Finally, we found that β3-KO mice had enhanced risk preference in a probabilistic selection task that required mice to choose between a small certain reward and a larger uncertain reward. Collectively, these findings identify a selective role for GABA(A) signaling in DA neurons in appetitive learning and decision-making.

  18. GABAA receptor subtype involvement in addictive behaviour.

    PubMed

    Stephens, D N; King, S L; Lambert, J J; Belelli, D; Duka, T

    2017-01-01

    GABAA receptors form the major class of inhibitory neurotransmitter receptors in the mammalian brain. This review sets out to summarize the evidence that variations in genes encoding GABAA receptor isoforms are associated with aspects of addictive behaviour in humans, while animal models of addictive behaviour also implicate certain subtypes of GABAA receptor. In addition to outlining the evidence for the involvement of specific subtypes in addiction, we summarize the particular contributions of these isoforms in control over the functioning of brain circuits, especially the mesolimbic system, and make a first attempt to bring together evidence from several fields to understanding potential involvement of GABAA receptor subtypes in addictive behaviour. While the weight of the published literature is on alcohol dependency, the underlying principles outlined are relevant across a number of different aspects of addictive behaviour. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd and International Behavioural and Neural Genetics Society.

  19. Specific targeting of the GABA-A receptor α5 subtype by a selective inverse agonist restores cognitive deficits in Down syndrome mice

    PubMed Central

    Braudeau, J; Delatour, B; Duchon, A; Pereira, P Lopes; Dauphinot, L; de Chaumont, F; Olivo-Marin, J-C; Dodd, RH; Hérault, Y; Potier, M-C

    2011-01-01

    An imbalance between inhibitory and excitatory neurotransmission has been proposed to contribute to altered brain function in individuals with Down syndrome (DS). Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is the major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system and accordingly treatment with GABA-A antagonists can efficiently restore cognitive functions of Ts65Dn mice, a genetic model for DS. However, GABA-A antagonists are also convulsant which preclude their use for therapeutic intervention in DS individuals. Here, we have evaluated safer strategies to release GABAergic inhibition using a GABA-A-benzodiazepine receptor inverse agonist selective for the α5-subtype (α5IA). We demonstrate that α5IA restores learning and memory functions of Ts65Dn mice in the novel-object recognition and in the Morris water maze tasks. Furthermore, we show that following behavioural stimulation, α5IA enhances learning-evoked immediate early gene products in specific brain regions involved in cognition. Importantly, acute and chronic treatments with α5IA do not induce any convulsant or anxiogenic effects that are associated with GABA-A antagonists or non-selective inverse agonists of the GABA-A-benzodiazepine receptors. Finally, chronic treatment with α5IA did not induce histological alterations in the brain, liver and kidney of mice. Our results suggest that non-convulsant α5-selective GABA-A inverse agonists could improve learning and memory deficits in DS individuals. PMID:21693554

  20. Beyond classical benzodiazepines: Novel therapeutic potential of GABAA receptor subtypes

    PubMed Central

    Rudolph, Uwe; Knoflach, Frédéric

    2012-01-01

    GABAA receptors are a family of ligand-gated ion channels which are essential for the regulation of central nervous system function. Benzodiazepines – which target GABAA receptors containing the α1, α2, α3, or α5 subunits non-selectively – have been in clinical use for decades and are still among the most widely prescribed drugs for the treatment of insomnia and anxiety disorders. However, their use is limited by side effects and the risk of drug dependence. In the past decade, the identification of separable key functions of GABAA receptor subtypes suggests that receptor subtype-selective compounds could overcome the limitations of classical benzodiazepines and, furthermore, might be valuable for novel indications, such as analgesia, depression, schizophrenia, cognitive enhancement and stroke. PMID:21799515

  1. New GABA amides activating GABAA-receptors.

    PubMed

    Raster, Peter; Späth, Andreas; Bultakova, Svetlana; Gorostiza, Pau; König, Burkhard; Bregestovski, Piotr

    2013-01-01

    We have prepared a series of new and some literature-reported GABA-amides and determined their effect on the activation of GABAA-receptors expressed in CHO cells. Special attention was paid to the purification of the target compounds to remove even traces of GABA contaminations, which may arise from deprotection steps in the synthesis. GABA-amides were previously reported to be partial, full or superagonists. In our hands these compounds were not able to activate GABAA-receptor channels in whole-cell patch-clamp recordings. New GABA-amides, however, gave moderate activation responses with a clear structure-activity relationship suggesting some of these compounds as promising molecular tools for the functional analysis of GABAA-receptors.

  2. New GABA amides activating GABAA-receptors

    PubMed Central

    Raster, Peter; Späth, Andreas; Bultakova, Svetlana; Gorostiza, Pau

    2013-01-01

    Summary We have prepared a series of new and some literature-reported GABA-amides and determined their effect on the activation of GABAA-receptors expressed in CHO cells. Special attention was paid to the purification of the target compounds to remove even traces of GABA contaminations, which may arise from deprotection steps in the synthesis. GABA-amides were previously reported to be partial, full or superagonists. In our hands these compounds were not able to activate GABAA-receptor channels in whole-cell patch-clamp recordings. New GABA-amides, however, gave moderate activation responses with a clear structure–activity relationship suggesting some of these compounds as promising molecular tools for the functional analysis of GABAA-receptors. PMID:23503884

  3. BDNF Selectively Regulates GABAA Receptor Transcription by Activation of the JAK/STAT Pathway

    PubMed Central

    Lund, Ingrid V.; Hu, Yinghui; Raol, YogendraSinh H.; Benham, Rebecca S.; Faris, Ramona; Russek, Shelley J.; Brooks-Kayal, Amy R.

    2009-01-01

    The γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) type A receptor (GABAAR) is the major inhibitory neurotransmitter receptor in the brain. Its multiple subunits show regional, developmental, and disease-related plasticity of expression; however, the regulatory networks controlling GABAAR subunit expression remain poorly understood. We report that the seizure-induced decrease in GABAAR α1 subunit expression associated with epilepsy is mediated by the Janus kinase (JAK)/signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) pathway regulated by brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). BDNF- and seizure-dependent phosphorylation of STAT3 cause the adenosine 3′,5′-monophosphate (cAMP) response element–binding protein (CREB) family member ICER (inducible cAMP early repressor) to bind with phosphorylated CREB at the Gabra1:CRE site. JAK/STAT pathway inhibition prevents the seizure-induced decrease in GABAAR α1 abundance in vivo and, given that BDNF is known to increase the abundance of GABAAR α4 in a JAK/STAT-independent manner, indicates that BDNF acts through at least two distinct pathways to influence GABAAR-dependent synaptic inhibition. PMID:18922788

  4. Action of tremorgenic mycotoxins on GABAA receptor.

    PubMed

    Gant, D B; Cole, R J; Valdes, J J; Eldefrawi, M E; Eldefrawi, A T

    1987-11-09

    The effects of four tremorgenic and one nontremorgenic mycotoxins were studied on gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABAA) receptor binding and function in rat brain and on binding of a voltage-operated Cl- channel in Torpedo electric organ. None of the mycotoxins had significant effect on [3H]muscimol or [3H]flunitrazepam binding to the GABAA receptor. However, only the four tremorgenic mycotoxins inhibited GABA-induced 36Cl- influx and [35S] t-butylbicyclophosphorothionate [( 35S]TBPS) binding in rat brain membranes, while the nontremorgenic verruculotoxin had no effect. Inhibition of [35S]TBPS binding by paspalinine was non-competitive. This suggests that tremorgenic mycotoxins inhibit GABAA receptor function by binding close to the receptor's Cl- channel. On the voltage-operated Cl- channel, only high concentrations of verruculogen and verruculotoxin caused significant inhibition of the channel's binding of [35S]TBPS. The data suggest that the tremorgenic action of these mycotoxins may be due in part to their inhibition of GABAA receptor function.

  5. GABAA Receptor Modulation by Etomidate Analogues

    PubMed Central

    Pejo, Ervin; Santer, Peter; Wang, Lei; Dershwitz, Philip; Husain, S. Shaukat; Raines, Douglas E.

    2015-01-01

    Background Etomidate is a highly potent anesthetic agent that is believed to produce hypnosis by enhancing γ-aminobutyric acid type A (GABAA) receptor function. We characterized the GABAA receptor and hypnotic potencies of etomidate analogues. We then used computational techniques to build statistical and graphical models that relate the potencies of these etomidate analogues to their structures in order to identify the specific molecular determinants of potency. Methods GABAA receptor potencies were defined with voltage-clamp electrophysiology using α1β3γ2 receptors harboring a channel mutation (α1(L264T)) that enhances anesthetic sensitivity (n = 36 – 60 measurements per concentration-response curve). The hypnotic potencies of etomidate analogues were defined using a loss of righting reflexes assay in Sprague Dawley rats (n = 9 – 21 measurements per dose-response curve). Three-dimensional quantitative structure-activity relationships were determined in silico using comparative molecular field analysis. Results The GABAA receptor and hypnotic potencies of etomidate and the etomidate analogues ranged by 91-fold and 53-fold, respectively. These potency measurements were significantly correlated (r2 = 0.72), but neither measurement correlated with drug hydrophobicity (r2 = 0.019 and 0.005, respectively). Statistically significant and predictive comparative molecular field analysis models were generated and a pharmacophore model was built that revealed both the structural elements in etomidate analogues associated with high potency and the interactions that these elements make with the etomidate binding site. Conclusion There are multiple specific structural elements in etomidate and etomidate analogues that mediate GABAA receptor modulation. Modifying any one element can alter receptor potency by an order of magnitude or more. PMID:26691905

  6. Glyoxalase 1 increases anxiety by reducing GABAA receptor agonist methylglyoxal

    PubMed Central

    Distler, Margaret G.; Plant, Leigh D.; Sokoloff, Greta; Hawk, Andrew J.; Aneas, Ivy; Wuenschell, Gerald E.; Termini, John; Meredith, Stephen C.; Nobrega, Marcelo A.; Palmer, Abraham A.

    2012-01-01

    Glyoxalase 1 (Glo1) expression has previously been associated with anxiety in mice; however, its role in anxiety is controversial, and the underlying mechanism is unknown. Here, we demonstrate that GLO1 increases anxiety by reducing levels of methylglyoxal (MG), a GABAA receptor agonist. Mice overexpressing Glo1 on a Tg bacterial artificial chromosome displayed increased anxiety-like behavior and reduced brain MG concentrations. Treatment with low doses of MG reduced anxiety-like behavior, while higher doses caused locomotor depression, ataxia, and hypothermia, which are characteristic effects of GABAA receptor activation. Consistent with these data, we found that physiological concentrations of MG selectively activated GABAA receptors in primary neurons. These data indicate that GLO1 increases anxiety by reducing levels of MG, thereby decreasing GABAA receptor activation. More broadly, our findings potentially link metabolic state, neuronal inhibitory tone, and behavior. Finally, we demonstrated that pharmacological inhibition of GLO1 reduced anxiety, suggesting that GLO1 is a possible target for the treatment of anxiety disorders. PMID:22585572

  7. Ischemic insult to cerebellar Purkinje cells causes diminished GABAA receptor function and Allopregnanolone neuroprotection is associated with GABAA receptor stabilization

    PubMed Central

    Kelley, MH; Taguchi, N; Ardeshiri, A; Kuroiwa, M; Hurn, PD; Traystman, RJ; Herson, PS

    2009-01-01

    Cerebellar Purkinje cells are particularly vulnerable to ischemic injury and excitotoxicity, although the molecular basis of this sensitivity remains unclear. We tested the hypothesis that ischemia causes rapid down-regulation of GABAA receptors in cerebellar Purkinje cells, thereby increasing susceptibility to excitotoxicity. Oxygen-glucose deprivation caused a decline in functional GABAA receptors, within the first hour of re-oxygenation. Decreased amplitude of miniature inhibitory post-synaptic potentials confirmed that oxygen-glucose deprivation caused a significant decrease in functional synaptic GABAA receptors and quantitative Western blot analysis demonstrated the loss of GABAA receptor current was associated with a decline in total receptor protein. Interestingly, the potent neuroprotectant allopregnanolone prevented the decline in GABAA receptor current and protein. Consistent with our in vitro data, global ischemia in mice caused a significant decline in total cerebellar GABAA receptor protein and Purkinje cell specific immunoreactivity. Moreover, allopregnanolone provided strong protection of Purkinje cells and prevented ischemia-induced decline in GABAA receptor protein. Our findings indicate that ischemia causes a rapid and sustained loss of GABAA receptors in Purkinje cells, whereas allopregnanolone prevents the decline in GABAA receptors and protects against ischemia-induced damage. Thus, interventions which prevent ischemia-induced decline in GABAA receptors may represent a novel neuroprotective strategy. PMID:18699862

  8. GABAA Receptor α Subunits Differentially Contribute to Diazepam Tolerance after Chronic Treatment

    PubMed Central

    Vinkers, Christiaan H.; van Oorschot, Ruud; Nielsen, Elsebet Ø.; Cook, James M.; Hansen, Henrik H.; Groenink, Lucianne; Olivier, Berend; Mirza, Naheed R.

    2012-01-01

    Background Within the GABAA-receptor field, two important questions are what molecular mechanisms underlie benzodiazepine tolerance, and whether tolerance can be ascribed to certain GABAA-receptor subtypes. Methods We investigated tolerance to acute anxiolytic, hypothermic and sedative effects of diazepam in mice exposed for 28-days to non-selective/selective GABAA-receptor positive allosteric modulators: diazepam (non-selective), bretazenil (partial non-selective), zolpidem (α1 selective) and TPA023 (α2/3 selective). In-vivo binding studies with [3H]flumazenil confirmed compounds occupied CNS GABAA receptors. Results Chronic diazepam treatment resulted in tolerance to diazepam's acute anxiolytic, hypothermic and sedative effects. In mice treated chronically with bretazenil, tolerance to diazepam's anxiolytic and hypothermic, but not sedative, effects was seen. Chronic zolpidem treatment resulted in tolerance to diazepam's hypothermic effect, but partial anxiolytic tolerance and no sedative tolerance. Chronic TPA023 treatment did not result in tolerance to diazepam's hypothermic, anxiolytic or sedative effects. Conclusions Our data indicate that: (i) GABAA-α2/α3 subtype selective drugs might not induce tolerance; (ii) in rodents quantitative and temporal variations in tolerance development occur dependent on the endpoint assessed, consistent with clinical experience with benzodiazepines (e.g., differential tolerance to antiepileptic and anxiolytic actions); (iii) tolerance to diazepam's sedative actions needs concomitant activation of GABAA-α1/GABAA-α5 receptors. Regarding mechanism, in-situ hybridization studies indicated no gross changes in expression levels of GABAA α1, α2 or α5 subunit mRNA in hippocampus or cortex. Since selective chronic activation of either GABAA α2, or α3 receptors does not engender tolerance development, subtype-selective GABAA drugs might constitute a promising class of novel drugs. PMID:22912786

  9. Endogenous GABAA receptor activity suppresses glioma growth.

    PubMed

    Blanchart, A; Fernando, R; Häring, M; Assaife-Lopes, N; Romanov, R A; Andäng, M; Harkany, T; Ernfors, P

    2017-02-09

    Although genome alterations driving glioma by fueling cell malignancy have largely been resolved, less is known of the impact of tumor environment on disease progression. Here, we demonstrate functional GABAA receptor-activated currents in human glioblastoma cells and show the existence of a continuous GABA signaling within the tumor cell mass that significantly affects tumor growth and survival expectancy in mouse models. Endogenous GABA released by tumor cells, attenuates proliferation of the glioma cells with enriched expression of stem/progenitor markers and with competence to seed growth of new tumors. Our results suggest that GABA levels rapidly increase in tumors impeding further growth. Thus, shunting chloride ions by a maintained local GABAA receptor activity within glioma cells has a significant impact on tumor development by attenuating proliferation, reducing tumor growth and prolonging survival, a mechanism that may have important impact on therapy resistance and recurrence following tumor resection.

  10. In silico comparative genomic analysis of GABAA receptor transcriptional regulation.

    PubMed

    Joyce, Christopher J

    2007-06-30

    Subtypes of the GABAA receptor subunit exhibit diverse temporal and spatial expression patterns. In silico comparative analysis was used to predict transcriptional regulatory features in individual mammalian GABAA receptor subunit genes, and to identify potential transcriptional regulatory components involved in the coordinate regulation of the GABAA receptor gene clusters. Previously unreported putative promoters were identified for the beta2, gamma1, gamma3, epsilon, theta and pi subunit genes. Putative core elements and proximal transcriptional factors were identified within these predicted promoters, and within the experimentally determined promoters of other subunit genes. Conserved intergenic regions of sequence in the mammalian GABAA receptor gene cluster comprising the alpha1, beta2, gamma2 and alpha6 subunits were identified as potential long range transcriptional regulatory components involved in the coordinate regulation of these genes. A region of predicted DNase I hypersensitive sites within the cluster may contain transcriptional regulatory features coordinating gene expression. A novel model is proposed for the coordinate control of the gene cluster and parallel expression of the alpha1 and beta2 subunits, based upon the selective action of putative Scaffold/Matrix Attachment Regions (S/MARs). The putative regulatory features identified by genomic analysis of GABAA receptor genes were substantiated by cross-species comparative analysis and now require experimental verification. The proposed model for the coordinate regulation of genes in the cluster accounts for the head-to-head orientation and parallel expression of the alpha1 and beta2 subunit genes, and for the disruption of transcription caused by insertion of a neomycin gene in the close vicinity of the alpha6 gene, which is proximal to a putative critical S/MAR.

  11. Sh-I-048A, an in vitro non-selective super-agonist at the benzodiazepine site of GABAA receptors: the approximated activation of receptor subtypes may explain behavioral effects.

    PubMed

    Obradović, Aleksandar Lj; Joksimović, Srđan; Poe, Michael M; Ramerstorfer, Joachim; Varagic, Zdravko; Namjoshi, Ojas; Batinić, Bojan; Radulović, Tamara; Marković, Bojan; Roth, Brian L; Sieghart, Werner; Cook, James M; Savić, Miroslav M

    2014-03-20

    Enormous progress in understanding the role of four populations of benzodiazepine-sensitive GABAA receptors was paralleled by the puzzling findings suggesting that substantial separation of behavioral effects may be accomplished by apparently non-selective modulators. We report on SH-I-048A, a newly synthesized chiral positive modulator of GABAA receptors characterized by exceptional subnanomolar affinity, high efficacy and non-selectivity. Its influence on behavior was assessed in Wistar rats and contrasted to that obtained with 2mg/kg diazepam. SH-I-048A reached micromolar concentrations in brain tissue, while the unbound fraction in brain homogenate was around 1.5%. The approximated electrophysiological responses, which estimated free concentrations of SH-I-048A or diazepam are able to elicit, suggested a similarity between the 10mg/kg dose of the novel ligand and 2mg/kg diazepam; however, SH-I-048A was relatively more active at α1- and α5-containing GABAA receptors. Behaviorally, SH-I-048A induced sedative, muscle relaxant and ataxic effects, reversed mechanical hyperalgesia 24h after injury, while it was devoid of clear anxiolytic actions and did not affect water-maze performance. While lack of clear anxiolytic actions may be connected with an enhanced potentiation at α1-containing GABAA receptors, the observed behavior in the rotarod, water maze and peripheral nerve injury tests was possibly affected by its prominent action at receptors containing the α5 subunit. The current results encourage further innovative approaches aimed at linking in vitro and in vivo data in order to help define fine-tuning mechanisms at four sensitive receptor populations that underlie subtle differences in behavioral profiles of benzodiazepine site ligands.

  12. Molecular determinants of agonist selectivity in glutamate-gated chloride channels which likely explain the agonist selectivity of the vertebrate glycine and GABAAreceptors.

    PubMed

    Blarre, Thomas; Bertrand, Hugues-Olivier; Acher, Francine C; Kehoe, JacSue

    2014-01-01

    Orthologous Cys-loop glutamate-gated chloride channels (GluClR's) have been cloned and described electrophysiologically and pharmacologically in arthropods and nematodes (both members of the invertebrate ecdysozoan superphylum). Recently, GluClR's from Aplysia californica (a mollusc from the lophotrochozoan superphylum) have been cloned and similarly studied. In spite of sharing a common function, the ecdysozoan and lophotrochozoan receptors have been shown by phylogenetic analyses to have evolved independently. The recent crystallization of the GluClR from C. elegans revealed the binding pocket of the nematode receptor. An alignment of the protein sequences of the nematode and molluscan GluClRs showed that the Aplysia receptor does not contain all of the residues defining the binding mode of the ecdysozoan receptor. That the two receptors have slightly different binding modes is not surprising since earlier electrophysiological and pharmacological experiments had suggested that they were differentially responsive to certain agonists. Knowledge of the structure of the C. elegans GluClR has permitted us to generate a homology model of the binding pocket of the Aplysia receptor. We have analyzed the differences between the two binding modes and evaluated the relative significance of their non-common residues. We have compared the GluClRs electrophysiologically and pharmacologically and we have used site-directed mutagenesis on both receptor types to test predictions made from the model. Finally, we propose an explanation derived from the model for why the nematode receptors are gated only by glutamate, whereas the molluscan receptors can also be activated by β-alanine, GABA and taurine. Like the Aplysia receptor, the vertebrate glycine and GABAAreceptors also respond to these other agonists. An alignment of the sequences of the molluscan and vertebrate receptors shows that the reasons we have given for the ability of the other agonists to activate the Aplysia

  13. Anaesthetic impairment of immune function is mediated via GABA(A) receptors.

    PubMed

    Wheeler, Daniel W; Thompson, Andrew J; Corletto, Federico; Reckless, Jill; Loke, Justin C T; Lapaque, Nicolas; Grant, Andrew J; Mastroeni, Pietro; Grainger, David J; Padgett, Claire L; O'Brien, John A; Miller, Nigel G A; Trowsdale, John; Lummis, Sarah C R; Menon, David K; Beech, John S

    2011-02-24

    GABA(A) receptors are members of the Cys-loop family of neurotransmitter receptors, proteins which are responsible for fast synaptic transmission, and are the site of action of wide range of drugs. Recent work has shown that Cys-loop receptors are present on immune cells, but their physiological roles and the effects of drugs that modify their function in the innate immune system are currently unclear. We are interested in how and why anaesthetics increase infections in intensive care patients; a serious problem as more than 50% of patients with severe sepsis will die. As many anaesthetics act via GABA(A) receptors, the aim of this study was to determine if these receptors are present on immune cells, and could play a role in immunocompromising patients. We demonstrate, using RT-PCR, that monocytes express GABA(A) receptors constructed of α1, α4, β2, γ1 and/or δ subunits. Whole cell patch clamp electrophysiological studies show that GABA can activate these receptors, resulting in the opening of a chloride-selective channel; activation is inhibited by the GABA(A) receptor antagonists bicuculline and picrotoxin, but not enhanced by the positive modulator diazepam. The anaesthetic drugs propofol and thiopental, which can act via GABA(A) receptors, impaired monocyte function in classic immunological chemotaxis and phagocytosis assays, an effect reversed by bicuculline and picrotoxin. Our results show that functional GABA(A) receptors are present on monocytes with properties similar to CNS GABA(A) receptors. The functional data provide a possible explanation as to why chronic propofol and thiopental administration can increase the risk of infection in critically ill patients: their action on GABA(A) receptors inhibits normal monocyte behaviour. The data also suggest a potential solution: monocyte GABA(A) receptors are insensitive to diazepam, thus the use of benzodiazepines as an alternative anesthetising agent may be advantageous where infection is a life

  14. Stoichiometry of δ subunit containing GABAA receptors

    PubMed Central

    Patel, B; Mortensen, M; Smart, T G

    2014-01-01

    Background and Purpose Although the stoichiometry of the major synaptic αβγ subunit-containing GABAA receptors has consensus support for 2α:2β:1γ, a clear view of the stoichiometry of extrasynaptic receptors containing δ subunits has remained elusive. Here we examine the subunit stoichiometry of recombinant α4β3δ receptors using a reporter mutation and a functional electrophysiological approach. Experimental Approach Using site-directed mutagenesis, we inserted a highly characterized 9′ serine to leucine mutation into the second transmembrane (M2) region of α4, β3 and δ subunits that increases receptor sensitivity to GABA. Whole-cell, GABA-activated currents were recorded from HEK-293 cells co-expressing different combinations of wild-type (WT) and/or mutant α4(L297S), β3(L284S) and δ(L288S) subunits. Key Results Recombinant receptors containing one or more mutant subunits showed increased GABA sensitivity relative to WT receptors by approximately fourfold, independent of the subunit class (α, β or δ) carrying the mutation. GABA dose–response curves of cells co-expressing WT subunits with their respective L9′S mutants exhibited multiple components, with the number of discernible components enabling a subunit stoichiometry of 2α, 2β and 1δ to be deduced for α4β3δ receptors. Varying the cDNA transfection ratio by 10-fold had no significant effect on the number of incorporated δ subunits. Conclusions and Implications Subunit stoichiometry is an important determinant of GABAA receptor function and pharmacology, and δ subunit-containing receptors are important mediators of tonic inhibition in several brain regions. Here we demonstrate a preferred subunit stoichiometry for α4β3δ receptors of 2α, 2β and 1δ. PMID:24206220

  15. The Role of GABAA Receptors in the Development of Alcoholism

    PubMed Central

    Enoch, Mary-Anne

    2008-01-01

    Alcoholism is a common, heritable, chronic relapsing disorder. GABAA receptors undergo allosteric modulation by ethanol, anesthetics, benzodiazepines and neurosteroids and have been implicated in the acute as well as the chronic effects of ethanol including tolerance, dependence and withdrawal. Medications targeting GABAA receptors ameliorate the symptoms of acute withdrawal. Ethanol induces plasticity in GABAA receptors: tolerance is associated with generally decreased GABAA receptor activation and differentially altered subunit expression. The dopamine (DA) mesolimbic reward pathway originating in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), and interacting stress circuitry play an important role in the development of addiction. VTA GABAergic interneurons are the primary inhibitory regulators of DA neurons and a subset of VTA GABAA receptors may be implicated in the switch from heavy drinking to dependence. GABAA receptors modulate anxiety and response to stress; important elements of sustained drinking and relapse. The GABAA receptor subunit genes clustered on chromosome 4 are highly expressed in the reward pathway. Several recent studies have provided strong evidence that one of these genes, GABRA2, is implicated in alcoholism in humans. The influence of the interaction between ethanol and GABAA receptors in the reward pathway on the development of alcoholism together with genetic and epigenetic vulnerabilities will be explored in this review. PMID:18440057

  16. Adenosine receptor antagonists alter the stability of human epileptic GABAA receptors

    PubMed Central

    Roseti, Cristina; Martinello, Katiuscia; Fucile, Sergio; Piccari, Vanessa; Mascia, Addolorata; Di Gennaro, Giancarlo; Quarato, Pier Paolo; Manfredi, Mario; Esposito, Vincenzo; Cantore, Gianpaolo; Arcella, Antonella; Simonato, Michele; Fredholm, Bertil B.; Limatola, Cristina; Miledi, Ricardo; Eusebi, Fabrizio

    2008-01-01

    We examined how the endogenous anticonvulsant adenosine might influence γ-aminobutyric acid type A (GABAA) receptor stability and which adenosine receptors (ARs) were involved. Upon repetitive activation (GABA 500 μM), GABAA receptors, microtransplanted into Xenopus oocytes from neurosurgically resected epileptic human nervous tissues, exhibited an obvious GABAA-current (IGABA) run-down, which was consistently and significantly reduced by treatment with the nonselective adenosine receptor antagonist CGS15943 (100 nM) or with adenosine deaminase (ADA) (1 units/ml), that inactivates adenosine. It was also found that selective antagonists of A2B (MRS1706, 10 nM) or A3 (MRS1334, 30 nM) receptors reduced IGABA run-down, whereas treatment with the specific A1 receptor antagonist DPCPX (10 nM) was ineffective. The selective A2A receptor antagonist SCH58261 (10 nM) reduced or potentiated IGABA run-down in ≈40% and ≈20% of tested oocytes, respectively. The ADA-resistant, AR agonist 2-chloroadenosine (2-CA) (10 μM) potentiated IGABA run-down but only in ≈20% of tested oocytes. CGS15943 administration again decreased IGABA run-down in patch-clamped neurons from either human or rat neocortex slices. IGABA run-down in pyramidal neurons was equivalent in A1 receptor-deficient and wt neurons but much larger in neurons from A2A receptor-deficient mice, indicating that, in mouse cortex, GABAA-receptor stability is tonically influenced by A2A but not by A1 receptors. IGABA run-down from wt mice was not affected by 2-CA, suggesting maximal ARs activity by endogenous adenosine. Our findings strongly suggest that cortical A2–A3 receptors alter the stability of GABAA receptors, which could offer therapeutic opportunities. PMID:18809912

  17. GABAA receptor target of tetramethylenedisulfotetramine

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Chunqing; Hwang, Sung Hee; Buchholz, Bruce A.; Carpenter, Timothy S.; Lightstone, Felice C.; Yang, Jun; Hammock, Bruce D.; Casida, John E.

    2014-01-01

    Use of the highly toxic and easily prepared rodenticide tetramethylenedisulfotetramine (TETS) was banned after thousands of accidental or intentional human poisonings, but it is of continued concern as a chemical threat agent. TETS is a noncompetitive blocker of the GABA type A receptor (GABAAR), but its molecular interaction has not been directly established for lack of a suitable radioligand to localize the binding site. We synthesized [14C]TETS (14 mCi/mmol, radiochemical purity >99%) by reacting sulfamide with H14CHO and s-trioxane then completion of the sequential cyclization with excess HCHO. The outstanding radiocarbon sensitivity of accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) allowed the use of [14C]TETS in neuroreceptor binding studies with rat brain membranes in comparison with the standard GABAAR radioligand 4′-ethynyl-4-n-[3H]propylbicycloorthobenzoate ([3H]EBOB) (46 Ci/mmol), illustrating the use of AMS for characterizing the binding sites of high-affinity 14C radioligands. Fourteen noncompetitive antagonists of widely diverse chemotypes assayed at 1 or 10 µM inhibited [14C]TETS and [3H]EBOB binding to a similar extent (r2 = 0.71). Molecular dynamics simulations of these 14 toxicants in the pore region of the α1β2γ2 GABAAR predict unique and significant polar interactions for TETS with α1T1′ and γ2S2′, which are not observed for EBOB or the GABAergic insecticides. Several GABAAR modulators similarly inhibited [14C]TETS and [3H]EBOB binding, including midazolam, flurazepam, avermectin Ba1, baclofen, isoguvacine, and propofol, at 1 or 10 μM, providing an in vitro system for recognizing candidate antidotes. PMID:24912155

  18. The supramammillary nucleus mediates primary reinforcement via GABA(A) receptors.

    PubMed

    Ikemoto, Satoshi

    2005-06-01

    The supramammillary nucleus (SUM), a dorsal layer of the mammillary body, has recently been implicated in positive reinforcement. The present study examined whether GABA(A) receptors in the SUM or adjacent regions are involved in primary reinforcement using intracranial self-administration procedures. Rats learned quickly to lever-press for infusions of the GABA(A) antagonist picrotoxin into the SUM. Although picrotoxin was also self-administered into the posterior hypothalamic nuclei and anterior ventral tegmental area, these regions were less responsive to lower doses of picrotoxin than the SUM. The finding that rats learned to respond selectively on the lever triggering drug infusions is consistent with picrotoxin's reinforcing effect. Coadministration of the GABA(A) agonist muscimol disrupted picrotoxin self-administration, and another GABA(A) antagonist, bicuculline, was also self-administered into the SUM; thus, the reinforcing effect of picrotoxin is mediated by GABA(A) receptors. Since rats did not self-administer the GABA(B) antagonist 2-hydroxysaclofen into the SUM, the role of GABA(B) receptors may be distinct from that of GABA(A) receptors. Pretreatment with the dopamine receptor antagonist SCH 23390 (0.05 mg/kg, i.p.) extinguished picrotoxin self-administration into the SUM, suggesting that the reinforcing effects of GABA(A) receptor blockade depend on normal dopamine transmission. In conclusion, the blockade of GABA(A) receptors in the SUM is reinforcing, and the brain 'reward' circuitry appears to be tonically inhibited via supramammillary GABA(A) receptors and more extensive than the meso-limbic dopamine system.

  19. Evidence for the participation of peripheral α5 subunit-containing GABAA receptors in GABAA agonists-induced nociception in rats.

    PubMed

    Bravo-Hernández, Mariana; Feria-Morales, Luis Alberto; Torres-López, Jorge Elías; Cervantes-Durán, Claudia; Delgado-Lezama, Rodolfo; Granados-Soto, Vinicio; Rocha-González, Héctor Isaac

    2014-07-05

    The activation of GABAA receptor by γ-amino butyric acid (GABA) in primary afferent fibers produces depolarization. In normal conditions this depolarization causes a reduction in the release of neurotransmitters. Therefore, this depolarization remains inhibitory. However, previous studies have suggested that in inflammatory pain, GABA shifts its signaling from inhibition to excitation by an increased GABA-induced depolarization. The contribution of peripheral α5 subunit-containing GABAA receptors to the inflammatory pain is unknown. The purpose of this study was to investigate the possible pronociceptive role of peripheral α5 subunit-containing GABAA receptors in the formalin test. Formalin (0.5%) injection into the dorsum of the right hind paw produced flinching behavior in rats. Ipsilateral local peripheral pre-treatment (-10min) with exogenous GABA (0.003-0.03µg/paw) or common GABAA receptor agonists muscimol (0.003-0.03µg/paw), diazepam (0.017-0.056µg/paw) or phenobarbital (1-100µg/paw) significantly increased 0.5% formalin-induced nociceptive behavior. The pronociceptive effects of GABA (0.03µg/paw), muscimol (0.03µg/paw), diazepam (0.056µg/paw) and phenobarbital (100µg/paw) were prevented by either the GABAA receptor antagonist bicuculline (0.01-0.1µg/paw) or selective α5 subunit-containing GABAA receptor inverse agonist L-655,708 (0.017-0.17µg/paw). The α5 subunit-containing GABAA receptor protein was expressed in dorsal root ganglion (DRG) and dorsal spinal cord of naïve rats. The formalin injection did not modify α5 subunit-containing GABAA receptor expression. Overall, these results suggest that peripheral α5 subunit-containing GABAA receptors play a pronociceptive role in the rat formalin test.

  20. GABAA Receptors in Normal Development and Seizures: Friends or Foes?

    PubMed Central

    Galanopoulou, Aristea S

    2008-01-01

    GABAA receptors have an age-adapted function in the brain. During early development, they mediate excitatory effects resulting in activation of calcium sensitive signaling processes that are important for the differentiation of the brain. In more mature stages of development and in adults, GABAA receptors transmit inhibitory signals. The maturation of GABAA signaling follows sex-specific patterns, which appear to also be important for the sexual differentiation of the brain. The inhibitory effects of GABAA receptor activation have been widely exploited in the treatment of conditions where neuronal silencing is necessary. For instance, drugs that target GABAA receptors are the mainstay of treatment of seizures. Recent evidence suggests however that the physiology and function of GABAA receptors changes in the brain of a subject that has epilepsy or status epilepticus. This review will summarize the physiology of and the developmental factors regulating the signaling and function of GABAA receptors; how these may change in the brain that has experienced prior seizures; what are the implications for the age and sex specific treatment of seizures and status epilepticus. Finally, the implications of these changes for the treatment of certain forms of medically refractory epilepsies and status epilepticus will be discussed. PMID:19305785

  1. GABAA receptor modulation by terpenoids from Sideritis extracts

    PubMed Central

    Kessler, Artur; Sahin-Nadeem, Hilal; Lummis, Sarah C R; Weigel, Ingrid; Pischetsrieder, Monika; Buettner, Andrea; Villmann, Carmen

    2014-01-01

    Scope GABAA receptors are modulated by Sideritis extracts. The aim of this study was to identify single substances from Sideritis extracts responsible for GABAA receptor modulation. Methods and results Single volatile substances identified by GC have been tested in two expression systems, Xenopus oocytes and human embryonic kidney cells. Some of these substances, especially carvacrol, were highly potent on GABAA receptors composed of α1β2 and α1β2γ2 subunits. All effects measured were independent from the presence of the γ2 subunit. As Sideritis extracts contain a high amount of terpenes, 13 terpenes with similar structure elements were tested in the same way. Following a prescreening on α1β2 GABAA receptors, a high-throughput method was used for identification of the most effective terpenoid substances on GABA-affinity of α1β2γ2 receptors expressed in transfected cell lines. Isopulegol, pinocarveol, verbenol, and myrtenol were the most potent modifiers of GABAA receptor function. Conclusion Comparing the chemical structures, the action of terpenes on GABAA receptors is most probably due to the presence of hydroxyl groups and a bicyclic character of the substances tested. We propose an allosteric modulation independent from the γ2 subunit and similar to the action of alcohols and anesthetics. PMID:24273211

  2. Pre- and postsynaptic modulation of monosynaptic reflex by GABAA receptors on turtle spinal cord

    PubMed Central

    Bautista, Wendy; Aguilar, Justo; Loeza-Alcocer, José Emanuel; Delgado-Lezama, Rodolfo

    2010-01-01

    There is growing evidence that activation of high affinity extrasynaptic GABAA receptors in the brain, cerebellum and spinal cord substantia gelatinosa results in a tonic inhibition controlling postsynaptic excitability. The aim of the present study was to determine if GABAA receptors mediating tonic inhibition participate in the modulation of monosynaptic reflex (MSR) in the vertebrate spinal cord. Using an in vitro turtle lumbar spinal cord preparation, we show that conditioning stimulation of a dorsal root depressed the test monosynaptic reflex (MSR) at long condition–test intervals. This long duration inhibition is similar to the one seen in mammalian spinal cord and it is dependent on GABAA as it was completely blocked by 20 μm picrotoxin (PTX) or bicuculline (BIC) or 1 μm gabazine, simultaneously depressing the dorsal root potential (DRP) without MSR facilitation. Interestingly 100 μm picrotoxin or BIC potentiated the MSR, depressed the DRP, and produced a long lasting motoneurone after-discharge. Furosemide, a selective antagonist of extrasynaptic GABAA receptors, affects receptor subtypes with α4/6 subunits, and in a similar way to higher concentrations of PTX or BIC, also potentiated the MSR but did not affect the DRP, suggesting the presence of α4/6 GABAA receptors at motoneurones. Our results suggest that (1) the turtle spinal cord has a GABAA mediated long duration inhibition similar to presynaptic inhibition observed in mammals, (2) GABAA receptors located at the motoneurones and primary afferents might produce tonic inhibition of monosynaptic reflex, and (3) GABAA receptors modulate motoneurone excitability reducing the probability of spurious and inappropriate activation. PMID:20519320

  3. Zolpidem is a potent stoichiometry-selective modulator of α1β3 GABAA receptors: evidence of a novel benzodiazepine site in the α1-α1 interface

    PubMed Central

    Che Has, Ahmad Tarmizi; Absalom, Nathan; van Nieuwenhuijzen, Petra S.; Clarkson, Andrew N.; Ahring, Philip K.; Chebib, Mary

    2016-01-01

    Zolpidem is not a typical GABAA receptor hypnotic. Unlike benzodiazepines, zolpidem modulates tonic GABA currents in the rat dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus, exhibits residual effects in mice lacking the benzodiazepine binding site, and improves speech, cognitive and motor function in human patients with severe brain injury. The receptor by which zolpidem mediates these effects is not known. In this study we evaluated binary α1β3 GABAA receptors in either the 3α1:2β3 or 2α1:3β3 subunit stoichiometry, which differ by the existence of either an α1-α1 interface, or a β3-β3 interface, respectively. Both receptor stoichiometries are readily expressed in Xenopus oocytes, distinguished from each other by using GABA, zolpidem, diazepam and Zn2+. At the 3α1:2β3 receptor, clinically relevant concentrations of zolpidem enhanced GABA in a flumazenil-sensitive manner. The efficacy of diazepam was significantly lower compared to zolpidem. No modulation by either zolpidem or diazepam was detected at the 2α1:3β3 receptor, indicating that the binding site for zolpidem is at the α1-α1 interface, a site mimicking the classical α1-γ2 benzodiazepine site. Activating α1β3 (3α1:2β3) receptors may, in part, mediate the physiological effects of zolpidem observed under distinct physiological and clinical conditions, constituting a potentially attractive drug target. PMID:27346730

  4. Quantum Dot Conjugates of GABA and Muscimol: Binding to α1β2γ2 and ρ1 GABAA Receptors

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    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. PMID:23509979

  5. GABAA receptor plasticity in Jurkat T cells.

    PubMed

    Dionisio, Leonardo; Arias, Verónica; Bouzat, Cecilia; Esandi, María del Carmen

    2013-12-01

    GABAA receptors (GABAAR) mediate inhibitory neurotransmission in the human brain. Neurons modify subunit expression, cellular distribution and function of GABAAR in response to different stimuli, a process named plasticity. Human lymphocytes have a functional neuronal-like GABAergic system with GABAAR acting as inhibitors of proliferation. We here explore if receptor plasticity occurs in lymphocytes. To this end, we analyzed human T lymphocyte Jurkat cells exposed to different physiological stimuli shown to mediate plasticity in neurons: GABA, progesterone and insulin. The exposure to 100 μM GABA differently affected the expression of GABAAR subunits measured at both the mRNA and protein level, showing an increase of α1, β3, and γ2 subunits but no changes in δ subunit. Exposure of Jurkat cells to different stimuli produced different changes in subunit expression: 0.1 μM progesterone decreased δ and 0.5 μM insulin increased β3 subunits. To identify the mechanisms underlying plasticity, we evaluated the Akt pathway, which is involved in the phosphorylation of β subunits and receptor translocation to the membrane. A significant increase of phosphorylated Akt and on the expression of β3 subunit in membrane occurred in cells exposed 15 h to GABA. To determine if plastic changes are translated into functional changes, we performed whole cell recordings. After 15 h GABA-exposure, a significantly higher percentage of cells responded to GABA application when compared to 0 and 40 h exposure, thus indicating that the detected plastic changes may have a role in GABA-modulated lymphocyte function. Our results reveal that lymphocyte GABAAR are modified by different stimuli similarly and by similar mechanisms to those in neurons. This property is of significance for the development of future therapies involving pharmacological modulation of the immune response. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  6. The cannabinoid CB1 receptor antagonists rimonabant (SR141716) and AM251 directly potentiate GABAA receptors

    PubMed Central

    Baur, R; Gertsch, J; Sigel, E

    2012-01-01

    BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Rimonabant (SR141716) and the structurally related AM251 are widely used in pharmacological experiments as selective cannabinoid receptor CB1 antagonists / inverse agonists. Concentrations of 0.5–10 µM are usually applied in in vitro experiments. We intended to show that these drugs did not act at GABAA receptors but found a significant positive allosteric modulation instead. EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH Recombinant GABAA receptors were expressed in Xenopus oocytes. Receptors were exposed to AM251 or rimonabant in the absence and presence of GABA. Standard electrophysiological techniques were used to monitor the elicited ionic currents. KEY RESULTS AM251 dose-dependently potentiated responses to 0.5 µM GABA at the recombinant α1β2γ2 GABAA receptor with an EC50 below 1 µM and a maximal potentiation of about eightfold. The Hill coefficient indicated that more than one binding site for AM251 was located in this receptor. Rimonabant had a lower affinity, but a fourfold higher efficacy. AM251 potentiated also currents mediated by α1β2, αxβ2γ2 (x = 2,3,5,6), α1β3γ2 and α4β2δ GABAA receptors, but not those mediated by α1β1γ2. Interestingly, the CB1 receptor antagonists LY320135 and O-2050 did not significantly affect α1β2γ2 GABAA receptor-mediated currents at concentrations of 1 µM. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS This study identified rimonabant and AM251 as positive allosteric modulators of GABAA receptors. Thus, potential GABAergic effects of commonly used concentrations of these compounds should be considered in in vitro experiments, especially at extrasynaptic sites where GABA concentrations are low. LINKED ARTICLES This article is part of a themed section on Cannabinoids in Biology and Medicine. To view the other articles in this section visit http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bph.2012.165.issue-8. To view Part I of Cannabinoids in Biology and Medicine visit http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bph.2011.163.issue-7 PMID:21470203

  7. A novel GABAA receptor pharmacology: drugs interacting with the α+β− interface

    PubMed Central

    Sieghart, Werner; Ramerstorfer, Joachim; Sarto-Jackson, Isabella; Varagic, Zdravko; Ernst, Margot

    2012-01-01

    GABAA receptors are ligand-gated chloride channels composed of five subunits that can belong to different subunit classes. The existence of 19 different subunits gives rise to a multiplicity of GABAA receptor subtypes with distinct subunit composition; regional, cellular and subcellular distribution; and pharmacology. Most of these receptors are composed of two α, two β and one γ2 subunits. GABAA receptors are the site of action of a variety of pharmacologically and clinically important drugs, such as benzodiazepines, barbiturates, neuroactive steroids, anaesthetics and convulsants. Whereas GABA acts at the two extracellular β+α− interfaces of GABAA receptors, the allosteric modulatory benzodiazepines interact with the extracellular α+γ2− interface. In contrast, barbiturates, neuroactive steroids and anaesthetics seem to interact with solvent accessible pockets in the transmembrane domain. Several benzodiazepine site ligands have been identified that selectively interact with GABAA receptor subtypes containing α2βγ2, α3βγ2 or α5βγ2 subunits. This indicates that the different α subunit types present in these receptors convey sufficient structural differences to the benzodiazepine binding site to allow specific interaction with certain benzodiazepine site ligands. Recently, a novel drug binding site was identified at the α+β− interface. This binding site is homologous to the benzodiazepine binding site at the α+γ2− interface and is thus also strongly influenced by the type of α subunit present in the receptor. Drugs interacting with this binding site cannot directly activate but only allosterically modulate GABAA receptors. The possible importance of such drugs addressing a spectrum of receptor subtypes completely different from that of benzodiazepines is discussed. PMID:22074382

  8. Dynamic Regulation of the GABAA Receptor Function by Redox Mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Calvo, Daniel J; Beltrán González, Andrea N

    2016-09-01

    Oxidizing and reducing agents, which are currently involved in cell metabolism and signaling pathways, can regulate fast inhibitory neurotransmission mediated by GABA receptors in the nervous system. A number of in vitro studies have shown that diverse redox compounds, including redox metabolites and reactive oxygen and nitrogen species, modulate phasic and tonic responses mediated by neuronal GABAA receptors through both presynaptic and postsynaptic mechanisms. We review experimental data showing that many redox agents, which are normally present in neurons and glia or are endogenously generated in these cells under physiologic states or during oxidative stress (e.g., hydrogen peroxide, superoxide and hydroxyl radicals, nitric oxide, ascorbic acid, and glutathione), induce potentiating or inhibiting actions on different native and recombinant GABAA receptor subtypes. Based on these results, it is thought that redox signaling might represent a homeostatic mechanism that regulates the function of synaptic and extrasynaptic GABAA receptors in physiologic and pathologic conditions.

  9. GABAA Receptors, Anesthetics and Anticonvulsants in Brain Development

    PubMed Central

    Henschel, Oliver; Gipson, Keith E.; Bordey, Angelique

    2008-01-01

    GABA, acting via GABAA receptors, is well-accepted as the main inhibitory neurotransmitter of the mature brain, where it dampens neuronal excitability. The receptor's properties have been studied extensively, yielding important information about its structure, pharmacology, and regulation that are summarized in this review. Several GABAergic drugs have been commonly used as anesthetics, sedatives, and anticonvulsants for decades. However, findings that GABA has critical functions in brain development, in particular during the late embryonic and neonatal period, raise worthwhile questions regarding the side effects of GABAergic drugs that may lead to long-term cognitive deficits. Here, we will review some of these drugs in parallel with the control of CNS development that GABA exerts via activation of GABAA receptors. This review aims to provide a basic science and clinical perspective on the function of GABA and related pharmaceuticals acting at GABAA receptors. PMID:18537647

  10. GABAA-current rundown of temporal lobe epilepsy is associated with repetitive activation of GABAA “phasic” receptors

    PubMed Central

    Palma, Eleonora; Roseti, Cristina; Maiolino, Francesca; Fucile, Sergio; Martinello, Katiuscia; Mazzuferi, Manuela; Aronica, Eleonora; Manfredi, Mario; Esposito, Vincenzo; Cantore, Gianpaolo; Miledi, Ricardo; Simonato, Michele; Eusebi, Fabrizio

    2007-01-01

    A study was made of the “rundown” of GABAA receptors, microtransplanted to Xenopus oocytes from surgically resected brain tissues of patients afflicted with drug-resistant human mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (mTLE). Cell membranes, isolated from mTLE neocortex specimens, were injected into frog oocytes that rapidly incorporated functional GABAA receptors. Upon repetitive activation with GABA (1 mM), “epileptic” GABAA receptors exhibited a GABAA-current (IGABA) rundown that was significantly enhanced by Zn2+ (≤250 μM), and practically abolished by the high-affinity GABAA receptor inverse agonist SR95531 (gabazine; 2.5–25 μM). Conversely, IGABA generated by “control” GABAA receptors microtransplanted from nonepileptic temporal lobe, lesional TLE, or authoptic disease-free tissues remained stable during repetitive stimulation, even in oocytes treated with Zn2+. We conclude that rundown of mTLE epileptic receptors depends on the presence of “phasic GABAA receptors” that have low sensitivity to antagonism by Zn2+. Additionally, we found that GABAA receptors, microtransplanted from the cerebral cortex of adult rats exhibiting recurrent seizures, caused by pilocarpine-induced status epilepticus, showed greater rundown than control tissue, an event also occurring in patch-clamped rat pyramidal neurons. Rundown of epileptic rat receptors resembled that of human mTLE receptors, being enhanced by Zn2+ (40 μM) and sensitive to the antiepileptic agent levetiracetam, the neurotrophin brain-derived neurotrophic factor, and the phosphatase blocker okadaic acid. Our findings point to the rundown of GABAA receptors as a hallmark of TLE and suggest that modulating tonic and phasic mTLE GABAA receptor activity may represent a useful therapeutic approach to the disease. PMID:18083839

  11. Activation of GABA(A) receptors in subthalamic neurons in vitro: properties of native receptors and inhibition mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Baufreton, J; Garret, M; Dovero, S; Dufy, B; Bioulac, B; Taupignon, A

    2001-07-01

    The subthalamic nucleus (STN) influences the output of the basal ganglia, thereby interfering with motor behavior. The main inputs to the STN are GABAergic. We characterized the GABA(A) receptors expressed in the STN and investigated the response of subthalamic neurons to the activation of GABA(A) receptors. Cell-attached and whole cell recordings were made from rat brain slices using the patch-clamp technique. The newly identified epsilon subunit confers atypical pharmacological properties on recombinant receptors, which are insensitive to barbiturates and benzodiazepines. We tested the hypothesis that native subthalamic GABA(A) receptors contain epsilon proteins. Applications of increasing concentrations of muscimol, a selective GABA(A) agonist, induced Cl(-) and HCO currents with an EC(50) of 5 microM. Currents induced by muscimol were fully blocked by the GABA(A) receptor antagonists, bicuculline and picrotoxin. They were strongly potentiated by the barbiturate, pentobarbital (+190%), and by the benzodiazepines, diazepam (+197%) and flunitrazepam (+199%). Spontaneous inhibitory postsynaptic currents were also significantly enhanced by flunitrazepam. Furthermore, immunohistological experiments with an epsilon subunit-specific antibody showed that the epsilon protein was not expressed within the STN. Native subthalamic GABA(A) receptors did not, therefore, display pharmacological or structural properties consistent with receptors comprising epsilon. Burst firing is a hallmark of Parkinson's disease. Half of the subthalamic neurons have the intrinsic capacity of switching from regular-firing to burst-firing mode when hyperpolarized by current injection. This raises the possibility that activation of GABA(A) receptors might trigger the switch. Statistical analysis of spiking activity established that 90% of intact neurons in vitro were in single-spike firing mode, whereas 10% were in burst-firing mode. Muscimol reversibly stopped recurrent electrical activity in

  12. Hydrocarbon molar water solubility predicts NMDA vs. GABAA receptor modulation.

    PubMed

    Brosnan, Robert J; Pham, Trung L

    2014-11-19

    Many anesthetics modulate 3-transmembrane (such as NMDA) and 4-transmembrane (such as GABAA) receptors. Clinical and experimental anesthetics exhibiting receptor family specificity often have low water solubility. We hypothesized that the molar water solubility of a hydrocarbon could be used to predict receptor modulation in vitro. GABAA (α1β2γ2s) or NMDA (NR1/NR2A) receptors were expressed in oocytes and studied using standard two-electrode voltage clamp techniques. Hydrocarbons from 14 different organic functional groups were studied at saturated concentrations, and compounds within each group differed only by the carbon number at the ω-position or within a saturated ring. An effect on GABAA or NMDA receptors was defined as a 10% or greater reversible current change from baseline that was statistically different from zero. Hydrocarbon moieties potentiated GABAA and inhibited NMDA receptor currents with at least some members from each functional group modulating both receptor types. A water solubility cut-off for NMDA receptors occurred at 1.1 mM with a 95% CI = 0.45 to 2.8 mM. NMDA receptor cut-off effects were not well correlated with hydrocarbon chain length or molecular volume. No cut-off was observed for GABAA receptors within the solubility range of hydrocarbons studied. Hydrocarbon modulation of NMDA receptor function exhibits a molar water solubility cut-off. Differences between unrelated receptor cut-off values suggest that the number, affinity, or efficacy of protein-hydrocarbon interactions at these sites likely differ.

  13. Status Epilepticus Increases the Intracellular Accumulation of GABAA Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Goodkin, Howard P.; Yeh, Jwu-Lai; Kapur, Jaideep

    2010-01-01

    Status epilepticus is a neurological emergency that results in mortality and neurological morbidity. It has been postulated that the reduction of inhibitory transmission during status epilepticus results from a rapid modification of GABAA receptors. However, the mechanism(s) that contributes to this modification has not been elucidated. We report, using an in vitro model of status epilepticus combined with electrophysiological and cellular imaging techniques, that prolonged epileptiform bursting results in a reduction of GABA-mediated synaptic inhibition. Furthermore, we found that constitutive internalization of GABAA receptors is rapid and accelerated by the increased neuronal activity associated with seizures. Inhibition of neuronal activity reduced the rate of internalization. These findings suggest that the rate of GABAA receptor internalization is regulated by neuronal activity and its acceleration contributes to the reduction of inhibitory transmission observed during prolonged seizures. PMID:15944379

  14. Characterization of U-97775 as a GABAA receptor ligand of dual functionality in cloned rat GABAA receptor subtypes.

    PubMed Central

    Im, H. K.; Im, W. B.; Pregenzer, J. F.; Carter, D. B.; Jacobsen, E. J.; Hamilton, B. J.

    1995-01-01

    1. U-97775 (tert-butyl 7-chloro-4,5-dihydro-5-[(1-(3,4,5-trimethyl)piperazino)carbonyl]- imidazo[1,5-a])quinoxaline-3-carboxylate) is a novel GABAA receptor ligand of dual functionality and was characterized for its interactions with cloned rat GABAA receptors expressed in human embryonic kidney cells. 2. The drug produced a bell-shaped dose-response profile in the alpha 1 beta 2 gamma 2 receptor subtype as monitored with GABA-induced Cl- currents in the whole cell patch-clamp technique. At low concentrations (< 0.5 microM), U-97775 enhanced the currents with a maximal increase of 120% as normalized to 5 microM GABA response (control). An agonist interaction of U-97775 with the benzodiazepine site is suggested, because Ro 15-1788 (an antagonist at the benzodiazepine site) abolished the current increase and [3H]-flunitrazepam binding was inhibited by U-97775 with a Ki of 1.2 nM. 3. The enhancement of GABA currents progressively disappeared as the U-97775 concentration was raised above 1 microM, and the current amplitude was reduced to 40% below the control at 10 microM U-97775. The current inhibition by U-97775 (10 microM) was not affected by Ro 15-1788. It appears that U-97775 interacts with a second site on GABA receptors, distinct from the benzodiazepine site, to reverse its agonistic activity on the benzodiazepine site and also to inhibit GABA currents. 4. U-97775 at low concentrations reduced and at high concentrations enhanced [35S]-TBPS binding. Ro 15-1788 selectively blocked the effect of U-97775 at low concentrations.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:7647975

  15. GABA(A) receptors implicated in REM sleep control express a benzodiazepine binding site.

    PubMed

    Nguyen, Tin Quang; Liang, Chang-Lin; Marks, Gerald A

    2013-08-21

    It has been reported that non-subtype-selective GABAA receptor antagonists injected into the nucleus pontis oralis (PnO) of rats induced long-lasting increases in REM sleep. Characteristics of these REM sleep increases were identical to those resulting from injection of muscarinic cholinergic agonists. Both actions were blocked by the muscarinic antagonist, atropine. Microdialysis of GABAA receptor antagonists into the PnO resulted in increased acetylcholine levels. These findings were consistent with GABAA receptor antagonists disinhibiting acetylcholine release in the PnO to result in an acetylcholine-mediated REM sleep induction. Direct evidence has been lacking for localization in the PnO of the specific GABAA receptor-subtypes mediating the REM sleep effects. Here, we demonstrated a dose-related, long-lasting increase in REM sleep following injection (60 nl) in the PnO of the inverse benzodiazepine agonist, methyl-6,7-dimethoxy-4-ethyl-β-carboline (DMCM, 10(-2)M). REM sleep increases were greater and more consistently produced than with the non-selective antagonist gabazine, and both were blocked by atropine. Fluorescence immunohistochemistry and laser scanning confocal microscopy, colocalized in PnO vesicular acetylcholine transporter, a presynaptic marker of cholinergic boutons, with the γ2 subunit of the GABAA receptor. These data provide support for the direct action of GABA on mechanisms of acetylcholine release in the PnO. The presence of the γ2 subunit at this locus and the REM sleep induction by DMCM are consistent with binding of benzodiazepines by a GABAA receptor-subtype in control of REM sleep.

  16. Extrasynaptic GABAA receptors in the crosshairs of hormones and ethanol

    PubMed Central

    Mody, Istvan

    2008-01-01

    Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is the main chemical inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain. In the central nervous system (CNS) it acts on two distinct types of receptor: an ion channel, i.e., an “ionotropic” receptor permeable to Cl− and HCO3− (GABAA receptors) and a G-protein coupled “metabotropic” receptor that is linked to various effector mechanisms (GABAB receptors). This review will summarize novel developments in the physiology and pharmacology of GABAA receptors (GABAARs), specifically those found outside synapses. The focus will be on a particular combination of GABAAR subunits sensitive to ovarian and adrenal cortical steroid hormone metabolites that are synthesized in the brain (neurosteroids) and to sobriety impairing concentrations of ethanol. These receptors may be the final common pathway for interactions between ethanol and ovarian and stress-related neurosteroids. PMID:17714830

  17. GABAA and GABAC receptors on hybrid bass retinal bipolar cells.

    PubMed

    Qian, H; Dowling, J E

    1995-11-01

    1. gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) responses from solitory hybrid bass retinal bipolar cells were studied with the use of conventional and perforated whole cell patch-clamp recording. 2. GABA elicited a chloride current in bipolar cells that had both transient and sustained components. The transient component was sensitive to bicuculline and resembled GABAA-mediated currents, whereas the more sustained component was resistant to bicuculline and resembled the responses mediated by GABAC receptors. 3. The bicuculline-resistant GABA responses recorded from the bipolar cells could not be modulated by either diazepam or pentobarbital sodium, and they were unaffected by phaclofen and 2-hydroxysaclofen, GABAB receptor antagonists. On the other hand, the bicuculline-resistant GABA responses could be blocked substantially by imidazole-4-acetic acid (I4AA), a competitive antagonist of GABAC receptors. 4. Noise analysis of the GABA-elicited currents suggested a different single channel conductance for GABAA (10.1 pS) and GABAC receptors (3.6 pS). 5. Zinc, a putative modulator of synaptic transmission, strongly inhibited the GABAC responses on bipolar cells, whereas the GABAA responses were not significantly affected by zinc. 6. The proportion of the GABAC to GABAA responses varied widely between bipolar cells. Local application of GABA onto dendrites or axon terminals showed that both types of GABA receptors are present on both regions of the cell. 7. The distinct properties of these two GABA receptor types suggest that they play different roles in retinal function.

  18. Altered GABA(A) receptor subunit expression and pharmacology in human Angelman syndrome cortex.

    PubMed

    Roden, William H; Peugh, Lindsey D; Jansen, Laura A

    2010-10-15

    The neurodevelopmental disorder Angelman syndrome is most frequently caused by deletion of the maternally derived chromosome 15q11-q13 region, which includes not only the causative UBE3A gene, but also the beta(3)-alpha(5)-gamma(3) GABA(A) receptor subunit gene cluster. GABAergic dysfunction has been hypothesized to contribute to the occurrence of epilepsy and cognitive and behavioral impairments in this condition. In the present study, analysis of GABA(A) receptor subunit expression and pharmacology was performed in cerebral cortex from four subjects with Angelman syndrome and compared to that from control tissue. The membrane fraction of frozen postmortem neocortical tissue was isolated and subjected to quantitative Western blot analysis. The ratios of beta(3)/beta(2) and alpha(5)/alpha(1) subunit protein expression in Angelman syndrome cortex were significantly decreased when compared with controls. An additional membrane fraction was injected into Xenopus oocytes, resulting in incorporation of the brain membrane vesicles with their associated receptors into the oocyte cellular membrane. Two-electrode voltage-clamp analysis of GABA(A) receptor currents was then performed. Studies of GABA(A) receptor pharmacology in Angelman syndrome cortex revealed increased current enhancement by the alpha(1)-selective benzodiazepine-site agonist zolpidem and by the barbiturate phenobarbital, while sensitivity to current inhibition by zinc was decreased. GABA(A) receptor affinity and modulation by neurosteroids were unchanged. This shift in GABA(A) receptor subunit expression and pharmacology in Angelman syndrome is consistent with impaired extrasynaptic but intact to augmented synaptic cortical GABAergic inhibition, which could contribute to the epileptic, behavioral, and cognitive phenotypes of the disorder.

  19. Altered GABAA Receptor Subunit Expression and Pharmacology in Human Angelman Syndrome Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Roden, William H.; Peugh, Lindsey D.; Jansen, Laura A.

    2011-01-01

    The neurodevelopmental disorder Angelman syndrome is most frequently caused by deletion of the maternally-derived chromosome 15q11-q13 region, which includes not only the causative UBE3A gene, but also the β3-α5-γ3 GABAA receptor subunit gene cluster. GABAergic dysfunction has been hypothesized to contribute to the occurrence of epilepsy and cognitive and behavioral impairments in this condition. In the present study, analysis of GABAA receptor subunit expression and pharmacology was performed in cerebral cortex from four subjects with Angelman syndrome and compared to that from control tissue. The membrane fraction of frozen postmortem neocortical tissue was isolated and subjected to quantitative Western blot analysis. The ratios of β3/β2 and α5/α1 subunit protein expression in Angelman syndrome cortex were significantly decreased when compared with controls. An additional membrane fraction was injected into Xenopus oocytes, resulting in incorporation of the brain membrane vesicles with their associated receptors into the oocyte cellular membrane. Two-electrode voltage clamp analysis of GABAA receptor currents was then performed. Studies of GABAA receptor pharmacology in Angelman syndrome cortex revealed increased current enhancement by the α1-selective benzodiazepine site agonist zolpidem and by the barbiturate phenobarbital, while sensitivity to current inhibition by zinc was decreased. GABAA receptor affinity and modulation by neurosteroids were unchanged. This shift in GABAA receptor subunit expression and pharmacology in Angelman syndrome is consistent with impaired extrasynaptic but intact to augmented synaptic cortical GABAergic inhibition, which could contribute to the epileptic, behavioral, and cognitive phenotypes of the disorder. PMID:20692323

  20. Modulation of neuronal and recombinant GABAA receptors by redox reagents

    PubMed Central

    Amato, Alessandra; Connolly, Christopher N; Moss, Stephen J; Smart, Trevor G

    1999-01-01

    The functional role played by the postulated disulphide bridge in γ-aminobutyric acid type A (GABAA) receptors and its susceptibility to oxidation and reduction were studied using recombinant (murine receptor subunits expressed in human embryonic kidney cells) and rat neuronal GABAA receptors in conjunction with whole-cell and single channel patch-clamp techniques. The reducing agent dithiothreitol (DTT) reversibly potentiated GABA-activated responses (IGABA) of α1β1 or α1β2 receptors while the oxidizing reagent 5,5′-dithio-bis-(2-nitrobenzoic acid) (DTNB) caused inhibition. Redox modulation of IGABA was independent of GABA concentration, membrane potential and the receptor agonist and did not affect the GABA EC50 or Hill coefficient. The endogenous antioxidant reduced glutathione (GSH) also potentiated IGABA in α1β2 receptors, while both the oxidized form of DTT and glutathione (GSSG) caused small inhibitory effects. Recombinant receptors composed of α1β1γ2S or α1β2γ2S were considerably less sensitive to DTT and DTNB. For neuronal GABAA receptors, IGABA was enhanced by flurazepam and relatively unaffected by redox reagents. However, in cultured sympathetic neurones, nicotinic acetylcholine-activated responses were inhibited by DTT whilst in cerebellar granule neurones, NMDA-activated currents were potentiated by DTT and inhibited by DTNB. Single GABA-activated ion channel currents exhibited a conductance of 16 pS for α1β1 constructs. DTT did not affect the conductance or individual open time constants determined from dwell time histograms, but increased the mean open time by affecting the channel open probability without increasing the number of cell surface receptors. A kinetic model of the effects of DTT and DTNB suggested that the receptor existed in equilibrium between oxidized and reduced forms. DTT increased the rate of entry into reduced receptor forms and also into desensitized states. DTNB reversed these kinetic effects. Our results

  1. GABAA receptor-expressing neurons promote consumption in Drosophila melanogaster

    PubMed Central

    Cheung, Samantha K.

    2017-01-01

    Feeding decisions are highly plastic and bidirectionally regulated by neurons that either promote or inhibit feeding. In Drosophila melanogaster, recent studies have identified four GABAergic interneurons that act as critical brakes to prevent incessant feeding. These GABAergic neurons may inhibit target neurons that drive consumption. Here, we tested this hypothesis by examining GABA receptors and neurons that promote consumption. We find that Resistance to dieldrin (RDL), a GABAA type receptor, is required for proper control of ingestion. Knockdown of Rdl in a subset of neurons causes overconsumption of tastants. Acute activation of these neurons is sufficient to drive consumption of appetitive substances and non-appetitive substances and acute silencing of these neurons decreases consumption. Taken together, these studies identify GABAA receptor-expressing neurons that promote Drosophila ingestive behavior and provide insight into feeding regulation. PMID:28362856

  2. [Autoimmune encephalitis induced by antibodies against GABA-A receptor].

    PubMed

    González R, Pablo; Hudson A, Lorena; Basáez M, Esteban; Miranda C, Marcelo

    2016-11-01

    Among autoimmune encephalitides, a prevalent group are those associated with antibodies against the N-Methyl-D-aspartate receptor, which present with behavior abnormalities, psychosis, seizures and abnormal movements. A new variant, mediated by antibodies against the GABA-A receptor, was recen-tly described. We report a 66-years-old female with this form of encephalitis whose main manifestation was the presence of severe seizures leading to status epilepticus. The patient had a good response to immunomodulatory therapy with intravenous methylprednisolone, azathioprine and anticonvulsants. The laboratory tests initially detected anti-thyroid peroxidase antibodies which lead to the misdiagnosis of Hashimoto Encephalitis, which was ruled out after the detection of antibodies against GABA-A receptor. No malignancy was detected.

  3. GABAA receptor-expressing neurons promote consumption in Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed

    Cheung, Samantha K; Scott, Kristin

    2017-01-01

    Feeding decisions are highly plastic and bidirectionally regulated by neurons that either promote or inhibit feeding. In Drosophila melanogaster, recent studies have identified four GABAergic interneurons that act as critical brakes to prevent incessant feeding. These GABAergic neurons may inhibit target neurons that drive consumption. Here, we tested this hypothesis by examining GABA receptors and neurons that promote consumption. We find that Resistance to dieldrin (RDL), a GABAA type receptor, is required for proper control of ingestion. Knockdown of Rdl in a subset of neurons causes overconsumption of tastants. Acute activation of these neurons is sufficient to drive consumption of appetitive substances and non-appetitive substances and acute silencing of these neurons decreases consumption. Taken together, these studies identify GABAA receptor-expressing neurons that promote Drosophila ingestive behavior and provide insight into feeding regulation.

  4. Role of GABAA receptor in modulation of acute thermal pain using a rat model of cholestasis.

    PubMed

    Hasanein, Parisa; Parviz, Mohsen

    2014-09-01

    Increased activity of the endogenous opioid system in cholestasis results in analgesia. GABAA receptors have been ascribed both pronociceptive and antinociceptive roles in pain modulation. Considering the elevated endogenous opioid tone in cholestasis and the existence of close interaction between the GABAergic and opioidergic systems in pain control, the involvement of GABAA receptors in modulation of nociception in a model of elevated endogenous opioid tone, cholestasis, was investigated using muscimol and bicuculline as selective GABAA receptor agonist and antagonist respectively. Cholestasis was induced by ligation of the main bile duct using two ligatures and transsection of the duct between them. Cholestatic rats had increased tail-flick latencies (TFLs) compared to non-cholestatic rats. Administration of muscimol (0.2 and 0.4 mg/kg, s.c.) and bicuculline (0.5 and 1mg/kg, s.c.) to the cholestatic groups significantly increased and decreased respectively TFLs compared to the saline treated cholestatic group. Muscimol antinociception in cholestatic animals was attenuated by co-administration of naloxone or bicuculline. Furthermore, the combination of bicuculline and naloxone completely reversed the increased TFLs of cholestatic rats back to the level of unoperated animals. Muscimol and bicuculline injections into non-cholestatic animals did not alter TFLs. At the doses used here, none of the drugs impaired motor coordination, as revealed by the rotarod test. This study shows the involvement of GABAA receptors in pain modulation during cholestasis in rats.

  5. Neurosteroids and GABAA Receptor Interactions: A Focus on Stress

    PubMed Central

    Gunn, Benjamin G.; Brown, Adam R.; Lambert, Jeremy J.; Belelli, Delia

    2011-01-01

    Since the pioneering discovery of the rapid CNS depressant actions of steroids by the “father of stress,” Hans Seyle 70 years ago, brain-derived “neurosteroids” have emerged as powerful endogenous modulators of neuronal excitability. The majority of the intervening research has focused on a class of naturally occurring steroids that are metabolites of progesterone and deoxycorticosterone, which act in a non-genomic manner to selectively augment signals mediated by the main inhibitory receptor in the CNS, the GABAA receptor. Abnormal levels of such neurosteroids associate with a variety of neurological and psychiatric disorders, suggesting that they serve important physiological and pathophysiological roles. A compelling case can be made to implicate neurosteroids in stress-related disturbances. Here we will critically appraise how brain-derived neurosteroids may impact on the stress response to acute and chronic challenges, both pre- and postnatally through to adulthood. The pathological implications of such actions in the development of psychiatric disturbances will be discussed, with an emphasis on the therapeutic potential of neurosteroids for the treatment of stress-associated disorders. PMID:22164129

  6. Antagonistic action of pitrazepin on human and rat GABAA receptors

    PubMed Central

    Demuro, Angelo; Martinez-Torres, Ataulfo; Francesconi, Walter; Miledi, Ricardo

    1999-01-01

    Pitrazepin, 3-(piperazinyl-1)-9H-dibenz(c,f) triazolo(4,5-a)azepin is a piperazine antagonist of GABA in a variety of electrophysiological and in vitro binding studies involving GABA and glycine receptors. In the present study we have investigated the effects of pitrazepin, and the GABAA antagonist bicuculline, on membrane currents elicited by GABA in Xenopus oocytes injected with rat cerebral cortex mRNA or cDNAs encoding α1β2 or α1β2γ2S human GABAA receptor subunits.The three types of GABAA receptors expressed were reversibly antagonized by bicuculline and pitrazepin in a concentration-dependent manner. GABA dose-current response curves for the three types of receptors were shifted to the right, in a parallel manner, by increasing concentrations of pitrazepin.Schild analyses gave pA2 values of 6.42±0.62, n=4, 6.41±1.2, n=5 and 6.21±1.24, n=6, in oocytes expressing rat cerebral cortex, α1β2 or α1β2γ2S human GABAA receptors respectively (values are given as means±s.e.mean), and the Hill coefficients were all close to unity. All this is consistent with the notion that pitrazepin acts as a competitive antagonist of these GABAA receptors; and that their antagonism by pitrazepin is not strongly dependent on the subunit composition of the receptors here studied.Since pitrazepin has been reported to act also at the benzodiazepine binding site, we studied the effect of the benzodiazepine antagonist Ro 15-1788 (flumazenil) on the inhibition of α1β2γ2S receptors by pitrazepin. Co-application of Ro 15-1788 did not alter the inhibiting effect of pitrazepin. Moreover, pitrazepin did not antagonize the potentiation of GABA-currents by flunitrazepam. All this suggests that pitrazepin does not affect the GABA receptor-chloride channel by interacting with the benzodiazepine receptor site. PMID:10369456

  7. Phosphorylation of GABAA receptors influences receptor trafficking and neurosteroid actions.

    PubMed

    Comenencia-Ortiz, Eydith; Moss, Stephen J; Davies, Paul A

    2014-09-01

    Gamma-aminobutyric acid type A receptors (GABAARs) are the principal mediators of inhibitory transmission in the mammalian central nervous system. GABAARs can be localized at post-synaptic inhibitory specializations or at extrasynaptic sites. While synaptic GABAARs are activated transiently following the release of GABA from presynaptic vesicles, extrasynaptic GABAARs are typically activated continuously by ambient GABA concentrations and thus mediate tonic inhibition. The tonic inhibitory currents mediated by extrasynaptic GABAARs control neuronal excitability and the strength of synaptic transmission. However, the mechanisms by which neurons control the functional properties of extrasynaptic GABAARs had not yet been explored. We review GABAARs, how they are assembled and trafficked, and the role phosphorylation has on receptor insertion and membrane stabilization. Finally, we review the modulation of GABAARs by neurosteroids and how GABAAR phosphorylation can influence the actions of neurosteroids. Trafficking and stability of functional channels to the membrane surface are critical for inhibitory efficacy. Phosphorylation of residues within GABAAR subunits plays an essential role in the assembly, trafficking, and cell surface stability of GABAARs. Neurosteroids are produced in the brain and are highly efficacious allosteric modulators of GABAAR-mediated current. This allosteric modulation by neurosteroids is influenced by the phosphorylated state of the GABAAR which is subunit dependent, adding temporal and regional variability to the neurosteroid response. Possible links between neurosteroid actions, phosphorylation, and GABAAR trafficking remain to be explored, but potential novel therapeutic targets may exist for numerous neurological and psychological disorders which are linked to fluctuations in neurosteroid levels and GABAA subunit expression.

  8. Interactions between modulators of the GABAA receptor: Stiripentol and benzodiazepines

    PubMed Central

    Fisher, Janet L.

    2011-01-01

    Many patients with refractory epilepsy are treated with polytherapy, and nearly 15% of epilepsy patients receive two or more anti-convulsant agents. The anti-convulsant stiripentol is used as an add-on treatment for the childhood epilepsy syndrome known as severe myoclonic epilepsy in infancy (Dravet Syndrome). Stiripentol has multiple mechanisms of action, both enhancing GABAA receptors and reducing activity of metabolic enzymes that break down other drugs. Stiripentol is typically co-administered with other anti-convulsants such as benzodiazepines which also act through GABAA receptor modulation. Stiripentol slows the metabolism of some of these drugs through inhibition of a variety of cytochrome P450 enzymes, but could also influence their effects on GABAergic neurotransmission. Is it rational to co-administer drugs which can act through the same target? To examine the potential interaction between these modulators, we transiently transfected HEK-293T cells to produce α3β3γ2L or α3β3δ recombinant GABAA receptors. Using whole-cell patch clamp recordings, we measured the response to each benzodiazepine alone and in combination with a maximally effective concentration of stiripentol. We compared the responses to four different benzodiazepines: diazepam, clonazepam, clobazam and norclobazam. In all cases we found that these modulators were equally effective in the presence and absence of stiripentol. The δ-containing receptors were insensitive to modulation by the benzodiazepines, which did not affect potentiation by stiripentol. These data suggest that stiripentol and the benzodiazepines act independently at GABAA receptors and that polytherapy could be expected to increase the maximum effect beyond either drug alone, even without consideration of changes in metabolism. PMID:21237147

  9. Excitatory GABAA receptor in autonomic pelvic ganglion neurons innervating bladder.

    PubMed

    Kim, Na-Hyun; Cha, Seung-Kuy; Kong, In Deok

    2014-04-25

    Major pelvic ganglia (MPG) are relay centers for autonomic reflexes such as micturition and penile erection. MPG innervate the urogenital system, including bladder. γ-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) is the major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the mammalian central nervous system, and may also play an important role in some peripheral autonomic ganglia, including MPG. However, the electrophysiological properties and function of GABAA receptor in MPG neurons innervating bladder remain unknown. This study examined the electrophysiological properties and functional roles of GABAA receptors in bladder-innervating neurons identified by retrograde Dil tracing. Neurons innervating bladder showed previously established parasympathetic properties, including small membrane capacitance, lack of T-type Ca(2+) channel expression, and tyrosine-hydroxylase immunoreactivity. GABAA receptors were functionally expressed in bladder innervating neurons, but GABAC receptors were not. GABA elicited strong depolarization followed by increase of intracellular Ca(2+) in neurons innervating bladder, supporting the hypothesis GABA may play an important role in bladder function. These results provide useful information about the autonomic function of bladder in physiological and pathological conditions. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. GABAA receptors are differentially sensitive to zinc: dependence on subunit composition.

    PubMed Central

    Smart, T. G.; Moss, S. J.; Xie, X.; Huganir, R. L.

    1991-01-01

    GABAA receptors with different subunit composition, were expressed in kidney cells and studied by whole cell recording. Expressed GABAA receptors were differentially sensitive to inhibition by zinc; receptors which lacked the gamma subunit were inhibited by zinc. Embryonic neurons also exhibited zinc-sensitive GABA responses, in contrast to adult neurones. This developmentally-sensitive aspect of GABAA receptor pharmacology may be partly dependent on expression of the gamma subunit. PMID:1655141

  11. Low dose acute alcohol effects on GABAA receptor subtypes

    PubMed Central

    Wallner, Martin; Hanchar, H. Jacob; Olsen, Richard W.

    2010-01-01

    GABAA receptors (GABAARs) are the main inhibitory neurotransmitter receptors and have long been implicated in mediating at least part of the acute actions of ethanol. For example, ethanol and GABAergic drugs including barbiturates and benzodiazepines share many pharmacological properties. Besides the prototypical synaptic GABAAR subtypes, nonsynaptic GABAARs have recently emerged as important regulators of neuronal excitability. While high doses (≥100 mM) of ethanol have been reported to enhance activity of most GABAAR subtypes, most abundant synaptic GABAARs are essentially insensitive to ethanol concentrations that occur during social ethanol consumption (<30 mM). However, extrasynaptic δ and β3 subunit-containing GABAARs, associated in the brain with α4or α6 subunits, are sensitive to low millimolar ethanol concentrations, as produced by drinking half a glass of wine. Additionally, we found that a mutation in the cerebellar α6 subunit (α6R100Q), initially reported in rats selectively bred for increased alcohol sensitivity, is sufficient to produce increased alcohol-induced motor impairment and further increases of alcohol sensitivity in recombinant α6β3δ receptors. Furthermore, the behavioral alcohol antagonist Ro15-4513 blocks the low dose alcohol enhancement on α4/6/β3δ receptors, without reducing GABA-induced currents. In binding assays α4β3δ GABAARs bind [3H] Ro15-4513 with high affinity, and this binding is inhibited, in an apparently competitive fashion, by low ethanol concentrations, as well as analogs of Ro15-4513 that are active to antagonize ethanol or Ro15-4513’s block of ethanol. We conclude that most low to moderate dose alcohol effects are mediated by alcohol actions on alcohol/Ro15-4513 binding sites on GABAAR subtypes. PMID:16814864

  12. Diversity of inhibitory neurotransmission through GABA(A) receptors.

    PubMed

    Mody, Istvan; Pearce, Robert A

    2004-09-01

    In the brain, highly connected and heterogeneous GABAergic cells are crucial in controling the activity of neuronal networks. They accomplish this task by communicating through remarkably diverse sets of inhibitory processes, the complexity of which is reflected by the variety of interneuron classification schemes proposed in recent years. It is now becoming clear that the subcellular localization and intrinsic properties of heteropentameric GABA(A) receptors themselves also constitute major sources of diversity in GABA-mediated signaling. This review summarizes some of the factors underlying this diversity, including GABA(A) receptor subunit composition, localization, activation, number and phosphorylation states, variance of GABA concentration in the synaptic cleft, and some of the presynaptic factors regulating GABA release.

  13. Chrysin induces hyperalgesia via the GABAA receptor in mice.

    PubMed

    Zhai, Kui; Hu, Li; Chen, Juan; Fu, Cai-Yun; Chen, Qiang

    2008-08-01

    Chrysin (5,7-dihydroxyflavone) is a natural flavone commonly found in many plants including PASSIFLORA COERULEA L. Researchers have performed extensive and detailed investigations on the behavioral and pharmacological effects of chrysin IN VIVO, but there was little information available on the effect of chrysin on nociception. Therefore, the present study was undertaken to investigate the effect of chrysin on the nociceptive threshold using the tail-immersion test. Intraperitoneal ( I. P.) injection of chrysin (10, 25, 50, 75, 100 mg/kg) dose- and time-dependently induced a pronounced decrease of the tail withdrawal latencies (TWL), thus characterizing a hyperalgesic effect (ED50 = 65.59 mg/kg). The following results showed that GABAA receptors were involved in the hyperalgesic effects of chrysin. 1) The hyperalgesia induced by chrysin was significantly and dose-dependently blocked by pretreatment with flumazenil (0.75, 1 mg/kg, I. P.), a specific antagonist for benzodiazepine sites associated with GABAA receptors. 2) Bicuculline (2, 4 mg/kg, I. P.), a GABAA receptor antagonist, markedly antagonized the hyperalgesic effect of chrysin in a dose-dependent manner. 3) Picrotoxin (2 mg/kg, I. P.), a chloride channel blocker, could also notably antagonize the hyperalgesia of chrysin. Oral administration of chrysin (75 mg/kg) also produced a hyperalgesic effect in the tail-immersion test. In addition, diazepam (1 mg/kg, I. P.) showed a marked antinociceptive effect, which was completely blocked by flumazenil (1 mg/kg, I. P.). In conclusion, it can be summarized that both I. P. and oral administration of chrysin produced a significant hyperalgesic effect in the tail-immersion test and that the hyperalgesic effect of chrysin may be associated with GABAA receptors.

  14. Potentiating Action of Propofol at GABAA Receptors of Retinal Bipolar Cells

    PubMed Central

    Yue, Lan; Xie, An; Bruzik, Karol S.; Frølund, Bente; Qian, Haohua

    2011-01-01

    Purpose. Propofol (2,6-diisopropyl phenol), a widely used systemic anesthetic, is known to potentiate GABAA receptor activity in a number of CNS neurons and to produce changes in electroretinographically recorded responses of the retina. However, little is known about propofol's effects on specific retinal neurons. The authors investigated the action of propofol on GABA-elicited membrane current responses of retinal bipolar cells, which have both GABAA and GABAC receptors. Methods. Single, enzymatically dissociated bipolar cells obtained from rat retina were treated with propofol delivered by brief application in combination with GABA or other pharmacologic agents or as a component of the superfusing medium. Results. When applied with GABA at subsaturating concentrations and with TPMPA (a known GABAC antagonist), propofol markedly increased the peak amplitude and altered the kinetics of the response. Propofol increased the response elicited by THIP (a GABAA-selective agonist), and the response was reduced by bicuculline (a GABAA antagonist). The response to 5-methyl I4AA, a GABAC-selective agonist, was not enhanced by propofol. Serial brief applications of (GABA + TPMPA + propofol) led to a progressive increase in peak response amplitude and, at higher propofol concentrations, additional changes that included a prolonged time course of response recovery. Pre-exposure of the cell to perfusing propofol typically enhanced the rate of development of potentiation produced by (GABA + TPMPA + propofol) applications. Conclusions. Propofol exerts a marked and selective potentiation on GABAA receptors of retinal bipolar cells. The data encourage the use of propofol in future studies of bipolar cell function. PMID:21071744

  15. Interneuron- and GABAA receptor-specific inhibitory synaptic plasticity in cerebellar Purkinje cells

    PubMed Central

    He, Qionger; Duguid, Ian; Clark, Beverley; Panzanelli, Patrizia; Patel, Bijal; Thomas, Philip; Fritschy, Jean-Marc; Smart, Trevor G.

    2015-01-01

    Inhibitory synaptic plasticity is important for shaping both neuronal excitability and network activity. Here we investigate the input and GABAA receptor subunit specificity of inhibitory synaptic plasticity by studying cerebellar interneuron–Purkinje cell (PC) synapses. Depolarizing PCs initiated a long-lasting increase in GABA-mediated synaptic currents. By stimulating individual interneurons, this plasticity was observed at somatodendritic basket cell synapses, but not at distal dendritic stellate cell synapses. Basket cell synapses predominantly express β2-subunit-containing GABAA receptors; deletion of the β2-subunit ablates this plasticity, demonstrating its reliance on GABAA receptor subunit composition. The increase in synaptic currents is dependent upon an increase in newly synthesized cell surface synaptic GABAA receptors and is abolished by preventing CaMKII phosphorylation of GABAA receptors. Our results reveal a novel GABAA receptor subunit- and input-specific form of inhibitory synaptic plasticity that regulates the temporal firing pattern of the principal output cells of the cerebellum. PMID:26179122

  16. Interneuron- and GABAA receptor-specific inhibitory synaptic plasticity in cerebellar Purkinje cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    He, Qionger; Duguid, Ian; Clark, Beverley; Panzanelli, Patrizia; Patel, Bijal; Thomas, Philip; Fritschy, Jean-Marc; Smart, Trevor G.

    2015-07-01

    Inhibitory synaptic plasticity is important for shaping both neuronal excitability and network activity. Here we investigate the input and GABAA receptor subunit specificity of inhibitory synaptic plasticity by studying cerebellar interneuron-Purkinje cell (PC) synapses. Depolarizing PCs initiated a long-lasting increase in GABA-mediated synaptic currents. By stimulating individual interneurons, this plasticity was observed at somatodendritic basket cell synapses, but not at distal dendritic stellate cell synapses. Basket cell synapses predominantly express β2-subunit-containing GABAA receptors; deletion of the β2-subunit ablates this plasticity, demonstrating its reliance on GABAA receptor subunit composition. The increase in synaptic currents is dependent upon an increase in newly synthesized cell surface synaptic GABAA receptors and is abolished by preventing CaMKII phosphorylation of GABAA receptors. Our results reveal a novel GABAA receptor subunit- and input-specific form of inhibitory synaptic plasticity that regulates the temporal firing pattern of the principal output cells of the cerebellum.

  17. Searching for perfect sleep: the continuing evolution of GABAA receptor modulators as hypnotics.

    PubMed

    Nutt, David J; Stahl, S M

    2010-11-01

    The non-benzodiazepine GABA(A) receptor modulators ('Z-drugs') - zaleplon, zolpidem, zopiclone and eszopiclone - have become the accepted treatments for insomnia where they are available. However, recent randomized, placebo-controlled trials suggest that, for these drugs, there may be particular efficacy and tolerability profiles and distinct clinical outcomes in specific patient populations. This is particularly apparent when hypnotic/ selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor co-therapy is used to treat patients with co-morbid insomnia and psychiatric disorders, as patient recovery appears to be accelerated and enhanced by some drugs but not others. Emerging evidence of why this should be the case is that these hypnotic drugs may differ significantly from each other in their pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic profiles. Functional selectivity for specific GABA(A) receptor subtypes may determine each drug's clinical attributes, while the pharmacokinetic characteristics of Z-drugs also determine to a large extent how they perform in the clinic. For example, activity at GABA(A) alpha 1 receptor subtypes may be associated with sedative effects, whereas activity at alpha 2 and alpha 3 receptor subtypes may be associated with anxiolytic and antidepressant effects. In summary, the distinct clinical outcomes of zaleplon, zolpidem, zopiclone and eszopiclone may be explained by each drug's unique GABA(A) receptor subunit selectivity and pharmacokinetic profile. Further investigation of GABA( A) receptor subtype effects would help to increase understanding of current hypnotic drug effects, while knowledge of each drug's specific binding profile should enable clinicians to tailor treatment to individual patient's needs.

  18. The direct actions of cannabidiol and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol at GABAA receptors.

    PubMed

    Bakas, T; van Nieuwenhuijzen, P S; Devenish, S O; McGregor, I S; Arnold, J C; Chebib, M

    2017-02-27

    Cannabidiol (CBD) is a major non-intoxicating component of cannabis and possesses anti-epileptic, anxiolytic and anti-hyperalgesic properties. The mechanism of action of CBD in producing such effects remains unclear. Despite evidence that some endogenous and synthetic cannabinoids interact with GABAA receptors, no-one has yet investigated the effects of CBD. Here we used two-electrode voltage clamp electrophysiology to compare the actions of CBD with those of the major central endocannabinoid, 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG) on human recombinant GABAA receptors (synaptic α1-6βγ2 and extrasynaptic α4β2δ) expressed on Xenopus oocytes. CBD and 2-AG were positive allosteric modulators at α1-6βγ2 receptors, with low micromolar potencies. The maximal level of enhancement seen with either CBD or 2-AG were on α2-containing GABAA receptor subtypes, with approximately a 4-fold enhancement of the GABA EC5 evoked current, more than twice the potentiation seen with other α-subunit receptor combinations. Further we observed β-subunit selectivity, whereby modulatory activity was higher at β2/β3 over β1 subunits. The β1-subunit homologous mutant β2(V436T) substantially diminished the efficacy of both drugs to a third of that obtained with wild-type β2 subunit combinations, but without changing potency. The potency of CBD increased and efficacy preserved in binary α1/α2β2 receptors indicating that their effects do not involve the classic benzodiazepine site. Exploration of extrasynaptic α4β2δ receptors revealed that both compounds enhanced GABA EC5 evoked currents at concentrations ranging from 0.01-1μM. Taken together these results reveal a mode of action of CBD on specifically configured GABAA receptors that may be relevant to the anticonvulsant and anxiolytic effects of the compound.

  19. Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Quantification of GABAA Receptors in the Brain of Fragile X Patients.

    PubMed

    D'Hulst, Charlotte; Heulens, Inge; Van der Aa, Nathalie; Goffin, Karolien; Koole, Michel; Porke, Kathleen; Van De Velde, Marc; Rooms, Liesbeth; Van Paesschen, Wim; Van Esch, Hilde; Van Laere, Koen; Kooy, R Frank

    2015-01-01

    Over the last several years, evidence has accumulated that the GABAA receptor is compromised in animal models for fragile X syndrome (FXS), a common hereditary form of intellectual disability. In mouse and fly models, agonists of the GABAA receptor were able to rescue specific consequences of the fragile X mutation. Here, we imaged and quantified GABAA receptors in vivo in brain of fragile X patients using Positron Emission Topography (PET) and [11C]flumazenil, a known high-affinity and specific ligand for the benzodiazepine site of GABAA receptors. We measured regional GABAA receptor availability in 10 fragile X patients and 10 control subjects. We found a significant reduction of on average 10% in GABAA receptor binding potential throughout the brain in fragile X patients. In the thalamus, the brain region showing the largest difference, the GABAA receptor availability was even reduced with 17%. This is one of the first reports of a PET study of human fragile X brain and directly demonstrates that the GABAA receptor availability is reduced in fragile X patients. The study reinforces previous hypotheses that the GABAA receptor is a potential target for rational pharmacological treatment of fragile X syndrome.

  20. Moderate concentrations of 4-O-methylhonokiol potentiate GABAA receptor currents stronger than honokiol.

    PubMed

    Baur, Roland; Schuehly, Wolfgang; Sigel, Erwin

    2014-10-01

    Magnolia bark preparations from Magnolia officinalis of Asian medicinal systems are known for their muscle relaxant effect and anticonvulsant activity. These CNS related effects are ascribed to the presence of the biphenyl-type neolignans honokiol and magnolol that exert a potentiating effect on GABAA receptors. 4-O-methylhonokiol isolated from seeds of the North-American M. grandiflora was compared to honokiol for its activity to potentiate GABAA receptors and its GABAA receptor subtype-specificity was established. Different recombinant GABAA receptors were functionally expressed in Xenopus oocytes and electrophysiological techniques were used determine to their modulation by 4-O-methylhonokiol. 3μM 4-O-methylhonokiol is shown here to potentiate responses of the α₁β₂γ₂ GABAA receptor about 20-fold stronger than the same concentration of honokiol. In the present study potentiation by 4-O-methylhonokiol is also detailed for 12 GABAA receptor subtypes to assess GABAA receptor subunits that are responsible for the potentiating effect. The much higher potentiation of GABAA receptors at identical concentrations of 4-O-methylhonokiol as compared to honokiol parallels previous observations made in other systems of potentiated pharmacological activity of 4-O-methylhonokiol over honokiol. The results point to the use of 4-O-methylhonokiol as a lead for GABAA receptor potentiation and corroborate the use of M. grandiflora seeds against convulsions in Mexican folk medicine. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Activation of GABA-A Receptor Ameliorates Homocysteine-Induced MMP-9 Activation by ERK Pathway

    PubMed Central

    TYAGI, NEETU; GILLESPIE, WILLIAM; VACEK, JONATHAN C.; SEN, UTPAL; TYAGI, SURESH C.; LOMINADZE, DAVID

    2010-01-01

    Hyperhomocysteinemia (HHcy) is a risk factor for neuroinflammatory and neurodegenerative diseases. Homocysteine (Hcy) induces redox stress, in part, by activating matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9), which degrades the matrix and leads to blood–brain barrier dysfunction. Hcy competitively binds to γ-aminbutyric acid (GABA) receptors, which are excitatory neurotransmitter receptors. However, the role of GABA-A receptor in Hcy-induced cerebrovascular remodeling is not clear. We hypothesized that Hcy causes cerebrovascular remodeling by increasing redox stress and MMP-9 activity via the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) signaling pathway and by inhibition of GABA-A receptors, thus behaving as an inhibitory neurotransmitter. Hcy-induced reactive oxygen species production was detected using the fluorescent probe, 2′–7′-dichlorodihydrofluorescein diacetate. Hcy increased nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate-oxidase-4 concomitantly suppressing thioredoxin. Hcy caused activation of MMP-9, measured by gelatin zymography. The GABA-A receptor agonist, muscimol ameliorated the Hcy-mediated MMP-9 activation. In parallel, Hcy caused phosphorylation of ERK and selectively decreased levels of tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinase-4 (TIMP-4). Treatment of the endothelial cell with muscimol restored the levels of TIMP-4 to the levels in control group. Hcy induced expression of iNOS and decreased eNOS expression, which lead to a decreased NO bioavailability. Furthermore muscimol attenuated Hcy-induced MMP-9 via ERK signaling pathway. These results suggest that Hcy competes with GABA-A receptors, inducing the oxidative stress transduction pathway and leading to ERK activation. PMID:19308943

  2. Ethanol Increases Mechanical Pain Sensitivity in Rats via Activation of GABAA Receptors in Medial Prefrontal Cortex.

    PubMed

    Geng, Kai-Wen; He, Ting; Wang, Rui-Rui; Li, Chun-Li; Luo, Wen-Jun; Wu, Fang-Fang; Wang, Yan; Li, Zhen; Lu, Yun-Fei; Guan, Su-Min; Chen, Jun

    2016-10-01

    Ethanol is widely known for its ability to cause dramatic changes in emotion, social cognition, and behavior following systemic administration in humans. Human neuroimaging studies suggest that alcohol dependence and chronic pain may share common mechanisms through amygdala-medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) interactions. However, whether acute administration of ethanol in the mPFC can modulate pain perception is unknown. Here we showed that bilateral microinjections of ethanol into the prelimbic and infralimbic areas of the mPFC lowered the bilateral mechanical pain threshold for 48 h without influencing thermal pain sensitivity in adult rats. However, bilateral microinjections of artificial cerebrospinal fluid into the mPFC or bilateral microinjections of ethanol into the dorsolateral PFC (also termed as motor cortex area 1 in Paxinos and Watson's atlas of The Rat Brain. Elsevier Academic Press, Amsterdam, 2005) failed to do so, suggesting regional selectivity of the effects of ethanol. Moreover, bilateral microinjections of ethanol did not change the expression of either pro-apoptotic (caspase-3 and Bax) or anti-apoptotic (Bcl-2) proteins, suggesting that the dose was safe and validating the method used in the current study. To determine whether γ-aminobutyric acid A (GABAA) receptors are involved in mediating the ethanol effects, muscimol, a selective GABAA receptor agonist, or bicuculline, a selective GABAA receptor antagonist, was administered alone or co-administered with ethanol through the same route into the bilateral mPFC. The results showed that muscimol mimicked the effects of ethanol while bicuculline completely reversed the effects of ethanol and muscimol. In conclusion, ethanol increases mechanical pain sensitivity through activation of GABAA receptors in the mPFC of rats.

  3. Stoichiometry of δ subunit containing GABA(A) receptors.

    PubMed

    Patel, B; Mortensen, M; Smart, T G

    2014-02-01

    Although the stoichiometry of the major synaptic αβγ subunit-containing GABAA receptors has consensus support for 2α:2β:1γ, a clear view of the stoichiometry of extrasynaptic receptors containing δ subunits has remained elusive. Here we examine the subunit stoichiometry of recombinant α4β3δ receptors using a reporter mutation and a functional electrophysiological approach. Using site-directed mutagenesis, we inserted a highly characterized 9' serine to leucine mutation into the second transmembrane (M2) region of α4, β3 and δ subunits that increases receptor sensitivity to GABA. Whole-cell, GABA-activated currents were recorded from HEK-293 cells co-expressing different combinations of wild-type (WT) and/or mutant α4(L297S), β3(L284S) and δ(L288S) subunits. Recombinant receptors containing one or more mutant subunits showed increased GABA sensitivity relative to WT receptors by approximately fourfold, independent of the subunit class (α, β or δ) carrying the mutation. GABA dose-response curves of cells co-expressing WT subunits with their respective L9'S mutants exhibited multiple components, with the number of discernible components enabling a subunit stoichiometry of 2α, 2β and 1δ to be deduced for α4β3δ receptors. Varying the cDNA transfection ratio by 10-fold had no significant effect on the number of incorporated δ subunits. Subunit stoichiometry is an important determinant of GABAA receptor function and pharmacology, and δ subunit-containing receptors are important mediators of tonic inhibition in several brain regions. Here we demonstrate a preferred subunit stoichiometry for α4β3δ receptors of 2α, 2β and 1δ. © 2013 The British Pharmacological Society.

  4. Inhibitory neurosteroids and the GABAA receptor.

    PubMed

    Seljeset, Sandra; Laverty, Duncan; Smart, Trevor G

    2015-01-01

    γ-Aminobutyric acid type A receptors (GABAARs) are vital proteins that are engaged in regulating neural circuit activity in the central nervous system. Their effectiveness in this task is dependent on the extent of receptor modulation by naturally occurring ligands that are released in the brain. One of the foremost examples of such ligands is the neurosteroids that can either potentiate GABAAR function or cause direct inhibition. To fully understand the underlying mechanisms by which neurosteroids modulate GABAARs, it is necessary to identify their binding sites on the receptors. For potentiating neurosteroids, recent work has made substantive progress in identifying a binding site located in the transmembrane domains of GABAAR α subunits. However, for the inhibitory neurosteroids, several possibilities exist including an ion channel site as well as potential sites in the transmembrane domain. This review systematically analyzes the evidence behind possible binding sites for the inhibitory neurosteroids. We consider the chemical structure-function properties of such inhibitory neurosteroids, their physiological effects on synaptic inhibition, and whether a binding site exists in the GABA ion channel or in other areas of the transmembrane domain. Finally, we discuss how structural homology modeling and Cys-loop receptor homologues may help to locate the inhibitory neurosteroid-binding site on GABAARs.

  5. Cl− concentration changes and desensitization of GABAA and glycine receptors

    PubMed Central

    Karlsson, Urban; Druzin, Michael

    2011-01-01

    Desensitization of ligand-gated ion channels plays a critical role for the information transfer between neurons. The current view on γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)A and glycine receptors includes significant rapid components of desensitization as well as cross-desensitization between the two receptor types. Here, we analyze the mechanism of apparent cross-desensitization between native GABAA and glycine receptors in rat central neurons and quantify to what extent the current decay in the presence of ligand is a result of desensitization versus changes in intracellular Cl− concentration ([Cl−]i). We show that apparent cross-desensitization of currents evoked by GABA and by glycine is caused by changes in [Cl−]i. We also show that changes in [Cl−]i are critical for the decay of current in the presence of either GABA or glycine, whereas changes in conductance often play a minor role only. Thus, the currents decayed significantly quicker than the conductances, which decayed with time constants of several seconds and in some cells did not decay below the value at peak current during 20-s agonist application. By taking the cytosolic volume into account and numerically computing the membrane currents and expected changes in [Cl−]i, we provide a theoretical framework for the observed effects. Modeling diffusional exchange of Cl− between cytosol and patch pipettes, we also show that considerable changes in [Cl−]i may be expected and cause rapidly decaying current components in conventional whole cell or outside-out patch recordings. The findings imply that a reevaluation of the desensitization properties of GABAA and glycine receptors is needed. PMID:22084415

  6. Assessment of Methods for the Intracellular Blockade of GABAA Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Atherton, Laura A.; Burnell, Erica S.; Mellor, Jack R.

    2016-01-01

    Selective blockade of inhibitory synaptic transmission onto specific neurons is a useful tool for dissecting the excitatory and inhibitory synaptic components of ongoing network activity. To achieve this, intracellular recording with a patch solution capable of blocking GABAA receptors has advantages over other manipulations, such as pharmacological application of GABAergic antagonists or optogenetic inhibition of populations of interneurones, in that the majority of inhibitory transmission is unaffected and hence the remaining network activity preserved. Here, we assess three previously described methods to block inhibition: intracellular application of the molecules picrotoxin, 4,4’-dinitro-stilbene-2,2’-disulphonic acid (DNDS) and 4,4’-diisothiocyanostilbene-2,2’-disulphonic acid (DIDS). DNDS and picrotoxin were both found to be ineffective at blocking evoked, monosynaptic inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs) onto mouse CA1 pyramidal cells. An intracellular solution containing DIDS and caesium fluoride, but lacking nucleotides ATP and GTP, was effective at decreasing the amplitude of IPSCs. However, this effect was found to be independent of DIDS, and the absence of intracellular nucleotides, and was instead due to the presence of fluoride ions in this intracellular solution, which also blocked spontaneously occurring IPSCs during hippocampal sharp waves. Critically, intracellular fluoride ions also caused a decrease in both spontaneous and evoked excitatory synaptic currents and precluded the inclusion of nucleotides in the intracellular solution. Therefore, of the methods tested, only fluoride ions were effective for intracellular blockade of IPSCs but this approach has additional cellular effects reducing its selectivity and utility. PMID:27501143

  7. The cannabinoid CB1 receptor antagonists rimonabant (SR141716) and AM251 directly potentiate GABA(A) receptors.

    PubMed

    Baur, R; Gertsch, J; Sigel, E

    2012-04-01

    Rimonabant (SR141716) and the structurally related AM251 are widely used in pharmacological experiments as selective cannabinoid receptor CB(1) antagonists / inverse agonists. Concentrations of 0.5-10 µM are usually applied in in vitro experiments. We intended to show that these drugs did not act at GABA(A) receptors but found a significant positive allosteric modulation instead. Recombinant GABA(A) receptors were expressed in Xenopus oocytes. Receptors were exposed to AM251 or rimonabant in the absence and presence of GABA. Standard electrophysiological techniques were used to monitor the elicited ionic currents. AM251 dose-dependently potentiated responses to 0.5 µM GABA at the recombinant α(1) β(2) γ(2) GABA(A) receptor with an EC(50) below 1 µM and a maximal potentiation of about eightfold. The Hill coefficient indicated that more than one binding site for AM251 was located in this receptor. Rimonabant had a lower affinity, but a fourfold higher efficacy. AM251 potentiated also currents mediated by α(1) β(2) , α(x) β(2) γ(2) (x = 2,3,5,6), α(1) β(3) γ(2) and α(4) β(2) δ GABA(A) receptors, but not those mediated by α(1) β(1) γ(2) . Interestingly, the CB(1) receptor antagonists LY320135 and O-2050 did not significantly affect α(1) β(2) γ(2) GABA(A) receptor-mediated currents at concentrations of 1 µM. This study identified rimonabant and AM251 as positive allosteric modulators of GABA(A) receptors. Thus, potential GABAergic effects of commonly used concentrations of these compounds should be considered in in vitro experiments, especially at extrasynaptic sites where GABA concentrations are low. This article is part of a themed section on Cannabinoids in Biology and Medicine. To view the other articles in this section visit http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bph.2012.165.issue-8. To view Part I of Cannabinoids in Biology and Medicine visit http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bph.2011.163.issue-7. © 2011 The Authors. British Journal of Pharmacology

  8. Removal of GABAA Receptor γ2 Subunits from Parvalbumin Neurons Causes Wide-Ranging Behavioral Alterations

    PubMed Central

    Leppä, Elli; Linden, Anni-Maija; Vekovischeva, Olga Y.; Swinny, Jerome D.; Rantanen, Ville; Toppila, Esko; Höger, Harald; Sieghart, Werner; Wulff, Peer; Wisden, William; Korpi, Esa R.

    2011-01-01

    We investigated the behavioral significance of fast synaptic inhibition by αβγ2-type GABAA receptors on parvalbumin (Pv) cells. The GABAA receptor γ2 subunit gene was selectively inactivated in Pv-positive neurons by Cre/loxP recombination. The resulting Pv-Δγ2 mice were relatively healthy in the first postnatal weeks; but then as Cre started to be expressed, the mice progressively developed wide-ranging phenotypic alterations including low body weight, motor deficits and tremor, decreased anxiety levels, decreased pain sensitivity and deficient prepulse inhibition of the acoustic startle reflex and impaired spatial learning. Nevertheless, the deletion was not lethal, and mice did not show increased mortality even after one year. Autoradiography with t-butylbicyclophosphoro[35S]thionate suggested an increased amount of GABAA receptors with only α and β subunits in central nervous system regions that contained high levels of parvalbumin neurons. Using BAC-transgenesis, we reduced some of the Pv-Δγ2 phenotype by selectively re-expressing the wild-type γ2 subunit back into some Pv cells (reticular thalamic neurons and cerebellar Pv-positive neurons). This produced less severe impairments of motor skills and spatial learning compared with Pv-Δγ2 mice, but all other deficits remained. Our results reveal the widespread significance of fast GABAergic inhibition onto Pv-positive neurons for diverse behavioral modalities, such as motor coordination, sensorimotor integration, emotional behavior and nociception. PMID:21912668

  9. Neuroactive steroids have multiple actions to potentiate GABAA receptors.

    PubMed

    Akk, Gustav; Bracamontes, John R; Covey, Douglas F; Evers, Alex; Dao, Tim; Steinbach, Joe Henry

    2004-07-01

    The effects of neuroactive steroids on the function of GABAA receptors were studied using cell-attached records of single channel activity recorded from HEK293 cells transfected with alpha1 beta2 gamma2L subunits. Activity was elicited with a half-maximal (50 microM) concentration of GABA. Two steroids were studied in detail: ACN ((3alpha,5alpha,17beta)-3-hydroxyandrostane-17-carbonitrile) and B285 ((3alpha,5beta,17beta)-3-hydroxy-18-norandrostane-17-carbonitrile). Four effects on channel activity were seen, two on open time distributions and two on closed times. When clusters of openings were elicited in the absence of steroid, the open time distribution contained three components. ACN produced concentration-dependent alterations in the open time distribution. The prevalence of the longest duration class of open times was increased from about 15% to about 40% (EC50 about 180 nM ACN), while the duration of the longest class increased from 7.4 ms to 27 ms (EC50 about 35 nM ACN). B285 also increased the prevalence of the longest duration open times (EC50 about 18 nM B285) but increased the duration only at concentrations close to 10 microM. The differences in the actions of these two steroids suggest that the effects on proportion and duration of the long duration open time component are produced by independent mechanisms and that there are separate recognition sites for the steroids which are associated with the two functional actions. The closed time distributions also showed three components in the absence of steroid. The rate of occurrence of the two brief duration closed time components decreased with increasing ACN, with an EC50 of about 50 nM ACN. In contrast, B285 did not reduce the rate of occurrence of the brief closings until high concentrations were applied. However, both B285 and ACN reduced the rate of occurrence of the activation-related closed state selectively, with comparable IC50 concentrations (about 40 nM ACN, 20 nM B285). As in the case for

  10. Potentiation of GABAA receptors expressed in Xenopus oocytes by perfume and phytoncid.

    PubMed

    Aoshima, H; Hamamoto, K

    1999-04-01

    To study the effects of perfume and phytoncid on GABAA receptors, ionotropic GABAA receptors were expressed in Xenopus oocytes by injecting mRNAs that had been prepared from rat whole brain. Essential oil, perfume and such phytoncid as leaf alcohol, hinokitiol, pinene, eugenol, citronellol and citronellal potentiated the response in the presence of GABA at low concentrations (10 and 30 microM), possibly because they bound to the potentiation-site in GABAA receptors and increased the affinity of GABA to the receptors. Since it is known that the potentiation of GABAA receptors by benzodiazepine, barbiturate, steroids and anesthetics induces the anxiolytic, anticonvulsant and sedative activity or anesthetic effect, these results suggest the possibility that the intake of perfume or phytoncid through the lungs, the skin or the intestines modulates the neural transmission in the brain through ionotropic GABAA receptors and changes the frame of the human mind, as alcohol or tobacco does.

  11. Ionic Mechanisms of Neuronal Excitation by Inhibitory GABA_A Receptors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Staley, Kevin J.; Soldo, Brandi L.; Proctor, William R.

    1995-08-01

    Gamma-aminobutyric acid A (GABA_A) receptors are the principal mediators of synaptic inhibition, and yet when intensely activated, dendritic GABA_A receptors excite rather than inhibit neurons. The membrane depolarization mediated by GABA_A receptors is a result of the differential, activity-dependent collapse of the opposing concentration gradients of chloride and bicarbonate, the anions that permeate the GABA_A ionophore. Because this depolarization diminishes the voltage-dependent block of the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor by magnesium, the activity-dependent depolarization mediated by GABA is sufficient to account for frequency modulation of synaptic NMDA receptor activation. Anionic gradient shifts may represent a mechanism whereby the rate and coherence of synaptic activity determine whether dendritic GABA_A receptor activation is excitatory or inhibitory.

  12. Subunit-Specific Trafficking of GABAA Receptors during Status Epilepticus

    PubMed Central

    Goodkin, Howard P.; Joshi, Suchitra; Mtchedlishvili, Zakaria; Brar, Jasmit; Kapur, Jaideep

    2010-01-01

    It is proposed that a reduced surface expression of GABAA receptors (GABARs) contributes to the pathogenesis of status epilepticus (SE), a condition characterized by prolonged seizures. This hypothesis was based on the finding that prolonged epileptiform bursting (repetitive bursts of prolonged depolarizations with superimposed action potentials) in cultures of dissociated hippocampal pyramidal neurons (dissociated cultures) results in the increased intracellular accumulation of GABARs. However, it is not known whether this rapid modification in the surface-expressed GABAR pool results from selective, subunit-dependent or nonselective, subunit-independent internalization of GABARs. In hippocampal slices obtained from animals undergoing prolonged SE (SE-treated slices), we found that the surface expression of the GABARβ2/3 and γ2 subunits was reduced, whereas that of the δ subunit was not. Complementary electrophysiological recordings from dentate granule cells in SE-treated slices demonstrated a reduction in GABAR-mediated synaptic inhibition, but not tonic inhibition. A reduction in the surface expression of the γ2 subunit, but not the δ subunit was also observed in dissociated cultures and organotypic hippocampal slice cultures when incubated in an elevated KCl external medium or an elevated KCl external medium supplemented with NMDA, respectively. Additional studies demonstrated that the reduction in the surface expression of the γ2 subunit was independent of direct ligand binding of the GABAR. These findings demonstrate that the regulation of surface-expressed GABAR pool during SE is subunit-specific and occurs independent of ligand binding. The differential modulation of the surface expression of GABARs during SE has potential implications for the treatment of this neurological emergency. PMID:18322097

  13. The role of GABA(A) receptors in the development of alcoholism.

    PubMed

    Enoch, Mary-Anne

    2008-07-01

    Alcoholism is a common, heritable, chronic relapsing disorder. GABA(A) receptors undergo allosteric modulation by ethanol, anesthetics, benzodiazepines and neurosteroids and have been implicated in the acute as well as the chronic effects of ethanol including tolerance, dependence and withdrawal. Medications targeting GABA(A) receptors ameliorate the symptoms of acute withdrawal. Ethanol induces plasticity in GABA(A) receptors: tolerance is associated with generally decreased GABA(A) receptor activation and differentially altered subunit expression. The dopamine (DA) mesolimbic reward pathway originating in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), and interacting stress circuitry play an important role in the development of addiction. VTA GABAergic interneurons are the primary inhibitory regulators of DA neurons and a subset of VTA GABA(A) receptors may be implicated in the switch from heavy drinking to dependence. GABA(A) receptors modulate anxiety and response to stress; important elements of sustained drinking and relapse. The GABA(A) receptor subunit genes clustered on chromosome 4 are highly expressed in the reward pathway. Several recent studies have provided strong evidence that one of these genes, GABRA2, is implicated in alcoholism in humans. The influence of the interaction between ethanol and GABA(A) receptors in the reward pathway on the development of alcoholism together with genetic and epigenetic vulnerabilities will be explored in this review.

  14. Tyrosine kinase phosphorylation of GABA(A) receptor alpha1, beta2 and gamma2 subunits following chronic intermittent ethanol (CIE) exposure of cultured cortical neurons of mice.

    PubMed

    Ravindran, C R Marutha; Ticku, Maharaj K

    2006-09-01

    There is evidence that many of the GABA(A) receptor subunits contain consensus sequence for tyrosine kinase, and phosphorylation may play a key role in ethanol's regulation of GABA(A) receptors. Recently, we investigated the effect of chronic exposure of ethanol (CE) on tyrosine kinase phosphorylation and reported that there was an up-regulation in tyrosine kinase phosphorylation of the beta(2)- and gamma(2)- subunits and no effect on alpha(1)-subunit of the GABA(A) receptor in the cultured cortical neurons of mice. In the present study, we have further investigated the effect of chronic intermittent administration of ethanol (CIE) on tyrosine kinase phosphorylation of the GABA(A) receptor subunits (alpha(1), beta(2), and gamma(2)) in the mouse cultured cortical neurons by immunoprecipitation and Western blot techniques. We observed that there was an up-regulation in the tyrosine kinase phosphorylation of the GABA(A )receptor beta(2)- and gamma(2)-subunits following CIE exposure, and no effect on alpha(1)-subunit in the cultured cortical neurons of mice. These CIE changes, unlike CE, were not reverted back to the control level following ethanol withdrawal even after 7 days. Acute exposure of ethanol did not cause any change in the tyrosine kinase regulation of the GABA(A) receptor subunits. In conclusion, the CIE exposure, unlike chronic/acute ethanol exposure, regulates the tyrosine kinase phosphorylation of the selective population of GABA(A )receptors in a long lasting manner.

  15. Aripiprazole Increases the PKA Signalling and Expression of the GABAA Receptor and CREB1 in the Nucleus Accumbens of Rats.

    PubMed

    Pan, Bo; Lian, Jiamei; Huang, Xu-Feng; Deng, Chao

    2016-05-01

    The GABAA receptor is implicated in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia and regulated by PKA signalling. Current antipsychotics bind with D2-like receptors, but not the GABAA receptor. The cAMP-responsive element-binding protein 1 (CREB1) is also associated with PKA signalling and may be related to the positive symptoms of schizophrenia. This study investigated the effects of antipsychotics in modulating D2-mediated PKA signalling and its downstream GABAA receptors and CREB1. Rats were treated orally with aripiprazole (0.75 mg/kg, ter in die (t.i.d.)), bifeprunox (0.8 mg/kg, t.i.d.), haloperidol (0.1 mg/kg, t.i.d.) or vehicle for 1 week. The levels of PKA-Cα and p-PKA in the prefrontal cortex (PFC), nucleus accumbens (NAc) and caudate putamen (CPu) were detected by Western blots. The mRNA levels of Gabrb1, Gabrb2, Gabrb3 and Creb1, and their protein expression were measured by qRT-PCR and Western blots, respectively. Aripiprazole elevated the levels of p-PKA and the ratio of p-PKA/PKA in the NAc, but not the PFC and CPu. Correlated with this elevated PKA signalling, aripiprazole elevated the mRNA and protein expression of the GABAA (β-1) receptor and CREB1 in the NAc. While haloperidol elevated the levels of p-PKA and the ratio of p-PKA/PKA in both NAc and CPu, it only tended to increase the expression of the GABAA (β-1) receptor and CREB1 in the NAc, but not the CPu. Bifeprunox had no effects on PKA signalling in these brain regions. These results suggest that aripiprazole has selective effects on upregulating the GABAA (β-1) receptor and CREB1 in the NAc, probably via activating PKA signalling.

  16. GABA-independent GABAA Receptor Openings Maintain Tonic Currents

    PubMed Central

    Wlodarczyk, Agnieszka I.; Sylantyev, Sergiy; Herd, Murray B.; Kersanté, Flavie; Lambert, Jeremy J.; Rusakov, Dmitri A.; Linthorst, Astrid C.E.; Semyanov, Alexey; Belelli, Delia; Pavlov, Ivan; Walker, Matthew C.

    2013-01-01

    Activation of GABAA receptors (GABAARs) produces two forms of inhibition: ‘phasic’ inhibition generated by the rapid, transient activation of synaptic GABAARs by presynaptic GABA release, and tonic inhibition generated by the persistent activation of peri- or extrasynaptic GABAARs which can detect extracellular GABA. Such tonic GABAAR-mediated currents are particularly evident in dentate granule cells in which they play a major role in regulating cell excitability. Here we show that in rat dentate granule cells in ex-vivo hippocampal slices, tonic currents are predominantly generated by GABA-independent GABAA receptor openings. This tonic GABAAR conductance is resistant to the competitive GABAAR antagonist SR95531, which at high concentrations acts as a partial agonist, but can be blocked by an open channel blocker picrotoxin. When slices are perfused with 200 nM GABA, a concentration that is comparable to cerebrospinal fluid concentrations but is twice that measured by us in the hippocampus in vivo using zero-net-flux microdialysis, negligible GABA is detected by dentate granule cells. Spontaneously opening GABAARs, therefore, maintain dentate granule cell tonic currents in the face of low extracellular GABA concentrations. PMID:23447601

  17. GABAA receptor subtypes in the mouse brain: Regional mapping and diazepam receptor occupancy by in vivo [(18)F]flumazenil PET.

    PubMed

    Müller Herde, Adrienne; Benke, Dietmar; Ralvenius, William T; Mu, Linjing; Schibli, Roger; Zeilhofer, Hanns Ulrich; Krämer, Stefanie D

    2017-04-15

    Classical benzodiazepines, which are widely used as sedatives, anxiolytics and anticonvulsants, exert their therapeutic effects through interactions with heteropentameric GABAA receptors composed of two α, two β and one γ2 subunit. Their high affinity binding site is located at the interface between the γ2 and the adjacent α subunit. The α-subunit gene family consists of six members and receptors can be homomeric or mixed with respect to the α-subunits. Previous work has suggested that benzodiazepine binding site ligands with selectivity for individual GABAA receptor subtypes, as defined by the benzodiazepine-binding α subunit, may have fewer side effects and may even be effective in diseases, such as schizophrenia, autism or chronic pain, that do not respond well to classical benzodiazepines. The distributions of the individual α subunits across the CNS have been extensively characterized. However, as GABAA receptors may contain two different α subunits, the distribution of the subunits does not necessarily reflect the distribution of receptor subtypes with respect to benzodiazepine pharmacology. In the present study, we have used in vivo [(18)F]flumazenil PET and in vitro [(3)H]flumazenil autoradiography in combination with GABAA receptor point-mutated mice to characterize the distribution of the two most prevalent GABAA receptor subtypes (α1 and α2) throughout the mouse brain. The results were in agreement with published in vitro data. High levels of α2-containing receptors were found in brain regions of the neuronal network of anxiety. The α1/α2 subunit combinations were predictable from the individual subunit levels. In additional experiments, we explored in vivo [(18)F]flumazenil PET to determine the degree of receptor occupancy at GABAA receptor subtypes following oral administration of diazepam. The dose to occupy 50% of sensitive receptors, independent of the receptor subtype(s), was 1-2mg/kg, in agreement with published data from ex vivo

  18. Aging of whiskey increases the potentiation of GABA(A) receptor response.

    PubMed

    Koda, Hirofumi; Hossain, Sheikh Julfikar; Kiso, Yoshinobu; Aoshima, Hitoshi

    2003-08-27

    It is known that the target of most mood-defining compounds such as ethanol is an ionotropic gamma-aminobutyric acid receptor (GABA(A) receptor). The potentiation of the response of these inhibitory neurotransmitter receptors induces anxiolytic, sedative, and anesthetic activities in the human brain. Because both extracts of whiskey by pentane and fragrant components in whiskey potentiate the GABA(A) receptor-mediated response, GABA(A) receptors were expressed in Xenopus oocyte by injecting cRNAs prepared from the cloned cDNA for the alpha(1) and beta(1) subunits of the bovine receptors in order to study the effects of whiskey itself on the GABA(A) receptor-mediated response. Whiskey itself also potentiated the electrical responses of GABA(A) receptors generally more than ethanol at the same concentration as that of the whiskey. The potentiation of the GABA(A) receptor-mediated response increased with the aging period of the whiskey. Inhalation of whiskey to mice increased the sleeping time induced by pentobarbital more than that of the same concentration of ethanol as the whiskey. These results suggest that not only ethanol but also minor components in whiskey play an important role in the potentiation of GABA(A) receptor-mediated response and possibly the sedative effect of whiskey. Although the minor components are present in extremely small quantities compared with ethanol in alcoholic beverages, they may modulate the mood or consciousness of humans through the potentiation of the GABA(A) receptor response after absorption into the brain, because these hydrophobic compounds are easily absorbed into the brain across the blood-brain barrier and are several thousands times as potent as ethanol in the potentiation of the GABA(A) receptor-mediated response.

  19. Regulation of cognition and symptoms of psychosis: focus on GABA(A) receptors and glycine transporter 1.

    PubMed

    Möhler, Hanns; Rudolph, Uwe; Boison, Detlev; Singer, Philipp; Feldon, Joram; Yee, Benjamin K

    2008-07-01

    Adaptive purposeful behaviour depends on appropriate modifications of synaptic connectivity that incorporate an organism's past experience. At least some forms of such synaptic plasticity are believed to be mediated by NMDA receptors (NMDARs). Complementary interaction with inhibitory neurotransmission mediated by GABA(A) receptors, and upstream control of the excitability of NMDARs by glycine availability can greatly influence the efficacy of NMDAR mediated neuroplasticity, and thereby exert significant effects on cognition. Memory, selective attention or sensorimotor gating functions can be modified in mice with a reduction of alpha(5)GABA(A) receptors in the hippocampus or a selective deletion of glycine transporter 1 (GlyT1) in the forebrain. Both genetic manipulations altered the formation or persistence of associative links leading to distinct phenotypes on trace conditioning, extinction learning, latent inhibition, working memory, and object recognition. Behavioural assays of latent inhibition, prepulse inhibition, working memory, and sensitivity to psychostimulants in particular suggest that alpha(3) and alpha(5) subunit-containing GABA(A) receptors as well as GlyT1 are potential sites for ameliorating psychotic-like behaviour. Taken together, these results qualify distinct GABA-A receptor subtypes and GlyT1 as molecular targets for the development of a new pharmacology in the treatment of cognitive decline and psychotic symptoms.

  20. Developmental Impact of a Familial GABAA Receptor Epilepsy Mutation

    PubMed Central

    Chiu, Cindy; Reid, Christopher A.; Tan, Heneu O.; Davies, Philip J.; Single, Frank N.; Koukoulas, Irene; Berkovic, Samuel F.; Tan, Seong-Seng; Sprengel, Rolf; Jones, Mathew V.; Petrou, Steven

    2013-01-01

    Objective A major goal of epilepsy research is to understand the molecular and functional basis of seizure genesis. A human GABAA γ2 gene mutation (R43Q) is associated with generalized epilepsy. Introduction of this mutation into a mouse by gene targeting recapitulates the human phenotype demonstrating a strong genotype to phenotype link. GABAA receptors play a role in the moment-to-moment control of brain function and also on the long-term wiring of the brain by directing neuronal development. Our objective was to determine whether developmental expression of the mutation alters seizure susceptibility later in life. Methods A tetracycline-based conditional model for activation of a hypomorphic Q43 disease allele was created and validated. Seizure susceptibility was assessed using the subcutaneous pentylenetetrazole model. Results Seizure susceptibility was significantly reduced in mice where the Q43 allele was suppressed during development. Interpretation These results demonstrate that a human epilepsy-causing mutation impacts network stability during a critical developmental period. These data suggest that identification of presymptomatic children may provide a window for therapeutic intervention before overt symptoms are observed, potentially altering the course of epileptogenesis. PMID:18825662

  1. A Review of the Updated Pharmacophore for the Alpha 5 GABA(A) Benzodiazepine Receptor Model

    PubMed Central

    Clayton, Terry; Poe, Michael M.; Rallapalli, Sundari; Biawat, Poonam; Savić, Miroslav M.; Rowlett, James K.; Gallos, George; Emala, Charles W.; Kaczorowski, Catherine C.; Stafford, Douglas C.; Arnold, Leggy A.; Cook, James M.

    2015-01-01

    An updated model of the GABA(A) benzodiazepine receptor pharmacophore of the α5-BzR/GABA(A) subtype has been constructed prompted by the synthesis of subtype selective ligands in light of the recent developments in both ligand synthesis, behavioral studies, and molecular modeling studies of the binding site itself. A number of BzR/GABA(A) α5 subtype selective compounds were synthesized, notably α5-subtype selective inverse agonist PWZ-029 (1) which is active in enhancing cognition in both rodents and primates. In addition, a chiral positive allosteric modulator (PAM), SH-053-2′F-R-CH3 (2), has been shown to reverse the deleterious effects in the MAM-model of schizophrenia as well as alleviate constriction in airway smooth muscle. Presented here is an updated model of the pharmacophore for α5β2γ2 Bz/GABA(A) receptors, including a rendering of PWZ-029 docked within the α5-binding pocket showing specific interactions of the molecule with the receptor. Differences in the included volume as compared to α1β2γ2, α2β2γ2, and α3β2γ2 will be illustrated for clarity. These new models enhance the ability to understand structural characteristics of ligands which act as agonists, antagonists, or inverse agonists at the Bz BS of GABA(A) receptors. PMID:26682068

  2. Menthol enhances phasic and tonic GABAA receptor-mediated currents in midbrain periaqueductal grey neurons

    PubMed Central

    Lau, Benjamin K; Karim, Shafinaz; Goodchild, Ann K; Vaughan, Christopher W; Drew, Geoffrey M

    2014-01-01

    Background and Purpose Menthol, a naturally occurring compound in the essential oil of mint leaves, is used for its medicinal, sensory and fragrant properties. Menthol acts via transient receptor potential (TRPM8 and TRPA1) channels and as a positive allosteric modulator of recombinant GABAA receptors. Here, we examined the actions of menthol on GABAA receptor-mediated currents in intact midbrain slices. Experimental Approach Whole-cell voltage-clamp recordings were made from periaqueductal grey (PAG) neurons in midbrain slices from rats to determine the effects of menthol on GABAA receptor-mediated phasic IPSCs and tonic currents. Key Results Menthol (150–750 μM) produced a concentration-dependent prolongation of spontaneous GABAA receptor-mediated IPSCs, but not non-NMDA receptor-mediated EPSCs throughout the PAG. Menthol actions were unaffected by TRPM8 and TRPA1 antagonists, tetrodotoxin and the benzodiazepine antagonist, flumazenil. Menthol also enhanced a tonic current, which was sensitive to the GABAA receptor antagonists, picrotoxin (100 μM), bicuculline (30 μM) and Zn2+ (100 μM), but unaffected by gabazine (10 μM) and a GABAC receptor antagonist, 1,2,5,6-tetrahydropyridin-4-yl)methylphosphinic acid hydrate (TPMPA; 50 μM). In addition, menthol potentiated currents induced by the extrasynaptic GABAA receptor agonist THIP/gaboxadol (10 μM). Conclusions and Implications These results suggest that menthol positively modulates both synaptic and extrasynaptic populations of GABAA receptors in native PAG neurons. The development of agents that potentiate GABAA-mediated tonic currents and phasic IPSCs in a manner similar to menthol could provide a basis for novel GABAA-related pharmacotherapies. PMID:24460753

  3. Tobacco smoking interferes with GABAA receptor neuroadaptations during prolonged alcohol withdrawal

    PubMed Central

    Cosgrove, Kelly P.; McKay, Reese; Esterlis, Irina; Kloczynski, Tracy; Perkins, Evgenia; Bois, Frederic; Pittman, Brian; Lancaster, Jack; Glahn, David C.; O’Malley, Stephanie; Carson, Richard E.; Krystal, John H.

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the effects of tobacco smoking on neuroadaptations in GABAA receptor levels over alcohol withdrawal will provide critical insights for the treatment of comorbid alcohol and nicotine dependence. We conducted parallel studies in human subjects and nonhuman primates to investigate the differential effects of tobacco smoking and nicotine on changes in GABAA receptor availability during acute and prolonged alcohol withdrawal. We report that alcohol withdrawal with or without concurrent tobacco smoking/nicotine consumption resulted in significant and robust elevations in GABAA receptor levels over the first week of withdrawal. Over prolonged withdrawal, GABAA receptors returned to control levels in alcohol-dependent nonsmokers, but alcohol-dependent smokers had significant and sustained elevations in GABAA receptors that were associated with craving for alcohol and cigarettes. In nonhuman primates, GABAA receptor levels normalized by 1 mo of abstinence in both groups—that is, those that consumed alcohol alone or the combination of alcohol and nicotine. These data suggest that constituents in tobacco smoke other than nicotine block the recovery of GABAA receptor systems during sustained alcohol abstinence, contributing to alcohol relapse and the perpetuation of smoking. PMID:25453062

  4. Extrasynaptic GABAA receptors in mediodorsal thalamic nucleus modulate fear extinction learning

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background The gamma-amino-butyric acid (GABA) system is a critical mediator of fear extinction process. GABA can induce “phasic” or “tonic” inhibition in neurons through synaptic or extrasynaptic GABAA receptors, respectively. However, role of the thalamic “tonic GABA inhibition” in cognition has not been explored. We addressed this issue in extinction of conditioned fear in mice. Results Here, we show that GABAA receptors in the mediodorsal thalamic nucleus (MD) modulate fear extinction. Microinjection of gabazine, a GABAA receptor antagonist, into the MD decreased freezing behavior in response to the conditioned stimulus and thus facilitated fear extinction. Interestingly, microinjection of THIP (4,5,6,7-tetrahydroisoxazolo[5,4-c]pyridin-3-ol), a preferential agonist for the δ-subunit of extrasynaptic GABAA receptors, into the MD attenuated fear extinction. In the opposite direction, an MD-specific knock-out of the extrasynaptic GABAA receptors facilitated fear extinction. Conclusions Our results suggest that “tonic GABA inhibition” mediated by extrasynaptic GABAA receptors in MD neurons, suppresses fear extinction learning. These results raise a possibility that pharmacological control of tonic mode of GABAA receptor activation may be a target for treatment of anxiety disorders like post-traumatic stress disorder. PMID:24886120

  5. Cyclohexanol analogues are positive modulators of GABAA receptor currents and act as general anaesthetics in vivo

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    GABAA receptors meet all the pharmacological criteria required to be considered important general anaesthetic targets. In the following study, the modulatory effects of various commercially available and novel cyclohexanol were investigated on recombinant human '-aminobutyric acid (GABAA, a1ß2'2s) r...

  6. Dietary acetylenic oxylipin falcarinol differentially modulates GABAA receptors.

    PubMed

    Czyzewska, Marta Magdalena; Chrobok, Lukasz; Kania, Alan; Jatczak, Magdalena; Pollastro, Federica; Appendino, Giovanni; Mozrzymas, Jerzy Wladyslaw

    2014-12-26

    The dietary oxylipins falcarinol (1a) and falcarindiol (1b) trap thiols by direct nucleophilic addition to their diyne system, but despite this, only falcarinol (1a) is a reversible agonist of cannabinoid receptors, providing a rationale for comparing their activity also on other neuronal targets. Because GABAA receptors (GABAARs) are exquisitely sensitive to polyacetylenic oxylipins in terms of either potentiation (falcarindiol, 1b) or inhibition (oenanthotoxin, 2a), the activity of 1a was investigated on synaptic (α1β2γ2L) and extrasynaptic (α1β2δ and α1β2) subtypes of GABAARs. Falcarinol (1a) significantly enhanced the amplitude of currents mediated by α1β2γ2L receptors, but this effect was associated with a use-dependent block. Conversely, α1β2 receptors were inhibited without any sign of use-dependent block for the entire range of concentrations tested (1-10 μM). Interestingly, responses mediated by α1β2δ receptors, showing no or very little macroscopic desensitization, were strongly potentiated by 1a, exhibiting a fading reminiscent of macroscopic desensitization. When compared to the activity of falcarindiol (1b), falcarinol (1a) showed a higher affinity for GABAARs and, overall, a substantially different profile of pharmacological action. Taken together, the present data support the view that modulation of GABAARs might underlie the insecticidal and sedative activity of falcarinol (1a).

  7. CaMKII phosphorylation of the GABAA receptor: receptor subtype- and synapse-specific modulation

    PubMed Central

    Houston, Catriona M; He, Qionger; Smart, Trevor G

    2009-01-01

    As a major inhibitory neurotransmitter, GABA plays a vital role in the brain by controlling the extent of neuronal excitation. This widespread role is reflected by the ubiquitous distribution of GABAA receptors throughout the central nervous system. To regulate the level of neuronal inhibition requires some endogenous control over the release of GABA and/or its postsynaptic response. In this context, Ca2+ ions are often used as primary or secondary messengers frequently resulting in the activation of protein kinases and phosphatases. One such kinase, Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII), can target the GABAA receptor to cause its phosphorylation. Evidence is now emerging, which is reviewed here, that GABAA receptors are indeed substrates for CaMKII and that this covalent modification alters the expression of cell surface receptors and their function. This type of regulation can also feature at inhibitory synapses leading to long-term inhibitory synaptic plasticity. Most recently, CaMKII has now been proposed to differentially phosphorylate particular isoforms of GABAA receptors in a synapse-specific context. PMID:19332484

  8. GABAA receptors are involved in the analgesic effects of morphine microinjected into the central nucleus of the amygdala.

    PubMed

    Rashvand, Mina; Khajavai, Ali; Parviz, Mohsen; Hasanein, Parisa; Keshavarz, Mansoor

    2014-05-01

    The central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA) has an important role in pain perception and analgesia. Opioid and GABAA receptors, which are both involved in pain modulation, are found in high concentration in the CeA. The present study was designed to examine the interaction of opioidergic and GABAergic systems in the CeA during modulation of acute thermal pain. In the present study, different doses of morphine (25, 50 and 100 μg/rat), either alone or after 5 min pretreatment with the selective GABAA receptor agonist muscimol (60 ng/rat) or the selective GABAA receptor antagonist bicuculline (50 ng/rat), were injected bilaterally into the CeA of each rat. Tail-flick latencies (TFL) were measured every 5 min for 60 min. The results revealed that microinjection of morphine into the CeA significantly increased TFL in a dose-dependent manner. Microinjection of bicuculline or muscimol in combination with morphine into the CeA increased and decreased TFL, respectively. It seems that morphine in the CeA facilitates the function of descending inhibitory systems by interacting with the activity of local GABAA receptors.

  9. Souroubea sympetala (Marcgraviaceae): a medicinal plant that exerts anxiolysis through interaction with the GABAA benzodiazepine receptor.

    PubMed

    Mullally, Martha; Cayer, Christian; Kramp, Kari; Otárola Rojas, Marco; Sanchez Vindas, Pablo; Garcia, Mario; Poveda Alvarez, Luis; Durst, Tony; Merali, Zul; Trudeau, Vance L; Arnason, John T

    2014-09-01

    The mode of action of the anxiolytic medicinal plant Souroubea sympetala was investigated to test the hypothesis that extracts and the active principle act at the pharmacologically important GABAA-benzodiazepine (GABAA-BZD) receptor. Leaf extracts prepared by ethyl acetate extraction or supercritical extraction, previously determined to have 5.54 mg/g and 6.78 mg/g of the active principle, betulinic acid, respectively, reduced behavioural parameters associated with anxiety in a rat model. When animals were pretreated with the GABAA-BZD receptor antagonist flumazenil, followed by the plant extracts, or a more soluble derivative of the active principle, the methyl ester of betulinic acid (MeBA), flumazenil eliminated the anxiety-reducing effect of plant extracts and MeBA, demonstrating that S. sympetala acts via an agonist action on the GABAA-BZD receptor. An in vitro GABAA-BZD competitive receptor binding assay also demonstrated that S. sympetala extracts have an affinity for the GABAA-BZD receptor, with an EC50 value of 123 μg/mL (EtOAc leaf extract) and 154 μg/mL (supercritical CO2 extract). These experiments indicate that S. sympetala acts at the GABAA-BZD receptor to elicit anxiolysis.

  10. Hooked on benzodiazepines: GABAA receptor subtypes and addiction

    PubMed Central

    Tan, Kelly R.; Rudolph, Uwe; Lüscher, Christian

    2011-01-01

    Benzodiazepines are widely used clinically to treat anxiety and insomnia. They also induce muscle relaxation, control epileptic seizures, and can provoke amnesia. Moreover, benzodiazepines are often abused after chronic clinical treatment but also for recreational purposes. Within weeks, tolerance to the pharmacological effects can develop, in addition to dependence and even addiction in vulnerable individuals. Here, we review recent observations from animal models regarding the cellular and molecular basis that may underlie the addictive properties of benzodiazepines. These data reveal how benzodiazepines, acting through specific GABAA receptor subtypes, activate midbrain dopamine neurons and how this may hijack the mesolimbic reward system. Such findings have important implications for the future design of benzodiazepines with reduced or even absent addiction liability. PMID:21353710

  11. Binge Drinking: In Search of its Molecular Target via the GABAA Receptor

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Andrew R. S. T.; Liu, Juan; Yi, Heon S.; Warnock, Kaitlin T.; Wang, Mingfei; June, Harry L.; Puche, Adam C.; Elnabawi, Ahmed; Sieghart, Werner; Aurelian, Laure; June, Harry L.

    2011-01-01

    Binge drinking, frequently referred to clinically as problem or hazardous drinking, is a pattern of excessive alcohol intake characterized by blood alcohol levels ≥0.08 g% within a 2-h period. Here, we show that overexpression of α1 subunits of the GABAA receptor contributes to binge drinking, and further document that this involvement is related to the neuroanatomical localization of α1 receptor subunits. Using a herpes simplex virus amplicon vector to deliver small interference RNA (siRNA), we showed that siRNA specific for the α1 subunit (pHSVsiLA1) caused profound, long-term, and selective reduction of gene expression, receptor density, and binge drinking in high-alcohol drinking rats when delivered into the ventral pallidum (VP). Scrambled siRNA (pHSVsiNC) delivered similarly into the VP failed to alter gene expression, receptor density, or binge drinking. Silencing of the α1 gene in the VP, however, failed to alter binge sucrose or water intake. These results, along with our prior research, provide compelling evidence that the α1-containing GABAA receptor subunits are critical in the regulation of binge-like patterns of excessive drinking. Collectively, these data may be useful in the development of gene-based and novel pharmacological approaches for the treatment of excessive drinking. PMID:22022305

  12. Increased Motor-Impairing Effects of the Neuroactive Steroid Pregnanolone in Mice with Targeted Inactivation of the GABAA Receptor γ2 Subunit in the Cerebellum

    PubMed Central

    Leppä, Elli; Linden, Anni-Maija; Aller, Maria I.; Wulff, Peer; Vekovischeva, Olga; Luscher, Bernhard; Lüddens, Hartmut; Wisden, William; Korpi, Esa R.

    2016-01-01

    Endogenous neurosteroids and neuroactive steroids have potent and widespread actions on the brain via inhibitory GABAA receptors. In recombinant receptors and genetic mouse models their actions depend on the α, β, and δ subunits of the receptor, especially on those that form extrasynaptic GABAA receptors responsible for non-synaptic (tonic) inhibition, but they also act on synaptically enriched γ2 subunit-containing receptors and even on αβ binary receptors. Here we tested whether behavioral sensitivity to the neuroactive steroid agonist 5β-pregnan-3α-ol-20-one is altered in genetically engineered mouse models that have deficient GABAA receptor-mediated synaptic inhibition in selected neuronal populations. Mouse lines with the GABAA receptor γ2 subunit gene selectively deleted either in parvalbumin-containing cells (including cerebellar Purkinje cells), cerebellar granule cells, or just in cerebellar Purkinje cells were trained on the accelerated rotating rod and then tested for motor impairment after cumulative intraperitoneal dosing of 5β-pregnan-3α-ol-20-one. Motor-impairing effects of 5β-pregnan-3α-ol-20-one were strongly increased in all three mouse models in which γ2 subunit-dependent synaptic GABAA responses in cerebellar neurons were genetically abolished. Furthermore, rescue of postsynaptic GABAA receptors in Purkinje cells normalized the effect of the steroid. Anxiolytic/explorative effects of the steroid in elevated plus maze and light:dark exploration tests in mice with Purkinje cell γ2 subunit inactivation were similar to those in control mice. The results suggest that, when the deletion of γ2 subunit has removed synaptic GABAA receptors from the specific cerebellar neuronal populations, the effects of neuroactive steroids solely on extrasynaptic αβ or αβδ receptors lead to enhanced changes in the cerebellum-generated behavior. PMID:27833556

  13. The GABAA receptor is an FMRP target with therapeutic potential in fragile X syndrome.

    PubMed

    Braat, Sien; D'Hulst, Charlotte; Heulens, Inge; De Rubeis, Silvia; Mientjes, Edwin; Nelson, David L; Willemsen, Rob; Bagni, Claudia; Van Dam, Debby; De Deyn, Peter P; Kooy, R Frank

    2015-01-01

    Previous research indicates that the GABAAergic system is involved in the pathophysiology of the fragile X syndrome, a frequent form of inherited intellectual disability and associated with autism spectrum disorder. However, the molecular mechanism underlying GABAAergic deficits has remained largely unknown. Here, we demonstrate reduced mRNA expression of GABAA receptor subunits in the cortex and cerebellum of young Fmr1 knockout mice. In addition, we show that the previously reported underexpression of specific subunits of the GABAA receptor can be corrected in YAC transgenic rescue mice, containing the full-length human FMR1 gene in an Fmr1 knockout background. Moreover, we demonstrate that FMRP directly binds several GABAA receptor mRNAs. Finally, positive allosteric modulation of GABAA receptors with the neurosteroid ganaxolone can modulate specific behaviors in Fmr1 knockout mice, emphasizing the therapeutic potential of the receptor.

  14. The GABAA receptor is an FMRP target with therapeutic potential in fragile X syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Braat, Sien; D'Hulst, Charlotte; Heulens, Inge; De Rubeis, Silvia; Mientjes, Edwin; Nelson, David L; Willemsen, Rob; Bagni, Claudia; Van Dam, Debby; De Deyn, Peter P; Kooy, R Frank

    2015-01-01

    Previous research indicates that the GABAAergic system is involved in the pathophysiology of the fragile X syndrome, a frequent form of inherited intellectual disability and associated with autism spectrum disorder. However, the molecular mechanism underlying GABAAergic deficits has remained largely unknown. Here, we demonstrate reduced mRNA expression of GABAA receptor subunits in the cortex and cerebellum of young Fmr1 knockout mice. In addition, we show that the previously reported underexpression of specific subunits of the GABAA receptor can be corrected in YAC transgenic rescue mice, containing the full-length human FMR1 gene in an Fmr1 knockout background. Moreover, we demonstrate that FMRP directly binds several GABAA receptor mRNAs. Finally, positive allosteric modulation of GABAA receptors with the neurosteroid ganaxolone can modulate specific behaviors in Fmr1 knockout mice, emphasizing the therapeutic potential of the receptor. PMID:25790165

  15. GABAA/benzodiazepine receptor complex mediates the anxiolytic-like effect of Montanoa tomentosa.

    PubMed

    Sollozo-Dupont, Isabel; Estrada-Camarena, Erika; Carro-Juárez, Miguel; López-Rubalcava, Carolina

    2015-03-13

    Montanoa tomentosa also named Cihuapatli is a native plant of Mexico that has been used in traditional medicine for the last five centuries mainly as a remedy for reproductive impairments. However, there are reports indicating that this plant was also consumed by Mexican ancient people for its relaxing properties. In order to corroborate this information, the present study was conducted to evaluate the effect of Montanoa tomentosa lyophilisate (MT) on rat׳s anxiety-like behavior and to analyze its mechanism of action. The anxiolytic-like action of MT (1.5, 3.0, 6.0 and 12.0 mg/kg) was investigated in male Wistar rats tested in three animal models of anxiety: the burying behavior, the elevated plus maze and the hole-board tests. As a positive control, the anti-anxiety effects of different doses of the selective GABAA receptor agonist muscimol were also analyzed. In order to evaluate the participation of the GABAA and oxytocin receptors in the anxiolytic-like actions of MT, the GABAA receptors blockers picrotoxin (0.25 and 0.50 mg/kg), bicuculline (2.0 mg/kg) and flumazenil (5.00 and 10.0 mg/kg), the neurosteroid inhibitor finasteride (50.0 and 100 mg/kg) and the oxytocin receptor antagonist atosiban (0.25 µg) were used. Finally, to evaluate general activity, and motor coordination, the open field and rota-rod tests were used. MT at 3.0 mg/kg showed anxiolytic-like effects in the three anxiety paradigms without affecting reactivity, general motor activity or motor coordination; however, at higher doses sedative effects were observed. Picrotoxin (0.25 and 0.50 mg/kg), flumazenil (10.0 mg/kg) and finasteride (100 mg/kg) antagonized the anxiolytic-like actions of MT in the burying behavior test. In the plus maze and hole-board tests bicuculline (2.0 mg/kg) blocked the effects of the plant as well. Atosiban (0.25 µg) did not antagonize the anxiolytic-like actions of MT. The results corroborate the anxiolytic-like actions of Montanoa tomentosa and suggest that this

  16. Molecular Mechanisms of Antiseizure Drug Activity at GABAA Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Greenfield, L. John

    2013-01-01

    The GABAA receptor (GABAAR) is a major target of antiseizure drugs (ASDs). A variety of agents that act at GABAARs s are used to terminate or prevent seizures. Many act at distinct receptor sites determined by the subunit composition of the holoreceptor. For the benzodiazepines, barbiturates, and loreclezole, actions at the GABAAR are the primary or only known mechanism of antiseizure action. For topiramate, felbamate, retigabine, losigamone and stiripentol, GABAAR modulation is one of several possible antiseizure mechanisms. Allopregnanolone, a progesterone metabolite that enhances GABAAR function, led to the development of ganaxolone. Other agents modulate GABAergic “tone” by regulating the synthesis, transport or breakdown of GABA. GABAAR efficacy is also affected by the transmembrane chloride gradient, which changes during development and in chronic epilepsy. This may provide an additional target for “GABAergic” ASDs. GABAAR subunit changes occur both acutely during status epilepticus and in chronic epilepsy, which alter both intrinsic GABAAR function and the response to GABAAR-acting ASDs. Manipulation of subunit expression patterns or novel ASDs targeting the altered receptors may provide a novel approach for seizure prevention. PMID:23683707

  17. The α5 subunit containing GABAA receptors contribute to chronic pain.

    PubMed

    Bravo-Hernández, Mariana; Corleto, José A; Barragán-Iglesias, Paulino; González-Ramírez, Ricardo; Pineda-Farias, Jorge B; Felix, Ricardo; Calcutt, Nigel A; Delgado-Lezama, Rodolfo; Marsala, Martin; Granados-Soto, Vinicio

    2016-03-01

    It has been recently proposed that α5-subunit containing GABAA receptors (α5-GABAA receptors) that mediate tonic inhibition might be involved in pain. The purpose of this study was to investigate the contribution of α5-GABAA receptors in the loss of GABAergic inhibition and in formalin-induced, complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA)-induced and L5 and L6 spinal nerve ligation-induced long-lasting hypersensitivity. Formalin or CFA injection and L5 and L6 spinal nerve ligation produced long-lasting allodynia and hyperalgesia. Moreover, formalin injection impaired the rate-dependent depression of the Hofmann reflex. Peripheral and intrathecal pretreatment or post-treatment with the α5-GABAA receptor antagonist, L-655,708 (0.15-15 nmol), prevented and reversed, respectively, these long-lasting behaviors. Formalin injection increased α5-GABAA receptor mRNA expression in the spinal cord and dorsal root ganglia (DRG) mainly at 3 days. The α5-GABAA receptors were localized in the dorsal spinal cord and DRG colabeling with NeuN, CGRP, and IB4 which suggests their presence in peptidergic and nonpeptidergic neurons. These receptors were found mainly in small and medium sized neurons. Formalin injection enhanced α5-GABAA receptor fluorescence intensity in spinal cord and DRG at 3 and 6 days. Intrathecal administration of L-655,708 (15 nmol) prevented and reversed formalin-induced impairment of rate-dependent depression. These results suggest that α5-GABAA receptors play a role in the loss of GABAergic inhibition and contribute to long-lasting secondary allodynia and hyperalgesia.

  18. The α5 subunit-containing GABAA receptors contribute to chronic pain

    PubMed Central

    Bravo-Hernández, Mariana; Corleto, José A.; Barragán-Iglesias, Paulino; González-Ramírez, Ricardo; Pineda-Farias, Jorge B.; Felix, Ricardo; Calcutt, Nigel A.; Delgado-Lezama, Rodolfo; Marsala, Martin; Granados-Soto, Vinicio

    2016-01-01

    It has been recently proposed that α5-subunit containing GABAA receptors (α5-GABAA receptors) that mediate tonic inhibition might be involved in pain. The purpose of this study was to investigate the contribution of α5-GABAA receptors in the loss of GABAergic inhibition and in formalin-, Complete Freund’s adjuvant (CFA)- and L5/L6 spinal nerve ligation-induced long-lasting hypersensitivity. Formalin or CFA injection and L5/L6 spinal nerve ligation produced long-lasting allodynia and hyperalgesia. Moreover, formalin injection impaired the rate-dependent depression (RDD) of the Hofmann reflex. Peripheral and intrathecal pre-treatment or post-treatment with the α5-GABAA receptor antagonist, L-655,708 (0.15–15 nmol) prevented and reversed, respectively, these long-lasting behaviors. Formalin injection increased α5-GABAA receptors mRNA expression in the spinal cord and dorsal root ganglia (DRG) mainly at 3 days. α5-GABAA receptors were localized in the dorsal spinal cord and DRG co-labeling with NeuN, CGRP and IB4 suggesting their presence in peptidergic and non-peptidergic neurons. These receptors were found mainly in small- and medium-size neurons. Formalin injection enhanced α5-GABAA receptors fluorescence intensity in spinal cord and DRG at 3 and 6 days. Intrathecal administration of L-655,708 (15 nmol) prevented and reversed formalin-induced impairment of RDD. These results suggest that α5-GABAA receptors play a role in the loss of GABAergic inhibition and contribute to long-lasting secondary allodynia and hyperalgesia. PMID:26545088

  19. Excitatory Synaptic Responses Mediated by GABA_A Receptors in the Hippocampus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Michelson, Hillary B.; Wong, Robert K. S.

    1991-09-01

    Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is a major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the cortex. Activation of postsynaptic GABA_A receptors hyperpolarizes cells and inhibits neuronal activity. Synaptic responses mediated by GABA_A receptors also strongly excited hippocampal neurons. This excitatory response was recorded in morphologically identified interneurons in the presence of 4-aminopyridine or after elevation of extracellular potassium concentrations. The synaptic excitation sustained by GABA_A receptors synchronized the activity of inhibitory interneurons. This synchronized discharge of interneurons in turn elicited large-amplitude inhibitory postsynaptic potentials in pyramidal and granule cells. Excitatory synaptic responses mediated by GABA_A receptors may thus provide a mechanism for the recruitment of GABAergic interneurons through their recurrent connections.

  20. α2-containing GABA(A) receptors: a requirement for midazolam-escalated aggression and social approach in mice.

    PubMed

    Newman, Emily L; Smith, Kiersten S; Takahashi, Aki; Chu, Adam; Hwa, Lara S; Chen, Yang; DeBold, Joseph F; Rudolph, Uwe; Miczek, Klaus A

    2015-12-01

    Benzodiazepines (BZDs) are prescribed to reduce anxiety, agitation, and muscle spasms and for their sedative-hypnotic and anticonvulsant effects. Under specific conditions, BZDs escalate aggression in some individuals. Specific effects of BZDs have been linked to the α-subunit subtype composition of GABAA receptors. Point-mutated mice rendered selectively insensitive to BZDs at α1-, α2-, or α3-containing GABAA receptors were used to determine which α-subunit subtypes are necessary for BZDs to escalate aggression and social approach and to reduce fear-motivated behavior. During resident-intruder confrontations, male wild-type (WT) and point-mutated α1(H101R), α2(H101R), and α3(H126R) mice were treated with midazolam (0-1.7 mg/kg, i.p.) and evaluated for aggression in an unfamiliar environment. Separate midazolam-treated WT and point-mutated mice were assessed for social approach toward a female or investigated in a 6-day fear-potentiated startle procedure. Moderate doses of midazolam (0.3-0.56 mg/kg, i.p.) escalated aggression in WT and α3(H126R) mutants and increased social approach in WT and α1(H101R) mice. The highest dose of midazolam (1.0 mg/kg) reduced fear-potentiated startle responding. All mice were sensitive to the sedative effect of midazolam (1.7 mg/kg) except α1(H101R) mutants. Midazolam requires BZD-sensitive α1- and α2-containing GABAA receptors in order to escalate aggression and α2- and α3-containing receptors to reduce social anxiety-like behavior. GABAA receptors containing the α1-subunit are crucial for BZD-induced sedation, while α2-containing GABAA receptors may be a shared site of action for the pro-aggressive and anxiolytic effects of BZDs.

  1. α2-containing GABA(A) receptors: A requirement for midazolam-escalated aggression and social approach in mice

    PubMed Central

    Newman, Emily L.; Smith, Kiersten S.; Takahashi, Aki; Chu, Adam; Hwa, Lara S.; Chen, Yang; DeBold, Joseph F.; Rudolph, Uwe; Miczek, Klaus A.

    2015-01-01

    Rationale Benzodiazepines (BZDs) are prescribed to reduce anxiety, agitation, and muscle spasms, and for their sedative-hypnotic and anticonvulsant effects. Under specific conditions, BZDs escalate aggression in some individuals. Specific effects of BZDs have been linked to the α-subunit subtype composition of GABAA receptors. Objectives Point-mutated mice rendered selectively insensitive to BZDs at α1-, α2-, or α3-containing GABAA receptors were used to determine which α-subunit subtypes are necessary for BZDs to escalate aggression and social approach and to reduce fear-motivated behavior. Methods During resident-intruder confrontations, male wild-type (WT) and point-mutated α1(H101R), α2(H101R), and α3(H126R) mice were treated with midazolam (0-1.7 mg/kg, i.p.) and evaluated for aggression in an unfamiliar environment. Separate midazolam-treated WT and point-mutated mice were assessed for social approach toward a female or investigated in a six-day fear-potentiated startle procedure. Results Moderate doses of midazolam (0.3-0.56 mg/kg, i.p.) escalated aggression in WT and α3(H126R) mutants and increased social approach in WT and α1(H101R) mice. The highest dose of midazolam (1.0 mg/kg) reduced fear-potentiated startle responding. All mice were sensitive to the sedative effect of midazolam (1.7 mg/kg) except α1(H101R) mutants. Conclusions Midazolam requires BZD-sensitive α1- and α2-containing GABAA receptors in order to escalate aggression and α2- and α3-containing receptors to reduce social anxiety-like behavior. GABAA receptors containing the α1-subunit are crucial for BZD-induced sedation while α2-containing GABAA receptors may be a shared site of action for the pro-aggressive and anxiolytic effects of BZDs. PMID:26381154

  2. Electrophysiological properties and subunit composition of GABAA receptors in patients with gelastic seizures and hypothalamic hamartoma.

    PubMed

    Wu, Jie; Chang, Yongchang; Li, Guohui; Xue, Fenqin; DeChon, Jamie; Ellsworth, Kevin; Liu, Qiang; Yang, Kechun; Bahadroani, Nasim; Zheng, Chao; Zhang, Jianliang; Rekate, Harold; Rho, Jong M; Kerrigan, John F

    2007-07-01

    Abnormalities in GABA(A) receptor structure and/or function have been associated with various forms of epilepsy in both humans and animals. Whether this is true for patients with gelastic seizures and hypothalamic hamartoma (HH) is unknown. In this study, we characterized the pharmacological properties and native subunit composition of GABA(A) receptors on acutely dissociated single neurons from surgically resected HH tissues using patch-clamp, immunocytochemical, and RT-PCR techniques. We found that 1) GABA induced an inward current (I(GABA)) at a holding potential of -60 mV; 2) I(GABA) was mimicked by the GABA(A) receptor agonist muscimol and blocked by the GABA(A) receptor antagonist bicuculline, suggesting that I(GABA) was mediated principally through the GABA(A) receptor; 3) the EC(50) and Hill coefficient derived from the I(GABA) concentration-response curve were 6.8 muM and 1.9, respectively; 4) the current-voltage curve was linear at a reversal potential close to zero; and 5) I(GABA) exhibited low sensitivity to zinc and diazepam but higher sensitivity to pentobarbital and pregnanolone. Additionally, using Xenopus oocytes microtransplanted with normal human hypothalamic tissue, we confirmed that the functional properties of GABA(A) receptors were similar to those seen in small isolated HH neurons. Finally, the expression profile of GABA(A) receptor subunits obtained from normal control human hypothalamic tissue was identical to that from surgically resected human HH tissue. Taken together, our data indicate that GABA(A) receptors on small HH neurons exhibit normal pharmacosensitivity and subunit composition. These findings bear relevance to a broader understanding of inhibitory neurotransmission in human HH tissue.

  3. GABAA receptor signaling in caudal periaqueductal gray regulates maternal aggression and maternal care in mice

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Grace; Gammie, Stephen C.

    2010-01-01

    Maternal aggression (maternal defense) is exhibited by lactating females towards intruders and contributes to the protection of offspring. Enhancement of GABAA receptor signaling by benzodiazepines elevates maternal aggression, and we previously found indirect evidence (via c-Fos immunhistochemistry) that caudal periaqueductal gray (cPAG) and lateral septum (LS) could be sites where benzodiazepines increase aggression. We recently found that GABAA receptor signaling in LS modulates maternal aggression, and in this study, we tested the hypothesis that GABAA receptor signaling in cPAG also regulates this behavior. Site-directed injections to cPAG were made in lactating mice using the GABAA receptor antagonist, bicuculline (3–9 ng) or the GABAA receptor positive modulator, chlordiazepoxide (CDP), a benzodiazepine (2.5–20 µg). Maternal aggression, other maternal behaviors, and anxiety-like measures (using the light-dark box) were then examined. GABAA receptor positive modulator did not increase aggression, which could have resulted from a ceiling effect. However, 8 ng and 9 ng of bicuculline in cPAG significantly decreased maternal aggression without altering other maternal behaviors or light-dark box performance, suggesting some GABAA receptor signaling in cPAG is required for full maternal aggression expression. Additionally, 7 ng of bicuculline significantly increased licking/grooming of pups, and decreased the number of transitions between the light and dark compartments of the light-dark box without affecting aggression. Given these results indicating that antagonizing GABAA-receptor in cPAG dose-dependently promotes offspring grooming behavior while impairing aggression, it is possible that the cPAG represents a key site for decision making (aggression versus other behaviors) in the lactating female. PMID:20457185

  4. Effects of prenatal malnutrition on GABAA receptor alpha1, alpha3 and beta2 mRNA levels.

    PubMed

    Steiger, Janine L; Alexander, Mark J; Galler, Janina R; Farb, David H; Russek, Shelley J

    2003-09-15

    Exposure of pregnant rats to protein malnutrition throughout pregnancy alters the developing hippocampus, leading to increased inhibition and selective changes in hippocampal-mediated behaviors. Given that GABA mediates most inhibitory neurotransmission, we asked whether selective changes in the levels of GABA receptor subunit mRNAs might result. Quantitative RNase protection profiling of 12 GABAA and GABAB receptor subunit mRNAs show that alpha1 and beta2 decrease in the adult (P90) hippocampal formation of prenatally malnourished rats, while the levels of alpha3 are increased. Moreover, the distribution of alpha1, alpha3 and beta2 mRNAs remains unchanged in CA1 and CA3 hippocampal subfields relative to dentate gyrus. The data suggest that prenatal malnutrition produces global changes of certain GABAA, but not GABAB, receptor mRNAs in the hippocampal formation.

  5. Tolerance to allopregnanolone with focus on the GABA-A receptor

    PubMed Central

    Turkmen, Sahruh; Backstrom, Torbjorn; Wahlstrom, Goran; Andreen, Lotta; Johansson, Inga-Maj

    2011-01-01

    Many studies have suggested a relationship between stress, sex steroids, and negative mental and mood changes in humans. The progesterone metabolite allopregnanolone is a potent endogenous ligand of the γ-amino butyric acid –A (GABA-A) receptor, and the most discussed neuroactive steroid. Variations in the levels of neuroactive steroids that influence the activity of the GABA-A receptor cause a vulnerability to mental and emotional pathology. There are physiological conditions in which allopregnanolone production increases acutely (e.g. stress) or chronically (e.g. menstrual cycle, pregnancy), thus exposing the GABA-A receptor to high and continuous allopregnanolone concentrations. In such conditions, tolerance to allopregnanolone may develop. We have shown that both acute and chronic tolerances can develop to the effects of allopregnanolone. Following the development of acute allopregnanolone tolerance, there is a decrease in the abundance of the GABA-A receptor α4 subunit and the expression of the α4 subunit mRNA in the ventral-posteriomedial nucleus of the thalamus. Little is known about the mechanism behind allopregnanolone tolerance and its effects on assembly of the GABA-A receptor composition. The exact mechanism of the allopregnanolone tolerance phenomena remains unclear. The purpose of this review is to summarize certain aspects of current knowledge concerning allopregnanolone tolerance and changes in the GABA-A receptors. PMID:20883478

  6. Interaction of H+ and Zn2+ on recombinant and native rat neuronal GABAA receptors

    PubMed Central

    Krishek, Belinda J; Moss, Stephen J; Smart, Trevor G

    1998-01-01

    The interaction of Zn2+ and H+ ions with GABAA receptors was examined using Xenopus laevis oocytes expressing recombinant GABAA receptors composed of subunits selected from α1, β1, γ2S and δ types, and by using cultured rat cerebellar granule neurones. The potency of Zn2+ as a non-competitive antagonist of GABA-activated responses on α1β1 receptors was reduced by lowering the external pH from 7.4 to 5.4, increasing the Zn2+ IC50 value from 1.2 to 58.3 μm. Zinc-induced inhibition was largely unaffected by alkaline pH up to pH 9.4. For α1β1δ subunits, concentration-response curves for GABA were displaced laterally by Zn2+ in accordance with a novel mixed/competitive-type inhibition. The Zn2+ IC50 at pH 7.4 was 16.3 μm. Acidification of Ringer solution resulted in a reduced antagonism by Zn2+ (IC50, 49.0 μm) without affecting the type of inhibition. At pH 9.4, Zn2+ inhibition remained unaffected. The addition of the γ2S subunit to the α1β1δ construct caused a marked reduction in the potency of Zn2+ (IC50, 615 μm), comparable to that observed with α1β1γ2S receptors (IC50 639 μm). GABA concentration-response curves were depressed in a mixed/non-competitive fashion. In cultured cerebellar granule neurones, Zn2+ inhibited responses to GABA in a concentration-dependent manner. Lowering external pH from 7.4 to 6.4 increased the IC50 from 139 to 253 μm. The type of inhibition exhibited by Zn2+ on cerebellar granule neurones, previously grown in high K+-containing culture media, was complex, with the GABA concentration-response curves shifting laterally with reduced slopes and similar maxima. The Zn2+-induced shift in the GABA EC50 values was reduced by lowering the external pH from 7.4 to 6.4. The interaction of H+ and Zn2+ ions on GABAA receptors suggests that they share either a common regulatory pathway or coincident binding sites on the receptor protein. The apparent competitive mode of block induced by Zn2+ on α1β1δ receptors is shared by GABAA

  7. Distinct activities of GABA agonists at synaptic- and extrasynaptic-type GABAA receptors

    PubMed Central

    Mortensen, Martin; Ebert, Bjarke; Wafford, Keith; Smart, Trevor G

    2010-01-01

    The activation characteristics of synaptic and extrasynaptic GABAA receptors are important for shaping the profile of phasic and tonic inhibition in the central nervous system, which will critically impact on the activity of neuronal networks. Here, we study in isolation the activity of three agonists, GABA, muscimol and 4,5,6,7-tetrahydoisoxazolo[5,4-c]pyridin-3(2H)-one (THIP), to further understand the activation profiles of α1β3γ2, α4β3γ2 and α4β3δ receptors that typify synaptic- and extrasynaptic-type receptors expressed in the hippocampus and thalamus. The agonists display an order of potency that is invariant between the three receptors, which is reliant mostly on the agonist dissociation constant. At δ subunit-containing extrasynaptic-type GABAA receptors, both THIP and muscimol additionally exhibited, to different degrees, superagonist behaviour. By comparing whole-cell and single channel currents induced by the agonists, we provide a molecular explanation for their different activation profiles. For THIP at high concentrations, the unusual superagonist behaviour on α4β3δ receptors is a consequence of its ability to increase the duration of longer channel openings and their frequency, resulting in longer burst durations. By contrast, for muscimol, moderate superagonist behaviour was caused by reduced desensitisation of the extrasynaptic-type receptors. The ability to specifically increase the efficacy of receptor activation, by selected exogenous agonists over that obtained with the natural transmitter, may prove to be of therapeutic benefit under circumstances when synaptic inhibition is compromised or dysfunctional. PMID:20176630

  8. GABAA receptor inhibition triggers a nicotinic neuroprotective mechanism

    PubMed Central

    Ferchmin, P. A; Pérez, Dinely; Alvarez, William Castro; Penzo, Mario A.; Maldonado, Héctor M.; Eterovic, Vesna A.

    2014-01-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR)-mediated neuroprotection has been implicated in the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and hypoxic ischemic events, as well as other diseases hallmarked by excitotoxic and apoptotic neuronal death. Several modalities of nicotinic neuroprotection have been reported. However, although this process generally involves α4β2 and α7 subtypes, the underlying mechanisms are largely unknown. Interestingly, both activation and inhibition of α7 nAChRs have been reported to be neuroprotective. We have shown that inhibition of α7 nAChRs protects the function of acute hippocampal slices against excitotoxicity in a α4β2-dependent manner. Neuroprotection was assessed as the prevention of the NMDA-dependent loss of the area of population spikes (PSs) in the CA1 area of acute hippocampal slices. Our results support a model in which α7 AChRs control the release of GABA. Blocking either α7 or GABAA receptors reduces the inhibitory tone on cholinergic terminals, thereby promoting α4β2 activation, which in turn mediates neuroprotection. These results shed light on how α7 nAChR inhibition can be neuroprotective through a mechanism mediated by activation of α4β2 nAChRs. PMID:23280428

  9. GABA(A) receptor activation modulates corneal unit activity in rostral and caudal portions of trigeminal subnucleus caudalis.

    PubMed

    Hirata, Harumitsu; Okamoto, Keiichiro; Bereiter, David A

    2003-11-01

    Corneal nociceptors terminate at the trigeminal subnucleus interpolaris/caudalis (Vi/Vc) transition and subnucleus caudalis/upper cervical spinal cord (Vc/C1) junction regions of the lower brain stem. The aims of this study were to determine if local GABAA receptor activation modifies corneal input to second-order neurons at these regions and if GABAA receptor activation in one region affects corneal input to the other region. In barbiturate-anesthetized male rats, corneal nociceptors were excited by pulses of CO2 gas, and GABAA receptors were activated by microinjections of the selective agonist muscimol. Local muscimol injection at the site of recording inhibited all Vi/Vc and Vc/C1 units tested and was reversed partially by bicuculline. To test for ascending intersubnuclear communication, muscimol injection into the caudal Vc/C1 junction, remote from the recording site at the Vi/Vc transition, inhibited the evoked response of most corneal units, although some neurons were enhanced. Injection of the nonselective synaptic blocking agent, CoCl2, remotely into the Vc/C1 region inhibited the evoked response of all Vi/Vc units tested. To test for descending intersubnuclear communication, muscimol was injected remotely into the rostral Vi/Vc transition and enhanced the evoked activity of all corneal units tested at the caudal Vc/C1 junction. These results suggest that GABAA receptor mechanisms play a significant role in corneal nociceptive processing by second-order trigeminal brain stem neurons. GABAA receptor mechanisms act locally at both the Vi/Vc transition and Vc/C1 junction regions to inhibit corneal input and act through polysynaptic pathways to modify corneal input at multiple levels of the trigeminal brain stem complex.

  10. Amiloride and GMQ Allosteric Modulation of the GABA-A ρ1 Receptor: Influences of the Intersubunit Site.

    PubMed

    Snell, Heather D; Gonzales, Eric B

    2015-06-01

    Amiloride, a diuretic used in the treatment of hypertension and congestive heart failure, and 2-guanidine-4-methylquinazoline (GMQ) are guanidine compounds that modulate acid-sensing ion channels. Both compounds have demonstrated affinity for a variety of membrane proteins, including members of the Cys-loop family of ligand-gated ion channels, such as the heteromeric GABA-A αβγ receptors. The actions of these guanidine compounds on the homomeric GABA-A ρ1 receptor remains unclear, especially in light of how many GABA-A αβγ receptor modulators have different effects in the GABA-A ρ1 receptors. We sought to characterize the influence of amiloride and GMQ on the human GABA-A ρ1 receptors using whole-cell patch-clamp electrophysiology. The diuretic amiloride potentiated the human GABA-A ρ1 GABA-mediated current, whereas GMQ antagonized the receptor. Furthermore, a GABA-A second transmembrane domain site, the intersubunit site, responsible for allosteric modulation in the heteromeric GABA-A receptors mediated amiloride's positive allosteric actions. In contrast, the mutation did not remove GMQ antagonism but only changed the guanidine compound's potency within the human GABA-A ρ1 receptor. Through modeling and introduction of point mutations, we propose that the GABA-A ρ1 intersubunit site plays a role in mediating the allosteric effects of amiloride and GMQ.

  11. Abnormal GABAA receptors from the human epileptic hippocampal subiculum microtransplanted to Xenopus oocytes

    PubMed Central

    Palma, Eleonora; Spinelli, Gabriele; Torchia, Gregorio; Martinez-Torres, A.; Ragozzino, Davide; Miledi, Ricardo; Eusebi, Fabrizio

    2005-01-01

    We studied the properties of GABAA receptors microtransplanted from the human temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE)-associated brain regions to Xenopus oocytes. Cell membranes, isolated from surgically resected brain specimens of drug-resistant TLE patients, were injected into frog oocytes, which rapidly incorporated human GABAA receptors, and any associated proteins, into their surface membrane. The receptors originating from different epileptic brain regions had a similar run-down but an affinity for GABA that was ≈60% lower for the subiculum receptors than for receptors issuing from the hippocampus proper or the temporal lobe neocortex. Moreover, GABA currents recorded in oocytes injected with membranes from the subiculum had a more depolarized reversal potential compared with the hippocampus proper or neocortex of the same patients. Quantitative RT-PCR analysis was performed of the GABAA receptor α1- to α5-, β1- to β3-, γ2- to γ3-, and δ-subunit mRNAs. The levels of expression of the α3-, α5-, and β1- to β3- subunit mRNAs are significantly higher, with the exception of γ2-subunit whose expression is lower, in subiculum compared with neocortex specimens. Our results suggest that an abnormal GABA-receptor subunit transcription in the TLE subiculum leads to the expression of GABAA receptors with a relatively low affinity. This abnormal behavior of the subiculum GABAA receptors may contribute to epileptogenesis. PMID:15695331

  12. Extrasynaptic α6 Subunit-Containing GABAA Receptors Modulate Excitability in Turtle Spinal Motoneurons

    PubMed Central

    Andres, Carmen; Aguilar, Justo; González-Ramírez, Ricardo; Elias-Viñas, David; Felix, Ricardo; Delgado-Lezama, Rodolfo

    2014-01-01

    Motoneurons are furnished with a vast repertoire of ionotropic and metabotropic receptors as well as ion channels responsible for maintaining the resting membrane potential and involved in the regulation of the mechanisms underlying its membrane excitability and firing properties. Among them, the GABAA receptors, which respond to GABA binding by allowing the flow of Cl− ions across the membrane, mediate two distinct forms of inhibition in the mature nervous system, phasic and tonic, upon activation of synaptic or extrasynaptic receptors, respectively. In a previous work we showed that furosemide facilitates the monosynaptic reflex without affecting the dorsal root potential. Our data also revealed a tonic inhibition mediated by GABAA receptors activated in motoneurons by ambient GABA. These data suggested that the high affinity GABAA extrasynaptic receptors may have an important role in motor control, though the molecular nature of these receptors was not determined. By combining electrophysiological, immunofluorescence and molecular biology techniques with pharmacological tools here we show that GABAA receptors containing the α6 subunit are expressed in adult turtle spinal motoneurons and can function as extrasynaptic receptors responsible for tonic inhibition. These results expand our understanding of the role of GABAA receptors in motoneuron tonic inhibition. PMID:25531288

  13. Nootropic alpha7 nicotinic receptor allosteric modulator derived from GABAA receptor modulators.

    PubMed

    Ng, Herman J; Whittemore, Edward R; Tran, Minhtam B; Hogenkamp, Derk J; Broide, Ron S; Johnstone, Timothy B; Zheng, Lijun; Stevens, Karen E; Gee, Kelvin W

    2007-05-08

    Activation of brain alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (alpha7 nAChRs) has broad therapeutic potential in CNS diseases related to cognitive dysfunction, including Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia. In contrast to direct agonist activation, positive allosteric modulation of alpha7 nAChRs would deliver the clinically validated benefits of allosterism to these indications. We have generated a selective alpha7 nAChR-positive allosteric modulator (PAM) from a library of GABAA receptor PAMs. Compound 6 (N-(4-chlorophenyl)-alpha-[[(4-chloro-phenyl)amino]methylene]-3-methyl-5-isoxazoleacet-amide) evokes robust positive modulation of agonist-induced currents at alpha7 nAChRs, while preserving the rapid native characteristics of desensitization, and has little to no efficacy at other ligand-gated ion channels. In rodent models, it corrects sensory-gating deficits and improves working memory, effects consistent with cognitive enhancement. Compound 6 represents a chemotype for allosteric activation of alpha7 nAChRs, with therapeutic potential in CNS diseases with cognitive dysfunction.

  14. Modulation of GABA-A receptors of astrocytes and STC-1 cells by taurine structural analogs.

    PubMed

    Reyes-Haro, Daniel; Cabrera-Ruíz, Elizabeth; Estrada-Mondragón, Argel; Miledi, Ricardo; Martínez-Torres, Ataúlfo

    2014-11-01

    Taurine activates and modulates GABA receptors in vivo as well as those expressed in heterologous systems. This study aimed to determine whether the structural analogs of taurine: homotaurine and hypotaurine, have the ability to activate GABA-A receptors that include GABAρ subunits. The expression of GABA-A receptors containing GABAρ has been reported in the STC-1 cells and astrocytes. In both cell types, taurine, homo-, and hypotaurine gated with low efficiency a picrotoxin-sensitive GABA-A receptor. The known bimodal modulatory effect of taurine on GABAρ receptors was not observed; however, differences between the activation and deactivation rates were detected when they were perfused together with GABA. In silico docking simulations suggested that taurine, hypo-, and homotaurine do not form a cation-π interaction such as that generated by GABA in the agonist-binding site of GABAρ. This observation complements the electrophysiological data suggesting that taurine and its analogs act as partial agonists of GABA-A receptors. All the observations above suggest that the structural analogs of taurine are partial agonists of GABA-A receptors that occupy the agonist-binding site, but their structures do not allow the proper interaction with the receptor to fully gate its Cl(-) channel.

  15. A network of autism linked genes stabilizes two pools of synaptic GABAA receptors

    PubMed Central

    Tong, Xia-Jing; Hu, Zhitao; Liu, Yu; Anderson, Dorian; Kaplan, Joshua M

    2015-01-01

    Changing receptor abundance at synapses is an important mechanism for regulating synaptic strength. Synapses contain two pools of receptors, immobilized and diffusing receptors, both of which are confined to post-synaptic elements. Here we show that immobile and diffusing GABAA receptors are stabilized by distinct synaptic scaffolds at C. elegans neuromuscular junctions. Immobilized GABAA receptors are stabilized by binding to FRM-3/EPB4.1 and LIN-2A/CASK. Diffusing GABAA receptors are stabilized by the synaptic adhesion molecules Neurexin and Neuroligin. Inhibitory post-synaptic currents are eliminated in double mutants lacking both scaffolds. Neurexin, Neuroligin, and CASK mutations are all linked to Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Our results suggest that these mutations may directly alter inhibitory transmission, which could contribute to the developmental and cognitive deficits observed in ASD. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.09648.001 PMID:26575289

  16. Regulation of GABAA receptors by fragile X mental retardation protein.

    PubMed

    Liu, Baosong; Li, Lijun; Chen, Juan; Wang, Zefen; Li, Zhiqiang; Wan, Qi

    2013-01-01

    Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is caused by the loss of fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP). The deficiency of GABAA receptors (GABAARs) is implicated in FXS. However, the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. To investigate the effect of FMRP on GABAARs, we transfected FMRP cDNAs in rat cortical neurons. We measured the protein expression of GABAARs and phosphatase PTEN, and recorded GABAAR-mediated whole-cell currents in the transfected neurons. We show that the transfection of FMRP cDNAs causes increased protein expression of GABAARs in cortical neurons, but GABAAR-mediated whole-cell currents are not potentiated by FMRP transfection. These results suggest the possibility that intracellular signaling antagonizing GABAAR activity may play a role in inhibiting GABAAR function in FMRP-transfected neurons. We further show that FMRP transfection results in an enhanced protein expression of PTEN, which contributes to the inhibition of GABAAR function in FMRP-transfected neurons. These results indicate that GABAARs are regulated by FMRP through both an up-regulation of GABAAR expression and a PTEN enhancement-induced inhibition of GABAAR function, suggesting that an abnormal regulation of GABAAR and PTEN by the loss of FMRP underlies the pathogenesis of FXS.

  17. Mechanism of GABAB receptor-induced BDNF secretion and promotion of GABAA receptor membrane expression.

    PubMed

    Kuczewski, Nicola; Fuchs, Celine; Ferrand, Nadine; Jovanovic, Jasmina N; Gaiarsa, Jean-Luc; Porcher, Christophe

    2011-08-01

    Recent studies have shown that GABA(B) receptors play more than a classical inhibitory role and can function as an important synaptic maturation signal early in life. In a previous study, we reported that GABA(B) receptor activation triggers secretion of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and promotes the functional maturation of GABAergic synapses in the developing rat hippocampus. To identify the signalling pathway linking GABA(B) receptor activation to BDNF secretion in these cells, we have now used the phosphorylated form of the cAMP response element-binding protein as a biological sensor for endogenous BDNF release. In the present study, we show that GABA(B) receptor-induced secretion of BDNF relies on the activation of phospholipase C, followed by the formation of diacylglycerol, activation of protein kinase C, and the opening of L-type voltage-dependent Ca(2+) channels. We further show that once released by GABA(B) receptor activation, BDNF increases the membrane expression of β(2/3) -containing GABA(A) receptors in neuronal cultures. These results reveal a novel function of GABA(B) receptors in regulating the expression of GABA(A) receptor through BDNF-tropomyosin-related kinase B receptor dependent signalling pathway.

  18. Reinforcing Effects Of Compounds Lacking Intrinsic Efficacy At α1 Subunit-Containing GABAA Receptor Subtypes in Midazolam- But Not Cocaine-Experienced Rhesus Monkeys

    PubMed Central

    Shinday, Nina M; Sawyer, Eileen K; Fischer, Bradford D; Platt, Donna M; Licata, Stephanie C; Atack, John R; Dawson, Gerard R; Reynolds, David S; Rowlett, James K

    2013-01-01

    Benzodiazepines are prescribed widely but their utility is limited by unwanted side effects, including abuse potential. The mechanisms underlying the abuse-related effects of benzodiazepines are not well understood, although α1 subunit-containing GABAA receptors have been proposed to have a critical role. Here, we examine the reinforcing effects of several compounds that vary with respect to intrinsic efficacy at α2, α3, and α5 subunit-containing GABAA receptors but lack efficacy at α1 subunit-containing GABAA receptors (‘α1-sparing compounds'): MRK-623 (functional selectivity for α2/α3 subunit-containing receptors), TPA023B (functional selectivity for α2/α3/α5 subunit-containing receptors), and TP003 (functional selectivity for α3 subunit-containing receptors). The reinforcing effects of the α1-sparing compounds were compared with those of the non-selective benzodiazepine receptor partial agonist MRK-696, and non-selective benzodiazepine receptor full agonists, midazolam and lorazepam, in rhesus monkeys trained to self-administer midazolam or cocaine, under a progressive-ratio schedule of intravenous (i.v.) drug injection. The α1-sparing compounds were self-administered significantly above vehicle levels in monkeys maintained under a midazolam baseline, but not under a cocaine baseline over the dose ranges tested. Importantly, TP003 had significant reinforcing effects, albeit at lower levels of self-administration than non-selective benzodiazepine receptor agonists. Together, these results suggest that α1 subunit-containing GABAA receptors may have a role in the reinforcing effects of benzodiazepine-type compounds in monkeys with a history of stimulant self-administration, whereas α3 subunit-containing GABAA receptors may be important mediators of the reinforcing effects of benzodiazepine-type compounds in animals with a history of sedative-anxiolytic/benzodiazepine self-administration. PMID:23303046

  19. Lifelong ethanol consumption and brain regional GABAA receptor subunit mRNA expression in alcohol-preferring rats.

    PubMed

    Sarviharju, Maija; Hyytiä, Petri; Hervonen, Antti; Jaatinen, Pia; Kiianmaa, Kalervo; Korpi, Esa R

    2006-11-01

    Brain regional gamma-aminobutyric acid type A (GABAA) receptor subunit mRNA expression was studied in ethanol-preferring AA (Alko, Alcohol) rats after moderate ethanol drinking for up to 2 years of age. In situ hybridization with oligonucleotide probes specific for 13 different subunits was used with coronal cryostat sections of the brains. Selective alterations were observed by ethanol exposure and/or aging in signals for several subunits. Most interestingly, the putative highly ethanol-sensitive alpha4 and beta3 subunit mRNAs were significantly decreased in several brain regions. The age-related alterations in alpha4 subunit expression were parallel to those caused by lifelong ethanol drinking, whereas aging had no significant effect on beta3 subunit expression. The results suggest that prolonged ethanol consumption leading to blood concentrations of about 10 mM may downregulate the mRNA expression of selected GABAA receptor subunits and that aging might have partly similar effects.

  20. Tonically Active α5GABAA Receptors Reduce Motoneuron Excitability and Decrease the Monosynaptic Reflex.

    PubMed

    Canto-Bustos, Martha; Loeza-Alcocer, Emanuel; Cuellar, Carlos A; Osuna, Paulina; Elias-Viñas, David; Granados-Soto, Vinicio; Manjarrez, Elías; Felix, Ricardo; Delgado-Lezama, Rodolfo

    2017-01-01

    Motoneurons, the final common path of the Central Nervous System (CNS), are under a complex control of its excitability in order to precisely translate the interneuronal pattern of activity into skeletal muscle contraction and relaxation. To fulfill this relevant function, motoneurons are provided with a vast repertoire of receptors and channels, including the extrasynaptic GABAA receptors which have been poorly investigated. Here, we confirmed that extrasynaptic α5 subunit-containing GABAA receptors localize with choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) positive cells, suggesting that these receptors are expressed in turtle motoneurons as previously reported in rodents. In these cells, α5GABAA receptors are activated by ambient GABA, producing a tonic shunt that reduces motoneurons' membrane resistance and affects their action potential firing properties. In addition, α5GABAA receptors shunted the synaptic excitatory inputs depressing the monosynaptic reflex (MSR) induced by activation of primary afferents. Therefore, our results suggest that α5GABAA receptors may play a relevant physiological role in motor control.

  1. Identification of the putative binding pocket of valerenic acid on GABAA receptors using docking studies and site‐directed mutagenesis

    PubMed Central

    Luger, D; Poli, G; Wieder, M; Stadler, M; Ke, S; Ernst, M; Hohaus, A; Linder, T; Seidel, T; Langer, T; Hering, S

    2015-01-01

    Background and Purpose β2/3‐subunit‐selective modulation of GABAA receptors by valerenic acid (VA) is determined by the presence of transmembrane residue β2/3N265. Currently, it is not known whether β2/3N265 is part of VA's binding pocket or is involved in the transduction pathway of VA's action. The aim of this study was to clarify the localization of VA's binding pocket on GABAA receptors. Experimental Approach Docking and a structure‐based three‐dimensional pharmacophore were employed to identify candidate amino acid residues that are likely to interact with VA. Selected amino acid residues were mutated, and VA‐induced modulation of the resulting GABAA receptors expressed in Xenopus oocytes was analysed. Key Results A binding pocket for VA at the β+/α− interface encompassing amino acid β3N265 was predicted. Mutational analysis of suggested amino acid residues revealed a complete loss of VA's activity on β3M286W channels as well as significantly decreased efficacy and potency of VA on β3N265S and β3F289S receptors. In addition, reduced efficacy of VA‐induced I GABA enhancement was also observed for α1M235W, β3R269A and β3M286A constructs. Conclusions and Implications Our data suggest that amino acid residues β3N265, β3F289, β3M286, β3R269 in the β3 subunit, at or near the etomidate/propofol binding site(s), form part of a VA binding pocket. The identification of the binding pocket for VA is essential for elucidating its pharmacological effects and might also help to develop new selective GABAA receptor ligands. PMID:26375408

  2. Insights into structure–activity relationship of GABAA receptor modulating coumarins and furanocoumarins

    PubMed Central

    Singhuber, Judith; Baburin, Igor; Ecker, Gerhard F.; Kopp, Brigitte; Hering, Steffen

    2011-01-01

    The coumarins imperatorin and osthole are known to exert anticonvulsant activity. We have therefore analyzed the modulation of GABA-induced chloride currents (IGABA) by a selection of 18 coumarin derivatives on recombinant α1β2γ2S GABAA receptors expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes by means of the two-microelectrode voltage clamp technique. Osthole (EC50=14±1 μM) and oxypeucedanin (EC50=25±8 μM) displayed the highest efficiency with IGABA potentiation of 116±4% and 547±56%, respectively. IGABA enhancement by osthole and oxypeucedanin was not inhibited by flumazenil (1 μM) indicating an interaction with a binding site distinct from the benzodiazepine binding site. In general, prenyl residues are essential for the positive modulatory activity, while longer side chains or bulkier residues (e.g. geranyl residues) diminish IGABA modulation. Generation of a binary classification tree revealed the importance of polarisability, which is sufficient to distinguish actives from inactives. A 4-point pharmacophore model based on oxypeucedanin – comprising three hydrophobic and one aromatic feature – identified 6 out of 7 actives as hits. In summary, (oxy-)prenylated coumarin derivatives from natural origin represent new GABAA receptor modulators. PMID:21749864

  3. Local and global ligand-induced changes in the structure of the GABA(A) receptor.

    PubMed

    Muroi, Yukiko; Czajkowski, Cynthia; Jackson, Meyer B

    2006-06-13

    Ligand-gated channels mediate synaptic transmission through conformational transitions triggered by the binding of neurotransmitters. These transitions are well-defined in terms of ion conductance, but their structural basis is poorly understood. To probe these changes in structure, GABA(A) receptors were expressed in Xenopus oocytes and labeled at selected sites with environment-sensitive fluorophores. With labels at two different residues in the alpha1 subunit in loop E of the GABA-binding pocket, GABA elicited fluorescence changes opposite in sign. This pattern of fluorescence changes is consistent with a closure of the GABA-binding cavity at the subunit interface. The competitive antagonist SR-95531 inverted this pattern of fluorescence change, but the noncompetitive antagonist picrotoxin failed to elicit optical signals. In response to GABA (but not SR-95531), labels at the homologous residues in the beta2 subunit showed the same pattern of fluorescence change as the alpha1-subunit labels, indicating a global transition with comparable movements in homologous regions of different subunits. Incorporation of the gamma2 subunit altered the fluorescence changes of alpha1-subunit labels and eliminated them in beta2-subunit labels. Thus, the ligand-induced structural changes in the GABA(A) receptor can extend over considerable distances or remain highly localized, depending upon subunit composition and ligand.

  4. 11-trifluoromethyl-phenyldiazirinyl neurosteroid analogues: potent general anesthetics and photolabeling reagents for GABAA receptors.

    PubMed

    Chen, Zi-Wei; Wang, Cunde; Krishnan, Kathiresan; Manion, Brad D; Hastings, Randy; Bracamontes, John; Taylor, Amanda; Eaton, Megan M; Zorumski, Charles F; Steinbach, Joseph H; Akk, Gustav; Mennerick, Steven; Covey, Douglas F; Evers, Alex S

    2014-09-01

    While neurosteroids are well-described positive allosteric modulators of gamma-aminobutyric acid type A (GABAA) receptors, the binding sites that mediate these actions have not been definitively identified. This study was conducted to synthesize neurosteroid analogue photolabeling reagents that closely mimic the biological effects of endogenous neurosteroids and have photochemical properties that will facilitate their use as tools for identifying the binding sites for neurosteroids on GABAA receptors. Two neurosteroid analogues containing a trifluromethyl-phenyldiazirine group linked to the steroid C11 position were synthesized. These reagents, CW12 and CW14, are analogues of allopregnanolone (5α-reduced steroid) and pregnanolone (5β-reduced steroid), respectively. Both reagents were shown to have favorable photochemical properties with efficient insertion into the C-H bonds of cyclohexane. They also effectively replicated the actions of allopregnanolone and pregnanolone on GABAA receptor functions: they potentiated GABA-induced currents in Xenopus laevis oocytes transfected with α1β2γ2L subunits, modulated [(35)S]t-butylbicyclophosphorothionate binding in rat brain membranes, and were effective anesthetics in Xenopus tadpoles. Studies using [(3)H]CW12 and [(3)H]CW14 showed that these reagents covalently label GABAA receptors in both rat brain membranes and in a transformed human embryonal kidney (TSA) cells expressing either α1 and β2 subunits or β3 subunits of the GABAA receptor. Photolabeling of rat brain GABAA receptors was shown to be both concentration-dependent and stereospecific. CW12 and CW14 have the appropriate photochemical and pharmacological properties for use as photolabeling reagents to identify specific neurosteroid-binding sites on GABAA receptors.

  5. Homocysteine alters cerebral microvascular integrity and causes remodeling by antagonizing GABA-A receptor.

    PubMed

    Lominadze, David; Tyagi, Neetu; Sen, Utpal; Ovechkin, Alexander; Tyagi, Suresh C

    2012-12-01

    High levels of homocysteine (Hcy), known as hyperhomocysteinemia (HHcy), are associated with cerebrovascular diseases, such as vascular dementia, stroke, and Alzheimer's disease. The γ-amino butyric acid (GABA) is an inhibitory neurotransmitter and a ligand of GABA-A receptor. By inhibiting excitatory response, it may decrease complications associated with vascular dementia and stroke. Hcy specifically competes with the GABA-A receptors and acts as an excitotoxic neurotransmitter. Previously, we have shown that Hcy increases levels of NADPH oxidase and reactive oxygen species (ROS), and decreases levels of thioredoxin and peroxiredoxin by antagonizing the GABA-A receptor. Hcy treatment leads to activation of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) in cerebral circulation by inducing redox stress and ROS. The hypothesis is that Hcy induces MMPs and suppresses tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinase (TIMPs), in part, by inhibiting the GABA-A receptor. This leads to degradation of the matrix and disruption of the blood brain barrier. The brain cortex of transgenic mouse model of HHcy (cystathionine β-synthase, CBS-/+) and GABA-A receptor null mice treated with and without muscimol (GABA-A receptor agonist) was analysed. The mRNA levels were measured by Q-RT-PCR. Levels of MMP-2, -9, -13, and TIMP-1, -2, -3, and -4 were evaluated by in situ labeling and PCR-gene arrays. Pial venular permeability to fluorescence-labeled albumin was assessed with intravital fluorescence microscopy. We found that Hcy increases metalloproteinase activity and decreases TIMP-4 by antagonizing the GABA-A receptor. The results demonstrate a novel mechanism in which brain microvascular permeability changes during HHcy and vascular dementias, and have therapeutic ramifications for microvascular disease in Alzheimer's patients.

  6. The gamma 2 subunit of GABA(A) receptors is required for maintenance of receptors at mature synapses.

    PubMed

    Schweizer, Claude; Balsiger, Sylvia; Bluethmann, Horst; Mansuy, Isabelle M; Fritschy, Jean-Marc; Mohler, Hanns; Lüscher, Bernhard

    2003-10-01

    The gamma2 subunit of GABA(A) receptor chloride channels is required for normal channel function and for postsynaptic clustering of these receptors during synaptogenesis. In addition, GABA(A) receptor function is thought to contribute to normal postnatal maturation of neurons. Loss of postsynaptic GABA(A) receptors in gamma2-deficient neurons might therefore reflect a deficit in maturation of neurons due to the reduced channel function. Here, we have used the Cre-loxP strategy to examine the clustering function of the gamma2 subunit at mature synapses. Deletion of the gamma2 subunit in the third postnatal week resulted in loss of benzodiazepine-binding sites and parallel loss of punctate immunoreactivity for postsynaptic GABA(A) receptors and gephyrin. Thus, the gamma2 subunit contributes to postsynaptic localization of GABA(A) receptors and gephyrin by a mechanism that is operant in mature neurons and not limited to immature neurons, most likely through interaction with proteins involved in trafficking of synaptic GABA(A) receptors.

  7. α2-containing GABAA receptors expressed in hippocampal region CA3 control fast network oscillations.

    PubMed

    Heistek, Tim S; Ruiperez-Alonso, Marta; Timmerman, A Jaap; Brussaard, Arjen B; Mansvelder, Huibert D

    2013-02-15

    GABA(A) receptors are critically involved in hippocampal oscillations. GABA(A) receptor α1 and α2 subunits are differentially expressed throughout the hippocampal circuitry and thereby may have distinct contributions to oscillations. It is unknown which GABA(A) receptor α subunit controls hippocampal oscillations and where these receptors are expressed. To address these questions we used transgenic mice expressing GABA(A) receptor α1 and/or α2 subunits with point mutations (H101R) that render these receptors insensitive to allosteric modulation at the benzodiazepine binding site, and tested how increased or decreased function of α subunits affects hippocampal oscillations. Positive allosteric modulation by zolpidem prolonged decay kinetics of hippocampal GABAergic synaptic transmission and reduced the frequency of cholinergically induced oscillations. Allosteric modulation of GABAergic receptors in CA3 altered oscillation frequency in CA1, while modulation of GABA receptors in CA1 did not affect oscillations. In mice having a point mutation (H101R) at the GABA(A) receptor α2 subunit, zolpidem effects on cholinergically induced oscillations were strongly reduced compared to wild-type animals, while zolpidem modulation was still present in mice with the H101R mutation at the α1 subunit. Furthermore, genetic knockout of α2 subunits strongly reduced oscillations, whereas knockout of α1 subunits had no effect. Allosteric modulation of GABAergic receptors was strongly reduced in unitary connections between fast spiking interneurons and pyramidal neurons in CA3 of α2H101R mice, but not of α1H101R mice, suggesting that fast spiking interneuron to pyramidal neuron synapses in CA3 contain α2 subunits. These findings suggest that α2-containing GABA(A) receptors expressed in the CA3 region provide the inhibition that controls hippocampal rhythm during cholinergically induced oscillations.

  8. Investigations in GABAA receptor antibody-associated encephalitis.

    PubMed

    Spatola, Marianna; Petit-Pedrol, Mar; Simabukuro, Mateus Mistieri; Armangue, Thaís; Castro, Fernanda J; Barcelo Artigues, Maria I; Julià Benique, Maria R; Benson, Leslie; Gorman, Mark; Felipe, Ana; Caparó Oblitas, Ruben L; Rosenfeld, Myrna R; Graus, Francesc; Dalmau, Josep

    2017-03-14

    To report the clinical features, comorbidities, receptor subunit targets, and outcome in patients with anti-GABAA receptor (GABAAR) encephalitis. Clinical study of 26 patients, including 17 new (April 2013-January 2016) and 9 previously reported patients. Antibodies to α1, β3, and γ2 subunits of the GABAAR were determined using reported techniques. Patients' median age was 40.5 years (interquartile range 48.5 [13.75-62.35] years; the youngest 2.5 months old; 13 female). Symptoms included seizures (88%), alteration of cognition (67%), behavior (46%), consciousness (42%), or abnormal movements (35%). Comorbidities were identified in 11 (42%) patients, including 7 tumors (mostly thymomas), 2 herpesvirus encephalitis (herpes simplex virus 1, human herpesvirus 6; coexisting with NMDAR antibodies), and 2 myasthenia without thymoma. Brain MRI was abnormal in 23 (88%) patients, showing in 20 (77%) multifocal, asynchronous, cortical-subcortical T2/fluid-attenuated inversion recovery abnormalities predominantly involving temporal (95%) and frontal (65%) lobes, but also basal ganglia and other regions. Immunologic or tumor therapy resulted in substantial improvement in 18/21 (86%) assessable patients; the other 3 (14%) died (2 status epilepticus, 1 sepsis). Compared with adults, children were more likely to have generalized seizures (p = 0.007) and movement disorders (p = 0.01) and less likely to have a tumor (p = 0.01). The main epitope targets were in the α1/β3 subunits of the GABAAR. Anti-GABAAR encephalitis is characterized by frequent seizures and distinctive multifocal cortical-subcortical MRI abnormalities that provide an important clue to the diagnosis. The frequency of symptoms and comorbidities differ between children (more viral-related) and adults (more tumor-related). The disorder is severe but most patients respond to treatment. © 2017 American Academy of Neurology.

  9. γ-Hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) is not an agonist of extrasynaptic GABAA receptors.

    PubMed

    Connelly, William M; Errington, Adam C; Crunelli, Vincenzo

    2013-01-01

    γ-Hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) is an endogenous compound and a drug used clinically to treat the symptoms of narcolepsy. GHB is known to be an agonist of GABAB receptors with millimolar affinity, but also binds with much higher affinity to another site, known as the GHB receptor. While a body of evidence has shown that GHB does not bind to GABAA receptors widely, recent evidence has suggested that the GHB receptor is in fact on extrasynaptic α4β1δ GABAA receptors, where GHB acts as an agonist with an EC50 of 140 nM. We investigated three neuronal cell types that express a tonic GABAA receptor current mediated by extrasynaptic receptors: ventrobasal (VB) thalamic neurons, dentate gyrus granule cells and striatal medium spiny neurons. Using whole-cell voltage clamp in brain slices, we found no evidence that GHB (10 µM) induced any GABAA receptor mediated current in these cell types, nor that it modulated inhibitory synaptic currents. Furthermore, a high concentration of GHB (3 mM) was able to produce a GABAB receptor mediated current, but did not induce any other currents. These results suggest either that GHB is not a high affinity agonist at native α4β1δ receptors, or that these receptors do not exist in classical areas associated with extrasynaptic currents.

  10. The effects of agonists of ionotropic GABA(A) and metabotropic GABA(B) receptors on learning.

    PubMed

    Zyablitseva, Evgeniya A; Kositsyn, Nikolay S; Shul'gina, Galina I

    2009-05-01

    The research described here investigates the role played by inhibitory processes in the discriminations made by the nervous system of humans and animals between familiar and unfamiliar and significant and nonsignificant events. This research compared the effects of two inhibitory mediators of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA): 1) phenibut, a nonselective agonist of ionotropic GABA(A) and metabotropic GABA(B) receptors and 2) gaboxadol a selective agonist of ionotropic GABA(A) receptors on the process of developing active defensive and inhibitory conditioned reflexes in alert non-immobilized rabbits. It was found that phenibut, but not gaboxadol, accelerates the development of defensive reflexes at an early stage of conditioning. Both phenibut and gaboxadol facilitate the development of conditioned inhibition, but the effect of gaboxadol occurs at later stages of conditioning and is less stable than that of phenibut. The earlier and more stable effects of phenibut, as compared to gaboxadol, on storage in memory of the inhibitory significance of a stimulus may occur because GABA(B) receptors play the dominant role in the development of internal inhibition during an early stage of conditioning. On the other hand this may occur because the participation of both GABA(A) and GABA(B) receptors are essential to the process. We discuss the polyfunctionality of GABA receptors as a function of their structure and the positions of the relevant neurons in the brain as this factor can affect regulation of various types of psychological processes.

  11. Homeostatic regulation of synaptic excitability: tonic GABAA receptor currents replace Ih in cortical pyramidal neurons of HCN1 knockout mice

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Xiangdong; Shu, Shaofang; Schwartz, Lauren C.; Sun, Chengsan; Kapur, Jaideep; Bayliss, Douglas A.

    2010-01-01

    Homeostatic control of synaptic efficacy is often mediated by dynamic regulation of excitatory synaptic receptors. Here, we report a novel form of homeostatic synaptic plasticity based on regulation of shunt currents that control dendritosomatic information transfer. In cortical pyramidal neurons from wild type mice, HCN1 channels underlie a dendritic hyperpolarization-activated cationic current (Ih) that serves to limit temporal summation of synaptic inputs. In HCN1 knockout mice, as expected, Ih is reduced in pyramidal neurons and its effects on synaptic summation are strongly diminished. Unexpectedly, we found a markedly enhanced bicuculline- and L-655,708-sensitive background GABAA current in these cells that could be attributed to selective up-regulation of GABAA α5 subunit expression in the cortex of HCN1 knockout mice. Strikingly, despite diminished Ih, baseline sub-linear summation of evoked EPSPs was unchanged in pyramidal neurons from HCN1 knockout mice; however, blocking tonic GABAA currents with bicuculline enhanced synaptic summation more strongly in pyramidal cells from HCN1 knockout mice than in those cells from wild type mice. Increasing tonic GABAA receptor conductance in the context of reduced Ih, using computational or pharmacological approaches, restored normal baseline synaptic summation, as observed in neurons from HCN1 knockout mice. These data indicate that up-regulation of α5 subunit-mediated GABAA receptor tonic current compensates quantitatively for loss of dendritic Ih in cortical pyramidal neurons from HCN1 knockout mice to maintain normal synaptic summation; they further imply that dendritosomatic synaptic efficacy is a controlled variable for homeostatic regulation of cortical neuron excitability in vivo. PMID:20164346

  12. PR-independent neurosteroid regulation of α2-GABA-A receptors in the hippocampus subfields.

    PubMed

    Reddy, Doodipala Samba; Gangisetty, Omkaram; Wu, Xin

    2017-03-15

    Progesterone (P) binding to the intracellular progesterone receptors (PRs) plays a key role in epilepsy via modulation of GABA-A receptor plasticity in the brain. This is thought to occur via conversion of P to neurosteroids such as allopregnanolone, an allosteric modulator of GABA-A receptors. In the female brain, the composition of GABA-A receptors is not static and undergoes dynamic spatial changes in response to fluctuations in P and neurosteroid levels. Synaptic α2-containing GABA-A receptors contribute to phasic neuronal excitability and seizure susceptibility. However, the mechanisms underlying α2-subunit plasticity remain unclear. Here, we utilized the neurosteroid synthesis inhibitor finasteride and PR knockout mice to investigate the role of PRs in α2-subunit in the hippocampus. α2-Subunit expression was significantly upregulated during the high-P state of diestrous stage and with P treatment in wildtype and PR knockout mice. In contrast, there was no change in α2-subunit expression when metabolism of P into neurosteroids was blocked by finasteride in both genotypes. These findings suggest that ovarian cycle-related P and neurosteroids regulate α2-GABA-A receptor expression in the hippocampus via a non-PR pathway, which may be relevant to menstrual-cycle related brain conditions.

  13. Extrasynaptic δ-containing GABAA receptors in the nucleus accumbens dorsomedial shell contribute to alcohol intake

    PubMed Central

    Nie, Hong; Rewal, Mridula; Gill, T. Michael; Ron, Dorit; Janak, Patricia H.

    2011-01-01

    Recent findings suggest that extrasynaptic δ-subunit–containing GABAA receptors are sensitive to low-to-moderate concentrations of alcohol, raising the possibility that these receptors mediate the reinforcing effects of alcohol after consumption of one or a few drinks. We used the technique of viral-mediated RNAi to reduce expression of the GABAA receptor δ-subunit in adult rats in localized regions of the nucleus accumbens (NAc) to test the hypothesis that δ-subunit–containing GABAA receptors in the NAc are necessary for oral alcohol consumption. We found that knockdown of the δ-subunit in the medial shell region of the NAc, but not in the ventral or lateral shell or in the core, reduced alcohol intake. In contrast, δ-subunit knockdown in the medial shell did not affect intake of a 2% sucrose solution, suggesting that the effects of GABAA receptor δ-subunit reduction are specific to alcohol. These results provide strong evidence that extrasynaptic δ-subunit–containing GABAA receptors in the medial shell of the NAc are critical for the reinforcing effects of oral ethanol. PMID:21368141

  14. Plasticity of GABAA Receptors during Pregnancy and Postpartum Period: From Gene to Function.

    PubMed

    Licheri, Valentina; Talani, Giuseppe; Gorule, Ashish A; Mostallino, Maria Cristina; Biggio, Giovanni; Sanna, Enrico

    2015-01-01

    Pregnancy needs complex pathways that together play a role in proper growth and protection of the fetus preventing its premature loss. Changes during pregnancy and postpartum period include the manifold machinery of neuroactive steroids that plays a crucial role in neuronal excitability by local modulation of specific inhibitory receptors: the GABAA receptors. Marked fluctuations in both blood and brain concentration of neuroactive steroids strongly contribute to GABAA receptor function and plasticity. In this review, we listed several interesting results regarding the regulation and plasticity of GABAA receptor function during pregnancy and postpartum period in rats. The increase in brain levels of neuroactive steroids during pregnancy and their sudden decrease immediately before delivery are causally related to changes in the expression/function of specific GABAA receptor subunits in the hippocampus. These data suggest that alterations in GABAA receptor expression and function may be related to neurological and psychiatric disorders associated with crucial periods in women. These findings could help to provide potential new treatments for these women's disabling syndromes.

  15. Role of the PLC-related, catalytically inactive protein p130 in GABAA receptor function

    PubMed Central

    Kanematsu, Takashi; Jang, Il-Sung; Yamaguchi, Taku; Nagahama, Hiroyasu; Yoshimura, Kenji; Hidaka, Kiyoshi; Matsuda, Miho; Takeuchi, Hiroshi; Misumi, Yoshio; Nakayama, Keiko; Yamamoto, Tsuneyuki; Akaike, Norio; Hirata, Masato; Nakayama, Kei-Ichi

    2002-01-01

    The protein p130 was isolated from rat brain as an inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate-binding protein with a domain organization similar to that of phospholipase C-δ1 but lacking PLC activity. We show that p130 plays an important role in signaling by the type A receptor for γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Yeast twohybrid screening identified GABARAP (GABAA receptor-associated protein), which is proposed to contribute to the sorting, targeting or clustering of GABAA receptors, as a protein that interacts with p130. Furthermore, p130 competitively inhibited the binding of the γ2 subunit of the GABAA receptor to GABARAP in vitro. Electrophysiological analysis revealed that the modulation of GABA-induced Cl– current by Zn2+ or diazepam, both of which act at GABAA receptors containing γ subunits, is impaired in hippocampal neurons of p130 knockout mice. Moreover, behavioral analysis revealed that motor coordination was impaired and the intraperitoneal injection of diazepam induced markedly reduced sedative and antianxiety effects in the mutant mice. These results indicate that p130 is essential for the function of GABAA receptors, especially in response to the agents acting on a γ2 subunit. PMID:11867528

  16. Plasticity of GABAA Receptors during Pregnancy and Postpartum Period: From Gene to Function

    PubMed Central

    Licheri, Valentina; Talani, Giuseppe; Gorule, Ashish A.; Mostallino, Maria Cristina; Biggio, Giovanni; Sanna, Enrico

    2015-01-01

    Pregnancy needs complex pathways that together play a role in proper growth and protection of the fetus preventing its premature loss. Changes during pregnancy and postpartum period include the manifold machinery of neuroactive steroids that plays a crucial role in neuronal excitability by local modulation of specific inhibitory receptors: the GABAA receptors. Marked fluctuations in both blood and brain concentration of neuroactive steroids strongly contribute to GABAA receptor function and plasticity. In this review, we listed several interesting results regarding the regulation and plasticity of GABAA receptor function during pregnancy and postpartum period in rats. The increase in brain levels of neuroactive steroids during pregnancy and their sudden decrease immediately before delivery are causally related to changes in the expression/function of specific GABAA receptor subunits in the hippocampus. These data suggest that alterations in GABAA receptor expression and function may be related to neurological and psychiatric disorders associated with crucial periods in women. These findings could help to provide potential new treatments for these women's disabling syndromes. PMID:26413323

  17. GABAA receptor drugs and neuronal plasticity in reward and aversion: focus on the ventral tegmental area.

    PubMed

    Vashchinkina, Elena; Panhelainen, Anne; Aitta-Aho, Teemu; Korpi, Esa R

    2014-01-01

    GABAA receptors are the main fast inhibitory neurotransmitter receptors in the mammalian brain, and targets for many clinically important drugs widely used in the treatment of anxiety disorders, insomnia and in anesthesia. Nonetheless, there are significant risks associated with the long-term use of these drugs particularly related to development of tolerance and addiction. Addictive mechanisms of GABAA receptor drugs are poorly known, but recent findings suggest that those drugs may induce aberrant neuroadaptations in the brain reward circuitry. Recently, benzodiazepines, acting on synaptic GABAA receptors, and modulators of extrasynaptic GABAA receptors (THIP and neurosteroids) have been found to induce plasticity in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopamine neurons and their main target projections. Furthermore, depending whether synaptic or extrasynaptic GABAA receptor populations are activated, the behavioral outcome of repeated administration seems to correlate with rewarding or aversive behavioral responses, respectively. The VTA dopamine neurons project to forebrain centers such as the nucleus accumbens and medial prefrontal cortex, and receive afferent projections from these brain regions and especially from the extended amygdala and lateral habenula, forming the major part of the reward and aversion circuitry. Both synaptic and extrasynaptic GABAA drugs inhibit the VTA GABAergic interneurons, thus activating the VTA DA neurons by disinhibition and this way inducing glutamatergic synaptic plasticity. However, the GABAA drugs failed to alter synaptic spine numbers as studied from Golgi-Cox-stained VTA dendrites. Since the GABAergic drugs are known to depress the brain metabolism and gene expression, their likely way of inducing neuroplasticity in mature neurons is by disinhibiting the principal neurons, which remains to be rigorously tested for a number of clinically important anxiolytics, sedatives and anesthetics in different parts of the circuitry.

  18. Structural Studies of GABAA Receptor Binding Sites: Which Experimental Structure Tells us What?

    PubMed Central

    Puthenkalam, Roshan; Hieckel, Marcel; Simeone, Xenia; Suwattanasophon, Chonticha; Feldbauer, Roman V.; Ecker, Gerhard F.; Ernst, Margot

    2016-01-01

    Atomic resolution structures of cys-loop receptors, including one of a γ-aminobutyric acid type A receptor (GABAA receptor) subtype, allow amazing insights into the structural features and conformational changes that these pentameric ligand-gated ion channels (pLGICs) display. Here we present a comprehensive analysis of more than 30 cys-loop receptor structures of homologous proteins that revealed several allosteric binding sites not previously described in GABAA receptors. These novel binding sites were examined in GABAA receptor homology models and assessed as putative candidate sites for allosteric ligands. Four so far undescribed putative ligand binding sites were proposed for follow up studies based on their presence in the GABAA receptor homology models. A comprehensive analysis of conserved structural features in GABAA and glycine receptors (GlyRs), the glutamate gated ion channel, the bacterial homologs Erwinia chrysanthemi (ELIC) and Gloeobacter violaceus GLIC, and the serotonin type 3 (5-HT3) receptor was performed. The conserved features were integrated into a master alignment that led to improved homology models. The large fragment of the intracellular domain that is present in the structure of the 5-HT3 receptor was utilized to generate GABAA receptor models with a corresponding intracellular domain fragment. Results of mutational and photoaffinity ligand studies in GABAA receptors were analyzed in the light of the model structures. This led to an assignment of candidate ligands to two proposed novel pockets, candidate binding sites for furosemide and neurosteroids in the trans-membrane domain were identified. The homology models can serve as hypotheses generators, and some previously controversial structural interpretations of biochemical data can be resolved in the light of the presented multi-template approach to comparative modeling. Crystal and cryo-EM microscopic structures of the closest homologs that were solved in different conformational

  19. Direct evidence for GABAergic activity of Withania somnifera on mammalian ionotropic GABAA and GABAρ receptors.

    PubMed

    Candelario, Manuel; Cuellar, Erika; Reyes-Ruiz, Jorge Mauricio; Darabedian, Narek; Feimeng, Zhou; Miledi, Ricardo; Russo-Neustadt, Amelia; Limon, Agenor

    2015-08-02

    Withania somnifera (WS) has been traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine as a remedy for debility, stress, nervous exhaustion, insomnia, loss of memory, and to enhance cognitive function. This study provides an empirical evidence to support the traditional use of WS to aid in mental process engaging GABAergic signaling. We evaluated the effect of aqueous WS root extract (aqWS), and its two main components, withaferin A and withanolide A, on the main inhibitory receptors in the central nervous system: ionotropic GABAA receptors. The pharmacological activity of aqWS, withaferin A and withanolide A, was tested on native rat brain GABAA channels microtransplanted into Xenopus oocytes and GABAρ1 receptors heterologously expressed in oocytes. The GABAergic activity of aqWS compounds was evaluated by the two-electrode voltage-clamp method and the fingerprint of the extract was done by LC-MS. Concentration-dependent inward ion currents were elicited by aqWS in microtransplanted oocytes with an EC50 equivalent to 4.7 mg/mL and a Hill coefficient (nH) of 1.6. The GABAA receptor antagonist bicuculline blocked these currents. Our results show that aqWS activated inotropic GABAA channels but with lower efficacy compared to the endogenous agonist GABA. We also demonstrate for first time that aqWS is a potent agonist of GABAρ1 receptors. GABAρ1 receptors were 27 fold more sensitive to aqWS than GABAA receptors. Furthermore, aqWS activated GABAρ1 receptors eliciting maximum currents that were no significantly different to those produced by GABA (paired t-test; p=0.533). The differential activity on GABAA and GABA ρ1 receptors and the reported lack of significant GABA presence in WS root extract indicates that the GABAergic activity of aqWS is not mediated by GABA. WS main active components, witaferin A and withanolide A, were tested to determine if they were responsible for the activation of the GABA receptors. Neither compound activated GABAA nor GABAρ1 receptors

  20. Evidence for inhibition mediated by coassembly of GABAA and GABAC receptor subunits in native central neurons.

    PubMed

    Milligan, Carol J; Buckley, Noel J; Garret, Maurice; Deuchars, Jim; Deuchars, Susan A

    2004-08-18

    Fast inhibition in the nervous system is commonly mediated by GABA(A) receptors comprised of 2alpha/2beta/1gamma subunits. In contrast, GABA(C) receptors containing only rho subunits (rho1-rho3) have been predominantly detected in the retina. However, here using reverse transcription-PCR and in situ hybridization we show that mRNA encoding the rho1 subunit is highly expressed in brainstem neurons. Immunohistochemistry localized the rho1 subunit to neurons at light and electron microscopic levels, where it was detected at synaptic junctions. Application of the GABA(C) receptor agonist cis-4-aminocrotonic acid (100-800 microM) requires the rho1 subunit to elicit responses, which surprisingly are blocked independently by antagonists to GABA(A) (bicuculline, 10 microM) and GABA(C) [(1,2,5,6-tetrahydropyridin-4-yl)methylphosphinic acid (TPMPA); 40-160 microM] receptors. Responses to GABA(C) agonists were also enhanced by the GABA(A) receptor modulator pentobarbitone (300 microM). Spontaneous and evoked IPSPs were reduced in amplitude but never abolished by TPMPA, but were completely blocked by bicuculline. We therefore tested the hypothesis that GABA(A) and GABA(C) subunits formed a heteromeric receptor. Immunohistochemistry indicated that rho1 and alpha1 subunits were colocalized at light and electron microscopic levels. Electrophysiology revealed that responses to GABA(C) receptor agonists were enhanced by the GABA(A) receptor modulator zolpidem (500 nm), which acts on the alpha1 subunit when the gamma2 subunit is also present. Finally, coimmunoprecipitation indicated that the rho1 subunit formed complexes that also containedalpha1 and gamma2 subunits. Taken together these separate lines of evidence suggest that the effects of GABA in central neurons can be mediated by heteromeric complexes of GABA(A) and GABA(C) receptor subunits.

  1. Α2 GABAA receptor sub-units in the ventral hippocampus and α5 GABAA receptor sub-units in the dorsal hippocampus mediate anxiety and fear memory.

    PubMed

    McEown, K; Treit, D

    2013-11-12

    Temporary neuronal inactivation of the ventral hippocampus with the GABAA agonist muscimol suppresses unconditioned fear behavior (anxiety) but inactivation of the dorsal hippocampus does not. On the other hand, inactivating the dorsal hippocampus disrupts fear memory, while inactivating the ventral hippocampus does not. Here we investigate the roles of hippocampal GABAA receptor sub-units in mediating these anxiolytic and amnesic effects of GABAA receptor agonists. We microinfused TPA023 (α2 agonist) or TB-21007 (inverse α5 agonist) into the dorsal or ventral hippocampus prior to testing rats in two animal models of anxiety: the elevated plus-maze and shock-probe burying test. Twenty-four hours later rats were re-tested in the shock-probe chamber with a non-electrified probe to assess their memory of the initial shock-probe experience (i.e., fear memory). We found that TPA023 was anxiolytic in the plus-maze and shock-probe burying tests when microinfused into the ventral hippocampus. However, TPA023 did not affect anxiety-related behavior when infused into the dorsal hippocampus. Conversely, we found that the α5 sub-unit inverse agonist TB-21007 impaired rats' memory of the initial shock-probe experience when infused into the dorsal hippocampus, but not when infused into the ventral hippocampus. This double dissociation suggests that α2 GABAA receptor sub-units in the ventral hippocampus mediate unconditioned fear or anxiety, while α5 GABAA receptor sub-units in the dorsal hippocampus mediate conditioned fear memory. Copyright © 2013 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Ethanol-induced GABAA receptor alpha4 subunit plasticity involves phosphorylation and neuroactive steroids.

    PubMed

    Werner, David F; Porcu, Patrizia; Boyd, Kevin N; O'Buckley, Todd K; Carter, Jenna M; Kumar, Sandeep; Morrow, A Leslie

    2016-04-01

    GABAA receptors containing α4 subunits are widely implicated in acute ethanol sensitivity, and their spatial and temporal regulation prominently contributes to ethanol-induced neuroplasticity in hippocampus and cortex. However, it is unknown if α4-containing GABAA receptors in the thalamus, an area of high α4 expression, display similar regulatory patterns following ethanol administration, and if so, by which molecular mechanisms. In the current study, thalamic GABAA receptor α4 subunit levels were increased following a 6-week-, but not a 2-week chronic ethanol diet. Following acute high-dose ethanol administration, thalamic GABAA receptor α4 subunit levels were regulated in a temporal fashion, as a decrease was observed at 2h followed by a delayed transient increase. PKCγ and PKCδ levels paralleled α4 temporal expression patterns following ethanol exposure. Initial decreases in α4 subunit expression were associated with reduced serine phosphorylation. Delayed increases in expression were not associated with a change in phosphorylation state, but were prevented by inhibiting neuroactive steroid production with the 5α-reductase inhibitor finasteride. Overall, these studies indicate that thalamic GABAA receptor α4 subunit expression following acute and chronic ethanol administration exhibits similar regulatory patterns as other regions and that transient expression patterns following acute exposure in vivo are likely dependent on both subunit phosphorylation state and neuroactive steroids.

  3. Molecular, pharmacological and functional properties of GABAA receptors in anterior pituitary cells

    PubMed Central

    Zemkova, Hana W; Bjelobaba, Ivana; Tomic, Melanija; Zemkova, Hana; Stojilkovic, Stanko S

    2008-01-01

    Anterior pituitary cells express γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-A receptor-channels, but their structure, distribution within the secretory cell types, and nature of action have not been clarified. Here we addressed these questions using cultured anterior pituitary cells from postpubertal female rats and immortalized αT3-1 and GH3 cells. Our results show that mRNAs for all GABAA receptor subunits are expressed in pituitary cells and that α1/β1 subunit proteins are present in all secretory cells. In voltage-clamped gramicidin-perforated cells, GABA induced dose-dependent increases in current amplitude that were inhibited by bicuculline and picrotoxin and facilitated by diazepam and zolpidem in a concentration-dependent manner. In intact cells, GABA and the GABAA receptor agonist muscimol caused a rapid and transient increase in intracellular calcium, whereas the GABAB receptor agonist baclofen was ineffective, suggesting that chloride-mediated depolarization activates voltage-gated calcium channels. Consistent with this finding, RT-PCR analysis indicated high expression of NKCC1, but not KCC2 cation/chloride transporter mRNAs in pituitary cells. Furthermore, the GABAA channel reversal potential for chloride ions was positive to the baseline membrane potential in most cells and the activation of ion channels by GABA resulted in depolarization of cells and modulation of spontaneous electrical activity. These results indicate that secretory pituitary cells express functional GABAA receptor-channels that are depolarizing. PMID:18450776

  4. Statistical Mechanics Model for the Interaction between the Neurotransmitter γ-Aminobutyric acid and GABAA Receptors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zafar, Sufi; Saxena, Nina C.; Conrad, Kevin A.; Hussain, Arif

    2004-07-01

    Interactions between the neurotransmitter γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and GABAA receptor ion channels play an important role in the central nervous system. A statistical mechanics model is proposed for the interaction between GABA and GABAA receptors. The model provides good fits to the electrophysiology data as well as an estimation of receptor activation energies, and predicts the temperature dependence consistent with measurements. In addition, the model provides insights into single channel conductance measurements. This model is also applicable to other ligand-gated ion channels with similar pentameric structures.

  5. Semisynthetic preparation of amentoflavone: A negative modulator at GABA(A) receptors.

    PubMed

    Hanrahan, Jane R; Chebib, Mary; Davucheron, Neil L M; Hall, Belinda J; Johnston, Graham A R

    2003-07-21

    Amentoflavone is found in a number of plants with medicinal properties, including Ginkgo biloba and Hypericum perforatum (St. John's Wort). We have developed a rapid and economic semi-synthetic preparation of amentoflavone from biflavones isolated from autumnal Ginkgo biloba leaves. Several studies have shown that amentoflavone binds to benzodiazepine receptors. Using two electrode voltage-clamp methodology, amentoflavone has been shown to be a negative modulator of GABA at GABA(A) alpha(1)beta(2)gamma(2L) receptors expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes This action appears to be independent of the flumazenil-sensitive benzodiazepine modulatory sites on the GABA(A) receptor.

  6. GABA(A) receptor binding and localization in the tiger salamander retina.

    PubMed

    Wang, H; Standifer, K M; Sherry, D M

    2000-01-01

    Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is the major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the retina and also appears to act as a trophic factor regulating photoreceptor development and regeneration. Although the tiger salamander is a major model system for the study of retinal circuitry and regeneration, our understanding of GABA receptors in this species is almost exclusively based on the results of physiological studies. Therefore, we have examined the pharmacological binding properties of GABA(A) receptors and their anatomical localization in the tiger salamander retina. Radioligand-binding studies showed that specific 3H-GABA binding to GABA(A) receptors was dominated by a single high-affinity binding site (Kd = 15.6+/-6.9 nM). Specific binding of 3H-GABA was almost completely eliminated by muscimol (Ki = 105+/-62 nM) and bicuculline (Ki = 14.3+/-2.2 microM); however, SR-95531 only displaced about 40% of specific 3H-GABA binding (Ki = 35.0+/-3.8 nM). These data indicate that there are at least two subtypes of GABA(A) receptors present in the salamander retina that can be distinguished by their antagonist binding properties: one sensitive to both bicuculline and SR-95531, and one sensitive to bicuculline but insensitive to SR-95531. Because localization of GABA receptors in the salamander retina by immunocytochemistry is problematic, GABA(A) receptors were localized by fluorescent ligand binding combined with immunocytochemical labeling for cell specific markers. Binding of fluorescently labeled muscimol to GABA(A) receptors was present in both plexiform layers and on photoreceptor cell bodies. GABA(A) receptors in the outer plexiform layer were localized to both photoreceptor terminals and horizontal cell processes.

  7. Anti-conflict effects of benzodiazepines in rhesus monkeys: relationship with therapeutic doses in humans and role of GABAA receptors.

    PubMed

    Rowlett, James K; Lelas, Snjezana; Tornatzky, Walter; Licata, Stephanie C

    2006-01-01

    Conflict procedures are used to study mechanisms underlying the anxiolytic effects of benzodiazepines (BZs). We established a conflict procedure with rhesus monkeys in order to examine the role of GABAA receptors in the anxiolytic-like effects of BZs. Four rhesus monkeys responded under a two-component multiple schedule in which responding was maintained under a fixed-ratio schedule of food delivery in the absence (non-suppressed responding) and presence (suppressed responding) of response-contingent electric shock. Conventional BZs (alprazolam, flunitrazepam, clonazepam, nitrazepam, lorazepam, bromazepam, diazepam, flurazepam, clorazepate, chlordiazepoxide) engendered increases in the average rates of suppressed responding at low to intermediate doses and decreased the average rates of non-suppressed responding at higher doses. Positive correlations were observed when the therapeutic potencies of BZs in humans were compared with potencies to increase the rates of suppressed responding (R2=0.83) or decrease the rates of non-suppressed responding (R2=0.60). The 5-HT1A agonist buspirone increased the rates of suppressed responding, although the effects were modest, whereas the opioid morphine lacked anti-conflict effects. The BZ antagonist flumazenil also modestly increased the rates of suppressed responding. A relatively low dose of flumazenil enhanced, while a high dose blocked, alprazolam's anti-conflict effects. Compounds selective for alpha1 subunit-containing GABAA receptors (zolpidem, zaleplon, CL218,872) engendered relatively weak increases in the rates of suppressed responding. A rhesus monkey conflict procedure was established with predictive validity for therapeutic doses in people and provided evidence that anxiolytic-like effects of BZs can occur with relatively low intrinsic efficacy at GABAA receptors and are reduced by alpha1GABAA receptor selectivity.

  8. Bicarbonate contributes to GABAA receptor-mediated neuronal excitation in surgically resected human hypothalamic hamartomas.

    PubMed

    Kim, Do-Young; Fenoglio, Kristina A; Kerrigan, John F; Rho, Jong M

    2009-01-01

    The role of bicarbonate (HCO(3)(-)) in GABA(A) receptor-mediated depolarization of human hypothalamic hamartoma (HH) neurons was investigated using cellular electrophysiological and calcium imaging techniques. Activation of GABA(A) receptors with muscimol (30 microM) provoked neuronal excitation in over 70% of large (18-22 microM) HH neurons in HCO(3)(-) buffer. Subsequent perfusion of HCO(3)(-)-free HEPES buffer produced partial suppression of muscimol-induced excitation. Additionally, 53% of large HH neurons under HCO(3)(-)-free conditions exhibited reduced intracellular calcium accumulation by muscimol. These results suggest that HCO(3)(-) efflux through GABA(A) receptors on a subpopulation of large HH neurons may contribute to membrane depolarization and subsequent activation of L-type calcium channels.

  9. Expression of functional GABAA receptors in cholecystokinin-secreting gut neuroendocrine murine STC-1 cells

    PubMed Central

    Glassmeier, G; Herzig, K-H; Höpfner, M; Lemmer, K; Jansen, A; Scherübl, H

    1998-01-01

    Gastrointestinal neuroendocrine (NE) cells synthesize, store and secrete γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Recently, an autocrine-paracrine function of GABA has been proposed for secretion from NE cells.To search for functional GABAA receptors in NE gut cells, we performed whole-cell and perforated-patch-clamp studies in the intestinal cholecystokinin (CCK)-secreting NE cell line STC-1.Application of GABA evoked currents in STC-1 cells. These effects were mimicked by muscimol, an agonist of GABAA receptors, and blocked by picrotoxin or bicuculline, antagonists of GABAA receptors. The GABA- or muscimol-activated currents reversed near 0 mV, which under the recording conditions used was consistent with the activation of the GABAA receptor-Cl− channel complex.In contrast to the effect on most neurons, GABA as well as muscimol led to a (reversible) depolarization of the membrane potential of STC-1 cells. Membrane depolarization in turn activated voltage-gated Ca2+ channels and increased intracellular Ca2+ concentrations in STC-1 cells.In accordance with the observed membrane depolarization and activation of voltage-gated Ca2+ channels, both GABA and muscimol stimulated Ca2+-dependent CCK release. In contrast, bicuculline inhibited the GABA-induced secretion of CCK.Using the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), mRNA of the GABAA receptor subunits α2, α3, α5, β1, β3 and δ could be detected in STC-1 cells.In summary, we have shown that the CCK-secreting gut NE cell line STC-1 expresses functional GABAA receptors and that GABA stimulates CCK release. Thus, GABA is involved in the fine tuning of CCK secretion from the gut NE cell line STC-1. PMID:9660895

  10. High Dose Gamma Radiation Selectively Reduces GABAA-slow Inhibition

    PubMed Central

    Dagne, Beza A; Sunay, Melis K; Cayla, Noëlie S; Ouyang, Yi-Bing; Knox, Susan J; Giffard, Rona G; Adler, John R.

    2017-01-01

    Studies on the effects of gamma radiation on brain tissue have produced markedly differing results, ranging from little effect to major pathology, following irradiation. The present study used control-matched animals to compare effects on a well characterized brain region following gamma irradiation. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed to 60 Gy of whole brain gamma radiation and, after 24-hours, 48-hours, and one-week periods, hippocampal brain slices were isolated and measured for anatomical and physiological differences. There were no major changes observed in tissue appearance or evoked synaptic responses at any post-irradiation time point. However, exposure to 60 Gy of irradiation resulted in a small, but statistically significant (14% change; ANOVA p < 0.005; n = 9) reduction in synaptic inhibition seen at 100 ms, indicating a selective depression of the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABAA) slow form of inhibition. Population spike (PS) amplitudes also transiently declined by ~ 10% (p < 0.005; n = 9) when comparing the 24-hour group to sham group. Effects on PS amplitude recovered to baseline 48 hour and one week later. There were no obvious negative pathological effects; however, a subtle depression in circuit level inhibition was observed and provides evidence for ‘radiomodulation’ of brain circuits. PMID:28401026

  11. Loop-F of the α-subunit determines the pharmacologic profile of novel competitive inhibitors of GABAA receptors.

    PubMed

    Mihalik, Balázs; Pálvölgyi, Adrienn; Bogár, Ferenc; Megyeri, Katalin; Ling, István; Barkóczy, József; Bartha, Ferenc; Martinek, Tamás A; Gacsályi, István; Antoni, Ferenc A

    2017-03-05

    The neurotransmitter γ-amino butyric acid (GABA) has a fundamental role in CNS function and ionotropic (GABAA) receptors that mediate many of the actions of GABA are important therapeutic targets. This study reports the mechanism of action of novel GABAA antagonists based on a tricyclic oxazolo-2,3-benzodiazepine scaffold. These compounds are orthosteric antagonists of GABA on heteropentameric GABAA receptors of αxβ2γ2 configuration expressed in HEK293 cells. In silico modelling predicted that the test compounds docked in the GABA binding-pocket and would interact with amino-acid residues in the α- and β-subunit interface that are known to be important for the binding of GABA. Intriguingly, optimal docking also required an interaction with the non-conserved amino-terminal segment of Loop-F of the α-subunit. Testing of a compound with altered regiochemistry of the oxazolone moiety supported the model with respect to the conserved GABA-interacting residues in vitro as well as in vivo. The prediction regarding loop-F was examined by replacing the amino-terminal variable segment of loop-F of the α5-subunit with the corresponding residues in the α1- and α2-subunits. When tested with the novel inhibitors, the receptors formed by the modified α5-subunits displayed the pharmacologic phenotype of the source of loop-F. In summary, these data show that the variable amino-terminal segment of loop-F of the α-subunit determines the pharmacologic selectivity of the novel tricyclic inhibitors of GABAA receptors.

  12. Neural Basis of Benzodiazepine Reward: Requirement for α2 Containing GABAA Receptors in the Nucleus Accumbens

    PubMed Central

    Engin, Elif; Bakhurin, Konstantin I; Smith, Kiersten S; Hines, Rochelle M; Reynolds, Lauren M; Tang, Wannan; Sprengel, Rolf; Moss, Stephen J; Rudolph, Uwe

    2014-01-01

    Despite long-standing concerns regarding the abuse liability of benzodiazepines, the mechanisms underlying properties of benzodiazepines that may be relevant to abuse are still poorly understood. Earlier studies showed that compounds selective for α1-containing GABAA receptors (α1GABAARs) are abused by humans and self-administered by animals, and that these receptors may underlie a preference for benzodiazepines as well as neuroplastic changes observed in the ventral tegmental area following benzodiazepine administration. There is some evidence, however, that even L-838, 417, a compound with antagonistic properties at α1GABAARs and agonistic properties at the other three benzodiazepine-sensitive GABAA receptor subtypes, is self-administered, and that the α2GABAARs may have a role in benzodiazepine-induced reward enhancement. Using a two-bottle choice drinking paradigm to evaluate midazolam preference and an intracranial self-stimulation (ICSS) paradigm to evaluate the impact of midazolam on reward enhancement, we demonstrated that mice carrying a histidine-to-arginine point mutation in the α2 subunit which renders it insensitive to benzodiazepines (α2(H101R) mice) did not prefer midazolam and did not show midazolam-induced reward enhancement in ICSS, in contrast to wild-type controls, suggesting that α2GABAARs are necessary for the reward enhancing effects and preference for oral benzodiazepines. Through a viral-mediated knockdown of α2GABAARs in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), we demonstrated that α2 in the NAc is necessary for the preference for midazolam. Findings imply that α2GABAARs in the NAc are involved in at least some reward-related properties of benzodiazepines, which might partially underlie repeated drug-taking behavior. PMID:24553732

  13. Diminished allopregnanolone enhancement of GABAA receptor currents in a rat model of chronic temporal lobe epilepsy

    PubMed Central

    Mtchedlishvili, Zakaria; Bertram, Edward H; Kapur, Jaideep

    2001-01-01

    Neurosteroid modulation of GABAA receptors present on dentate granule cells (DGCs) acutely isolated from epileptic (epileptic DGCs) or control rats (control DGCs) was studied by application of GABA with or without the modulators and by measuring the amplitude of peak whole-cell currents. In epileptic DGCs, GABA efficacy (1394 ± 277 pA) was greater than in control DGCs (765 ± 38 pA). Allopregnanolone enhanced GABA-evoked currents less potently in epileptic DGCs (EC50= 92.7 ± 13.4 nm) than in control DGCs (EC50= 12.9 ± 2.3 nm). Pregnenolone sulfate inhibited GABA-evoked currents with similar potency and efficacy in control and epileptic DGCs. Diazepam enhanced GABA-evoked currents less potently in epileptic (EC50= 69 ± 14 nm) compared to the control DGCs (EC50= 29.9 ± 5.7 nm). There were two different patterns of zolpidem modulation of GABAA receptor currents in the epileptic DGCs. In one group, zolpidem enhanced GABAA receptor currents but with reduced potency compared to the control DGCs (EC50= 134 ± 20 nmvs. EC50= 52 ± 13 nm). In the second group of epileptic DGCs zolpidem inhibited GABAA receptor currents, an effect not observed in control DGCs. Epileptic DGCs were more sensitive to Zn2+ inhibition of GABAA receptor currents (IC50= 19 ± 6 μm) compared to control (IC50= 94.7 ± 7.9 μm). This study demonstrates significant differences between epileptic and control DGCs. We conclude that (1) diminished sensitivity of GABAA receptors of epileptic DGCs to allopregnanolone can increase susceptibility to seizures; (2) reduced sensitivity to diazepam and zolpidem, and increased sensitivity to Zn2+ indicate that loss of allopregnanolone sensitivity is likely to be due to altered subunit expression of postsynaptic GABAA receptors present on epileptic DGCs; and (3) an inverse effect of zolpidem in some epileptic DGCs demonstrates the heterogeneity of GABAA receptors present on epileptic DGCs. PMID:11731578

  14. Methylene blue inhibits GABAA receptors by interaction with GABA binding site.

    PubMed

    Chen, Zhenglan; Liu, Ran; Yang, Shao-Hua; Dillon, Glenn H; Huang, Renqi

    2017-06-01

    Methylene blue (MB) is commonly used in diagnostic procedures and is also used to treat various medical conditions. Neurological effects of MB have been reported in clinical observations and experimental studies. Thus the modulation of GABAA receptor function by MB was investigated. Whole-cell GABA-activated currents were recorded from HEK293 cells expressing various GABAA receptor subunit configurations. MB inhibition of GABA currents was apparent at 3 μM, and it had an IC50 of 31 μM in human α1β2γ2 receptors. The MB action was rapid and reversible. MB inhibition was not mediated via the picrotoxin site, as a mutation (T6'F of the β2 subunit) known to confer resistance to picrotoxin had no effect on MB-induced inhibition. Blockade of GABAA receptors by MB was demonstrated across a range of receptors expressing varying subunits, including those expressed at extrasynaptic sites. The sensitivity of α1β2 receptors to MB was similar to that observed in α1β2γ2 receptors, indicating that MB's action via the benzodiazepine or Zn(2+) site is unlikely. MB-induced inhibition of GABA response was competitive with respect to GABA. Furthermore, mutation of α1 F64 to A and β2 Y205 to F in the extracellular N-terminus, both residues which are known to comprise GABA binding pocket, remarkably diminished MB inhibition of GABA currents. These data suggest that MB inhibits GABAA receptor function by direct or allosteric interaction with the GABA binding site. Finally, in mouse hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons, MB inhibited GABA-activated currents as well as GABAergic IPSCs. We demonstrate that MB directly inhibits GABAA receptor function, which may underlie some of the effects of MB on the CNS. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. GABA(A) receptor physiology and its relationship to the mechanism of action of the 1,5-benzodiazepine clobazam.

    PubMed

    Sankar, Raman

    2012-03-01

    subunit and a γ subunit. This arrangement results in a diverse assortment of receptor subtypes. As benzodiazepine pharmacology is influenced by differences in affinity for particular GABA(A) subtypes, characterizing the selectivity of different benzodiazepines is a promising avenue for establishing appropriate use of these agents in neurological disorders. Molecular techniques have significantly advanced since the inception of clobazam as a clinical agent, adding to the understanding of the GABA(A) receptor, its subunits and benzodiazepine pharmacology. Transgenic mouse models have been particularly useful in this regard. Comparative studies between transgenic and wild-type mice have further defined relationships between GABA(A) receptor composition and drug effects. From such studies, we have learned that sedating and amnesic effects are mediated by the GABA(A) α(1) subunit, α(2) receptors mediate anxiolytic effects, α subunits are involved with anticonvulsant activity, α(5) may be implicated in learning and memory, and β(3) subunit deficiency decreases GABA inhibition. Despite progress in determining the role of various subunits to specific benzodiazepine pharmacological actions, the precise mechanism of action of clobazam, and more importantly, how that mechanism of action translates into clinical consequences (i.e. efficacy, tolerability and safety) remain unknown. Testing clobazam and 1,4-benzodiazepines using a range of recombinant GABA(A) receptor subtypes would hopefully elucidate the subunits involved and strengthen our understanding of clobazam and its mechanism of action.

  16. The modulation by chlormethiazole of the GABAA-receptor complex in rat brain.

    PubMed Central

    Cross, A. J.; Stirling, J. M.; Robinson, T. N.; Bowen, D. M.; Francis, P. T.; Green, A. R.

    1989-01-01

    1. The interactions of chlormethiazole with gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) synthesis and release, and with ligand binding to sites associated with the GABAA-receptor complex and the GABAB-receptor have been studied in the rat. The GABAA-receptor was studied using [3H]-muscimol, [3H]-flunitrazepam was used to label the benzodiazepine modulatory site, and [35S]-butyl-bicyclophosphorothionate ([35S]-TBPS) to label the chloride channel. 2. Chlormethiazole had no effect on GABA synthesis in the cortex, hippocampus and striatum or on GABA release from cortical slices in vitro. Chlormethiazole did not displace [3H]-baclofen binding to the GABAB-receptor. 3. Chlormethiazole (IC50 = 140 microM) and pentobarbitone (IC50 = 95 microM) both inhibited [35S]-TBPS binding by increasing the rate of [35S]-TBPS dissociation. In addition, chlormethiazole caused an apparent decrease in the affinity of [35S]-TBPS binding. 4. Chlormethiazole enhanced the binding of [3H]-muscimol but had no effect on [3H]-flunitrazepam binding. In contrast, the sedative barbiturate pentobarbitone enhanced both [3H]-muscimol and [3H]-flunitrazepam binding. 5. It is concluded that the sedative and anticonvulsant effects of chlormethiazole are probably mediated through an action at the GABAA-receptor. However, chlormethiazole does not interact with the GABAA-receptor complex in an identical manner to the sedative barbiturate pentobarbitone. PMID:2553191

  17. Modulation of inhibitory autapses and synapses on rat CA1 interneurones by GABAa receptor ligands

    PubMed Central

    Pawelzik, H; Hughes, D I; Thomson, A M

    2003-01-01

    To determine whether autaptic inhibition plays a functional role in the adult hippocampus, the action potential afterhyperpolarisations (spike AHPs) of CA1 interneurones were investigated in 25 basket, three bistratified and eight axo-axonic cells. The spike AHPs showed two minima in all regular-spiking (5), burst-firing (3) and in many fast-spiking cells (17:28). The fast component had a time-to-peak (TTP) of 1.2 ± 0.5 ms, the slower TTP was very variable (range of 3.3–103 ms). The AHP width at half-amplitude (HW) was 12.5 ± 5.7 ms in fast-spiking, 29.3 ± 18 ms in regular-spiking and 99.7 ± 42 ms in burst-firing cells. Axo-axonic cells never establish autapses, and the fast-spiking variety showed narrow (HW: 3.9 ± 0.7 ms) spike AHPs with only one AHP minimum (TTP: 0.9 ± 0.1 ms). When challenged with GABAA receptor modulators, spike AHPs in basket and bistratified cells were enhanced by zolpidem (HW by 18.4 ± 6.2 % in 10:15 cells tested), diazepam (45.2 ± 0.5 %, 6:7), etomidate (43.9 ± 36 %, 6:8) and pentobarbitone sodium (41 %, 1:1), and were depressed by bicuculline (-41 ± 5.7 %, 5:8) and picrotoxin (-54 %, 1:1), and the enhancement produced by zolpidem was reduced by flumazenil (-31 ± 13 %, relative to the AHP HW during exposure to zolpidem, 3:4). Neuronal excitability was modulated in parallel. The spike AHPs of three axo-axonic cells tested showed no sensitivity to etomidate, pentobarbitone or diazepam. Interneurone-to-interneurone inhibitory postsynaptic potentials (IPSPs), studied with dual intracellular recordings, had time courses resembling those of the spike AHPs. The IPSP HW was 13.4 ± 2.8 ms in fast-spiking (n = 16) and 28.7 ± 5.8 ms in regular-spiking/burst-firing cells (n = 6), and the benzodiazepine1-selective modulator zolpidem strongly enhanced these IPSPs (45 ± 28 %, n = 5). Interneurones with spike AHPs affected by the GABAA receptor ligands exhibited 3.8 ± 1.9 close autaptic appositions. In three basket cells studied at the

  18. Early expression of GABA(A) receptor delta subunit in the neonatal rat hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Didelon, F; Mladinic', M; Cherubini, E; Bradbury, A

    2000-12-01

    The cDNA library screening strategy was used to identify the genes encoding for GABA(A) receptor subunits in the rat hippocampus during development. With this technique, genes encoding eleven GABA(A) receptor subunits were identified. The alpha5 subunit was by far the most highly expressed, followed by the gamma2, alpha2 and alpha4 subunits respectively. The expression of the beta2, alpha1, gamma1, beta1 and beta3 subunits was moderate, although that of the alpha3 and delta subunits was weak. In situ hybridization experiments, using digoxigenin-labeled cRNA probes, confirmed that the delta subunit was expressed in the neonatal as well as in the adult hippocampus, and is likely to form functional receptors in association with other subunits of the GABA(A) receptor. When the more sensitive RT-PCR approach was used, the gamma3 subunit was also detected, suggesting that this subunit is present in the hippocampus during development but at low levels of expression. The insertion of the delta subunit into functional GABA(A) receptors may enhance the efficacy of GABA in the immediate postnatal period when this amino acid is still exerting a depolarizing and excitatory action.

  19. Respiratory and behavioral dysfunction following loss of the GABAA receptor α4 subunit

    PubMed Central

    Loria, C Jean; Stevens, Ashley M; Crummy, Ellen; Casadesus, Gemma; Jacono, Frank J; Dick, Thomas E; Siegel, Ruth E

    2013-01-01

    γ-Aminobutyric acid type A (GABAA) receptor plasticity participates in mediating adaptation to environmental change. Previous studies in rats demonstrated that extrasynaptic GABAA receptor subunits and receptors in the pons, a brainstem region involved in respiratory control, are upregulated by exposure to sustained hypobaric hypoxia. In these animals, expression of the mRNA encoding the extrasynaptic α4 subunit rose after 3 days in sustained hypoxia, while those encoding the α6 and δ subunits increased dramatically by 2 weeks. However, the participation of extrasynaptic subunits in maintaining respiration in normoxic conditions remains unknown. To examine the importance of α4 in a normal environment, respiratory function, motor and anxiety-like behaviors, and expression of other GABAA receptor subunit mRNAs were compared in wild-type (WT) and α4 subunit-deficient mice. Loss of the α4 subunit did not impact frequency, but did lead to reduced ventilatory pattern variability. In addition, mice lacking the subunit exhibited increased anxiety-like behavior. Finally, α4 subunit loss resulted in reduced expression of other extrasynaptic (α6 and δ) subunit mRNAs in the pons without altering those encoding the most prominent synaptic subunits. These findings on subunit-deficient mice maintained in normoxia, in conjunction with earlier findings on animals maintained in chronic hypoxia, suggest that the expression and regulation of extrasynaptic GABAA receptor subunits in the pons is interdependent and that their levels influence respiratory control as well as adaptation to stress. PMID:23533098

  20. Molecular Pathology of Genetic Epilepsies Associated with GABAA Receptor Subunit Mutations

    PubMed Central

    Macdonald, Robert L; Kang, Jing-Qiong

    2009-01-01

    Mutations in ligand-gated ion channel genes associated with idiopathic generalized epilepsies have been reported in excitatory acetylcholine receptor α4 and β2 subunit genes linked to autosomal dominant nocturnal frontal lobe epilepsy and in inhibitory GABAA receptor α1, β3, γ2, and δ subunit genes associated with childhood absence epilepsy, juvenile myoclonic epilepsy, pure febrile seizures, generalized epilepsy with febrile seizures plus, and generalized epilepsy with tonic–clonic seizures. Recent studies suggest that these mutations alter receptor function or biogenesis, including impaired receptor subunit messenger RNA stability, receptor subunit protein folding and stability, receptor assembly, and receptor trafficking. PMID:19396344

  1. Differential modulation of GABAA and NMDA receptors by α7-nicotinic receptor desensitization in cultured rat hippocampal neurons

    PubMed Central

    Shen, Lei; Cui, Wen-yu; Chen, Ru-zhu; Wang, Hai

    2016-01-01

    Aim: To explore the modulatory effect of desensitized α7-containing nicotinic receptors (α7-nAChRs) on excitatory and inhibitory amino acid receptors in cultured hippocampal neurons and to identify the mechanism underlying this effect. Methods: Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings were performed on cultured rat hippocampal neurons to measure α7-nAChR currents and to determine the role of desensitized α7-nAChRs on brain amino acid receptor activity. Results: Pulse and perfusion applications of the α7-nAChR agonist choline were applied to induce different types of α7-nAChR desensitization in cultured hippocampal neurons. After a brief choline pulse, α7-nAChR was desensitized as a result of receptor activation, which reduced the response of the A type γ-aminobutyric acid (GABAA) receptor to its agonist, muscimol, and enhanced the response of the NMDA receptor to its agonist NMDA. By contrast, the responses of glycine or AMPA receptors to their agonists, glycine or AMPA, respectively, were not affected. Pretreatment with the α7-nAChR antagonist methyllycaconitine (MLA, 10 nmol/L) blocked the choline-induced negative modulation of the GABAA receptor and the positive modulation of the NMDA receptor. The regulation of the GABAA and NMDA receptors was confirmed using another type of α7-nAChR desensitization, which was produced by a low concentration of choline perfusion. The negative modulation of the GABAA receptor was characterized by choline-duration dependency and intracellular calcium dependency, but the positive modulation of the NMDA receptor was not associated with cytoplasmic calcium. Conclusion: Brain GABAA and NMDA receptors are modulated negatively and positively, respectively, by desensitized α7-nAChR as a result of choline pretreatment in cultured hippocampal neurons. PMID:26806304

  2. Dual Modulators of GABA-A and Alpha7 Nicotinic Receptors for Treating Autism

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-08-01

    and Alpha7 Nicotinic Receptors for Treating Autism PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Kelvin W. Gee RECIPIENT: University of California Irvine...Aug 2014 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Dual Modulators of GABA-A and Alpha7 Nicotinic Receptors for Treating Autism 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b. GRANT NUMBER...receptor (GABAAR) mediated signaling. Therefore GABAARs may be a relevant therapeutic target for blocking or reversing the symptoms of ASD. Nicotinic

  3. Modulation of neurosteroid potentiation by protein kinases at synaptic- and extrasynaptic-type GABAA receptors

    PubMed Central

    Adams, Joanna M.; Thomas, Philip; Smart, Trevor G.

    2015-01-01

    GABAA receptors are important for inhibition in the CNS where neurosteroids and protein kinases are potent endogenous modulators. Acting individually, these can either enhance or depress receptor function, dependent upon the type of neurosteroid or kinase and the receptor subunit combination. However, in vivo, these modulators probably act in concert to fine-tune GABAA receptor activity and thus inhibition, although how this is achieved remains unclear. Therefore, we investigated the relationship between these modulators at synaptic-type α1β3γ2L and extrasynaptic-type α4β3δ GABAA receptors using electrophysiology. For α1β3γ2L, potentiation of GABA responses by tetrahydro-deoxycorticosterone was reduced after inhibiting protein kinase C, and enhanced following its activation, suggesting this kinase regulates neurosteroid modulation. In comparison, neurosteroid potentiation was reduced at α1β3S408A,S409Aγ2L receptors, and unaltered by PKC inhibitors or activators, indicating that phosphorylation of β3 subunits is important for regulating neurosteroid activity. To determine whether extrasynaptic-type GABAA receptors were similarly modulated, α4β3δ and α4β3S408A,S409Aδ receptors were investigated. Neurosteroid potentiation was reduced at both receptors by the kinase inhibitor staurosporine. By contrast, neurosteroid-mediated potentiation at α4S443Aβ3S408A,S409Aδ receptors was unaffected by protein kinase inhibition, strongly suggesting that phosphorylation of α4 and β3 subunits is required for regulating neurosteroid activity at extrasynaptic receptors. Western blot analyses revealed that neurosteroids increased phosphorylation of β3S408,S409 implying that a reciprocal pathway exists for neurosteroids to modulate phosphorylation of GABAA receptors. Overall, these findings provide important insight into the regulation of GABAA receptors in vivo, and into the mechanisms by which GABAergic inhibitory transmission may be simultaneously tuned by

  4. Abuse and Dependence Liability of Benzodiazepine-Type Drugs: GABAA Receptor Modulation and Beyond

    PubMed Central

    Licata, Stephanie C.; Rowlett, James K.

    2008-01-01

    Benzodiazepine-type drugs (benzodiazepines and the newer non-benzodiazepines) are similar to older sedative/hypnotic drugs, such as the barbiturates, in that they act at the GABAA receptor (9, 188). Unfortunately, benzodiazepine-type drugs also retain the liability for abuse and dependence associated with the earlier anxiolytics (133, 208). Action at GABAA receptors likely plays a key role in both the therapeutic as well as abuse-related effects of this important class of drugs. While the extent to which therapeutic efficacy and abuse potential can be dissociated is not yet understood fully, the biochemical processes underlying these behavioral effects are even less understood. A more comprehensive understanding of the etiology of benzodiazepine-type drug-induced abuse and dependence is likely to provide information that can inform drug development strategies to help design anxiolytics and hypnotics that have maximum clinical benefit with reduced abuse potential. Thus, this review will explore issues related to the abuse and dependence potential of benzodiazepine-type drugs and the role that GABAA receptors play in this phenomenon. Further, this review will discuss putative intracellular events that may occur as a result of the interaction between benzodiazepine-type drugs and GABAA receptors, and how those events may ultimately give rise to the abuse-related behaviors associated with these drugs. PMID:18295321

  5. Dibenzo[1,2,5]thiadiazepines are non-competitive GABAA receptor antagonists.

    PubMed

    Ramírez-Martínez, Juan F; González-Chávez, Rodolfo; Guerrero-Alba, Raquel; Reyes-Gutiérrez, Paul E; Martínez, Roberto; Miranda-Morales, Marcela; Espinosa-Luna, Rosa; González-Chávez, Marco M; Barajas-López, Carlos

    2013-01-11

    A new process for obtaining dibenzo[c,f][1,2,5]thiadiazepines (DBTDs) and their effects on GABA(A) receptors of guinea pig myenteric neurons are described. Synthesis of DBTD derivatives began with two commercial aromatic compounds. An azide group was obtained after two sequential reactions, and the central ring was closed via a nitrene to obtain the tricyclic sulfonamides (DBTDs). Whole-cell recordings showed that DBTDs application did not affect the holding current but inhibited the currents induced by GABA (I(GABA)), which are mediated by GABA(A) receptors. These DBTDs effects reached their maximum 3 min after application and were: (i) reversible, (ii) concentration-dependent (with a rank order of potency of 2c = 2d > 2b), (iii) mediated by a non-competitive antagonism, and (iv) only observed when applied extracellularly. Picrotoxin (which binds in the channel mouth) and DBTDs effects were not modified when both substances were simultaneous applied. Our results indicate that DBTD acted on the extracellular domain of GABA(A) channels but independent of the picrotoxin, benzodiazepine, and GABA binding sites. DBTDs used here could be the initial model for synthesizing new GABA(A) receptor inhibitors with a potential to be used as antidotes for positive modulators of these receptors or to induce experimental epilepsy.

  6. GABAA receptors in visual and auditory cortex and neural activity changes during basic visual stimulation

    PubMed Central

    Qin, Pengmin; Duncan, Niall W.; Wiebking, Christine; Gravel, Paul; Lyttelton, Oliver; Hayes, Dave J.; Verhaeghe, Jeroen; Kostikov, Alexey; Schirrmacher, Ralf; Reader, Andrew J.; Northoff, Georg

    2012-01-01

    Recent imaging studies have demonstrated that levels of resting γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the visual cortex predict the degree of stimulus-induced activity in the same region. These studies have used the presentation of discrete visual stimulus; the change from closed eyes to open also represents a simple visual stimulus, however, and has been shown to induce changes in local brain activity and in functional connectivity between regions. We thus aimed to investigate the role of the GABA system, specifically GABAA receptors, in the changes in brain activity between the eyes closed (EC) and eyes open (EO) state in order to provide detail at the receptor level to complement previous studies of GABA concentrations. We conducted an fMRI study involving two different modes of the change from EC to EO: an EO and EC block design, allowing the modeling of the haemodynamic response, followed by longer periods of EC and EO to allow the measuring of functional connectivity. The same subjects also underwent [18F]Flumazenil PET to measure GABAA receptor binding potentials. It was demonstrated that the local-to-global ratio of GABAA receptor binding potential in the visual cortex predicted the degree of changes in neural activity from EC to EO. This same relationship was also shown in the auditory cortex. Furthermore, the local-to-global ratio of GABAA receptor binding potential in the visual cortex also predicted the change in functional connectivity between the visual and auditory cortex from EC to EO. These findings contribute to our understanding of the role of GABAA receptors in stimulus-induced neural activity in local regions and in inter-regional functional connectivity. PMID:23293594

  7. Modulation of mammalian dendritic GABAA receptor function by the kinetics of Cl− and HCO3− transport

    PubMed Central

    Staley, Kevin J; Proctor, William R

    1999-01-01

    During prolonged activation of dendritic GABAA receptors, the postsynaptic membrane response changes from hyperpolarization to depolarization. One explanation for the change in direction of the response is that opposing HCO3− and Cl− fluxes through the GABAA ionophore diminish the electrochemical gradient driving the hyperpolarizing Cl− flux, so that the depolarizing HCO3− flux dominates. Here we demonstrate that the necessary conditions for this mechanism are present in rat hippocampal CA1 pyramidal cell dendrites. Prolonged GABAA receptor activation in low-HCO3− media decreased the driving force for dendritic but not somatic Cl− currents. Prolonged GABAA receptor activation in low-Cl− media containing physiological HCO3− concentrations did not degrade the driving force for dendritic or somatic HCO3− gradients. Dendritic Cl− transport was measured in three ways: from the rate of recovery of GABAA receptor-mediated currents between paired dendritic GABA applications, from the rate of recovery between paired synaptic GABAA receptor-mediated currents, and from the predicted vs. actual increase in synaptic GABAA receptor-mediated currents at progressively more positive test potentials. These experiments yielded estimates of the maximum transport rate (vmax) for Cl− transport of 5 to 7 mmol l−1 s−1, and indicated that vmax could be exceeded by GABAA receptor-mediated Cl− influx. The affinity of the Cl− transporter was calculated in experiments in which the reversal potential for Cl− (ECl) was measured from the GABAA reversal potential in low-HCO3− media during Cl− loading from the recording electrode solution. The calculated KD was 15 mM. Using a standard model of membrane potential, these conditions are demonstrated to be sufficient to produce the experimentally observed, activity-dependent GABAA depolarizing response in pyramidal cell dendrites. PMID:10457084

  8. GABAA receptor modulation by piperine and a non-TRPV1 activating derivative☆

    PubMed Central

    Khom, Sophia; Strommer, Barbara; Schöffmann, Angela; Hintersteiner, Juliane; Baburin, Igor; Erker, Thomas; Schwarz, Thomas; Schwarzer, Christoph; Zaugg, Janine; Hamburger, Matthias; Hering, Steffen

    2013-01-01

    The action of piperine (the pungent component of pepper) and its derivative SCT-66 ((2E,4E)-5-(1,3-benzodioxol-5-yl))-N,N-diisobutyl-2,4-pentadienamide) on different gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) type A (GABAA) receptors, transient-receptor-potential-vanilloid-1 (TRPV1) receptors and behavioural effects were investigated. GABAA receptor subtypes and TRPV1 receptors were expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes. Modulation of GABA-induced chloride currents (IGABA) by piperine and SCT-66 and activation of TRPV1 was studied using the two-microelectrode-voltage-clamp technique and fast perfusion. Their effects on explorative behaviour, thermoregulation and seizure threshold were analysed in mice. Piperine acted with similar potency on all GABAA receptor subtypes (EC50 range: 42.8 ± 7.6 μM (α2β2)–59.6 ± 12.3 μM (α3β2)). IGABA modulation by piperine did not require the presence of a γ2S-subunit, suggesting a binding site involving only α and β subunits. IGABA activation was slightly more efficacious on receptors formed from β2/3 subunits (maximal IGABA stimulation through α1β3 receptors: 332 ± 64% and α1β2: 271 ± 36% vs. α1β1: 171 ± 22%, p < 0.05) and α3-subunits (α3β2: 375 ± 51% vs. α5β2:136 ± 22%, p < 0.05). Replacing the piperidine ring by a N,N-diisobutyl residue (SCT-66) prevents interactions with TRPV1 and simultaneously increases the potency and efficiency of GABAA receptor modulation. SCT-66 displayed greater efficacy on GABAA receptors than piperine, with different subunit-dependence. Both compounds induced anxiolytic, anticonvulsant effects and reduced locomotor activity; however, SCT-66 induced stronger anxiolysis without decreasing body temperature and without the proconvulsive effects of TRPV1 activation and thus may serve as a scaffold for the development of novel GABAA receptor modulators. PMID:23623790

  9. GABAA receptors are located in cholinergic terminals in the nucleus pontis oralis of the rat: implications for REM sleep control.

    PubMed

    Liang, Chang-Lin; Marks, Gerald A

    2014-01-16

    The oral pontine reticular formation (PnO) of rat is one region identified in the brainstem as a rapid eye movement (REM) sleep induction zone. Microinjection of GABA(A) receptor antagonists into PnO induces a long lasting increase in REM sleep, which is similar to that produced by cholinergic agonists. We previously showed that this REM sleep-induction can be completely blocked by a muscarinic antagonist, indicating that the REM sleep-inducing effect of GABA(A) receptor antagonism is dependent upon the local cholinergic system. Consistent with these findings, it has been reported that GABA(A) receptor antagonists microdialyzed into PnO resulted in increased levels of acetylcholine. We hypothesize that GABA(A) receptors located on cholinergic boutons in the PnO are responsible for the REM sleep induction by GABA(A) receptor antagonists through blocking GABA inhibition of acetylcholine release. Cholinergic, varicose axon fibers were studied in the PnO by immunofluorescence and confocal, laser scanning microscopy. Immunoreactive cholinergic boutons were found to be colocalized with GABA(A) receptor subunit protein γ2. This finding implicates a specific subtype and location of GABA(A) receptors in PnO of rat in the control of REM sleep. © 2013 Published by Elsevier B.V.

  10. Developmental Expression Patterns of GABAA Receptor Subunits in Layer 3 and 5 Pyramidal Cells of Monkey Prefrontal Cortex.

    PubMed

    Datta, Dibyadeep; Arion, Dominique; Lewis, David A

    2015-08-01

    Cortical pyramidal neuron activity is regulated in part through inhibitory inputs mediated by GABAA receptors. The subunit composition of these receptors confers distinct functional properties. Thus, developmental shifts in subunit expression will likely influence the characteristics of pyramidal cell firing and the functional maturation of processes that depend on these neurons. We used laser microdissection and PCR to quantify postnatal developmental changes in the expression of GABAA receptor subunits (α1, α2, α5, β2, γ2, and δ) in layer 3 pyramidal cells of monkey prefrontal cortex, which are critical for working memory. To determine the specificity of these changes, we examined glutamate receptor subunits (AMPA Glur1 and NMDA Grin1) and conducted the same analyses in layer 5 pyramidal cells. Expression of GABAA receptor subunit mRNAs changed substantially, whereas glutamate receptor subunit changes were modest over postnatal development. Some transcripts (e.g., GABAA α1) progressively increased from birth until adulthood, whereas others (e.g., GABAA α2) declined with age. Changes in some transcripts were present in only one layer (e.g., GABAA δ). The development of GABAA receptor subunit expression in primate prefrontal pyramidal neurons is protracted and subunit- and layer-specific. These trajectories might contribute to the molecular basis for the maturation of working memory.

  11. Potentiating effect of eszopiclone on GABA(A) receptor-mediated responses in pedunculopontine neurons.

    PubMed

    Ye, Meijun; Garcia-Rill, Edgar

    2009-07-01

    The pedunculopontine nucleus (PPN) is part of the cholinergic arm of the reticular activating system, which is mostly active during waking and REM sleep. GABAergic modulation of this area appears to regulate sleep-wake cycles. Eszopiclone (ESZ), a nonbenzodiazepine hypnotic agent, appears to modulate GABAergic receptors. However, the action site of ESZ in the brain is still unresolved. We tested the hypothesis that ESZ acts by potentiating GABA(A) receptors on PPN neurons. Wholecell voltage clamp recordings were performed on PPN neurons in 7-15 day rat brainstem slices, and the potentiating effects of ESZ on the responses to the GABA(A) receptor agonist isoguvacine (IGV), and on GABA(A) receptor-mediated inhibitory post-synaptic currents (IPSCs), were determined. In the presence of tetrodotoxin, ESZ (1) increased the amplitude of the outward current induced by IGV, (2) increased its duration, and (3) enhanced the IGV-induced decrease in input resistance (Rin). The GABA(A) receptor antagonist gabazine (GBZ) blocked these effects. ESZ alone did not induce detectable currents or change Rin at a holding potential of -60 mV, but when held at 0 mV, ESZ induced an outward current in 13/21 PPN cells, an effect blocked by GBZ. ESZ also increased the amplitude (n = 18/21), duration (n = 17/21), and frequency (n = 13/15) of IPSCs. ESZ may potentiate GABA(A) inhibition in the PPN via pre- and post-synaptic modulation, which may underlie the hypnotic effects of ESZ. The differential effects of ESZ on both pre- and post-synaptic sites may partially explain why it has less significant side effects compared to other hypnotic agents.

  12. Human GABAA receptor alpha 1 and alpha 3 subunits genes and alcoholism.

    PubMed

    Parsian, A; Cloninger, C R

    1997-05-01

    gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) is the major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain. GABA effects are largely mediated by binding to the postsynaptic GABAA receptor, causing the opening of an integral chloride-ion channel. The GABAA antagonists picrotoxin and bicuculline reduce some ethanol-induced behaviors, such as motor impairment, sedation, and hypnosis. The role of this receptor in alcoholism is further supported by effective alleviation of alcohol withdrawal symptoms by GABAA agonists. To determine the role of the GABAA receptor (GABR) genes in the development of alcoholism, we have used alpha 1 and alpha 3 simple sequence repeat polymorphisms in a sample of unrelated alcoholics, alcoholic probands with both parents, and psychiatrically normal controls. For the GABR alpha 1 gene, the differences between allele frequencies, when all alleles were compared together, were not significant between total alcoholics, subtypes of alcoholics, and normal controls. However, for GABR alpha 3, the differences between total alcoholics and normal controls were significant when all alleles were compared together. The differences between subtypes of alcoholics and normal controls were not significant. The results of haplotype relative risk analysis for both genes, GABR alpha 1 and GABR alpha 3, were also negative. It is possible that the sample size in the haplotype relative risk is too small to have power to detect the differences in transmitted versus nontransmitted alleles. There is a need for a replication study in a large family sample that will allow haplotype relative risk or affected sib-pair analysis.

  13. A novel GABA(A) alpha 5 receptor inhibitor with therapeutic potential.

    PubMed

    Ling, István; Mihalik, Balázs; Etherington, Lori-An; Kapus, Gábor; Pálvölgyi, Adrienn; Gigler, Gábor; Kertész, Szabolcs; Gaál, Attila; Pallagi, Katalin; Kiricsi, Péter; Szabó, Éva; Szénási, Gábor; Papp, Lilla; Hársing, László G; Lévay, György; Spedding, Michael; Lambert, Jeremy J; Belelli, Delia; Barkóczy, József; Volk, Balázs; Simig, Gyula; Gacsályi, István; Antoni, Ferenc A

    2015-10-05

    Novel 2,3-benzodiazepine and related isoquinoline derivatives, substituted at position 1 with a 2-benzothiophenyl moiety, were synthesized to produce compounds that potently inhibited the action of GABA on heterologously expressed GABAA receptors containing the alpha 5 subunit (GABAA α5), with no apparent affinity for the benzodiazepine site. Substitutions of the benzothiophene moiety at position 4 led to compounds with drug-like properties that were putative inhibitors of extra-synaptic GABAA α5 receptors and had substantial blood-brain barrier permeability. Initial characterization in vivo showed that 8-methyl-5-[4-(trifluoromethyl)-1-benzothiophen-2-yl]-1,9-dihydro-2H-[1,3]oxazolo[4,5-h][2,3]benzodiazepin-2-one was devoid of sedative, pro-convulsive or motor side-effects, and enhanced the performance of rats in the object recognition test. In summary, we have discovered a first-in-class GABA-site inhibitor of extra-synaptic GABAA α5 receptors that has promising drug-like properties and warrants further development.

  14. Partial inactivation of GABAA receptors containing the α5 subunit affects the development of adult-born dentate gyrus granule cells.

    PubMed

    Deprez, Francine; Vogt, Fabia; Floriou-Servou, Amalia; Lafourcade, Carlos; Rudolph, Uwe; Tyagarajan, Shiva K; Fritschy, Jean-Marc

    2016-09-01

    Alterations of neuronal activity due to changes in GABAA receptors (GABAA R) mediating tonic inhibition influence different hippocampal functions. Gabra5-null mice and α5 subunit((H105R)) knock-in mice exhibit signs of hippocampal dysfunction, but are capable of improved performance in several learning and memory tasks. Accordingly, alleviating abnormal GABAergic tonic inhibition in the hippocampal formation by selective α5-GABAA R modulators represents a possible therapeutic approach for several intellectual deficit disorders. Adult neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus is an important facet of hippocampal plasticity; it is regulated by tonic GABAergic transmission, as shown by deficits in proliferation, migration and dendritic development of adult-born neurons in Gabra4-null mice. Here, we investigated the contribution of α5-GABAA Rs to granule cell development, using retroviral vectors expressing eGFP for labeling precursor cells in the subgranular zone. Global α5-GABAA R knockout (α5-KO) mice showed no alterations in migration and morphological development of eGFP-positive granule cells. However, upregulation of α1 subunit-immunoreactivity was observed in the hippocampal formation and cerebral cortex. In contrast, partial gene inactivation in α5-heterozygous (α5-het) mice, as well as single-cell deletion of Gabra5 in newborn granule cells from α5-floxed mice, caused severe alterations of migration and dendrite development. In α5-het mice, retrovirally mediated overexpression of Cdk5 resulted in normal migration and dendritic branching, suggesting that Cdk5 cooperates with α5-GABAA Rs to regulate neuronal development. These results show that minor imbalance of α5-GABAA R-mediated transmission may have major consequences for neuronal plasticity; and call for caution upon chronic therapeutic use of negative allosteric modulators acting at these receptors. © 2016 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  15. A propofol binding site on mammalian GABAA receptors identified by photolabeling

    PubMed Central

    Yip, Grace M S; Chen, Zi-Wei; Edge, Christopher J; Smith, Edward H; Dickinson, Robert; Hohenester, Erhard; Townsend, R Reid; Fuchs, Karoline; Sieghart, Werner; Evers, Alex S; Franks, Nicholas P

    2014-01-01

    Propofol is the most important intravenous general anesthetic in current clinical use. It acts by potentiating GABAA receptors, but where it binds to this receptor is not known and has been a matter of some controversy. We have synthesized a novel propofol analogue photolabeling reagent that has a biological activity very similar to that of propofol. We confirmed that this reagent labeled known propofol binding sites in human serum albumin which have been identified using X-ray crystallography. Using a combination of the protiated label and a deuterated version, and mammalian receptors labeled in intact membranes, we have identified a novel binding site for propofol in GABAA receptors consisting of both β3 homopentamers and α1β3 heteropentamers. The binding site is located within the β subunit, at the interface between the transmembrane domains and the extracellular domain, and lies close to known determinants of anesthetic sensitivity in transmembrane segments TM1 and TM2. PMID:24056400

  16. The diversity of GABAA receptors. Pharmacological and electrophysiological properties of GABAA channel subtypes.

    PubMed

    Hevers, W; Lüddens, H

    1998-08-01

    The amino acid gamma-aminobutyric-acid (GABA) prevails in the CNS as an inhibitory neurotransmitter that mediates most of its effects through fast GABA-gated Cl(-)-channels (GABAAR). Molecular biology uncovered the complex subunit architecture of this receptor channel, in which a pentameric assembly derived from five of at least 17 mammalian subunits, grouped in the six classes alpha, beta, gamma, delta, sigma and epsilon, permits a vast number of putative receptor isoforms. The subunit composition of a particular receptor determines the specific effects of allosterical modulators of the GABAARs like benzodiazepines (BZs), barbiturates, steroids, some convulsants, polyvalent cations, and ethanol. To understand the physiology and diversity of GABAARs, the native isoforms have to be identified by their localization in the brain and by their pharmacology. In heterologous expression systems, channels require the presence of alpha, beta, and gamma subunits in order to mimic the full repertoire of native receptor responses to drugs, with the BZ pharmacology being determined by the particular alpha and gamma subunit variants. Little is known about the functional properties of the beta, delta, and epsilon subunit classes and only a few receptor subtype-specific substances like loreclezole and furosemide are known that enable the identification of defined receptor subtypes. We will summarize the pharmacology of putative receptor isoforms and emphasize the characteristics of functional channels. Knowledge of the complex pharmacology of GABAARs might eventually enable site-directed drug design to further our understanding of GABA-related disorders and of the complex interaction of excitatory and inhibitory mechanisms in neuronal processing.

  17. Flavonoids as GABAA receptor ligands: the whole story?

    PubMed Central

    Wasowski, Cristina; Marder, Mariel

    2012-01-01

    Benzodiazepines are the most widely prescribed class of psychoactive drugs in current therapeutic use, despite the important unwanted side effects that they produce, such as sedation, myorelaxation, ataxia, amnesia, and ethanol and barbiturate potentiation and tolerance. They exert their therapeutic effects via binding to the benzodiazepine binding site of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) type A receptors, and allosterically modulating the chloride flux through the ion channel complex. First isolated from plants used as tranquilizers in folkloric medicine, some natural flavonoids have been shown to possess selective affinity for the benzodiazepine binding site with a broad spectrum of central nervous system effects. Since the initial search for alternative benzodiazepine ligands amongst the flavonoids, a list of successful synthetic derivatives has been generated with enhanced activities. This review provides an update on research developments that have established the activity of natural and synthetic flavonoids on GABA type A receptors. Flavonoids are prominent drugs in the treatment of mental disorders, and can also be used as tools to study modulatory sites at GABA type A receptors and to develop GABA type A selective agents further. PMID:27186113

  18. An Investigation of the Differential Effects of Ursane Triterpenoids from Centella asiatica, and Their Semisynthetic Analogues, on GABAA Receptors.

    PubMed

    Hamid, Kaiser; Ng, Irene; Tallapragada, Vikram J; Váradi, Linda; Hibbs, David E; Hanrahan, Jane; Groundwater, Paul W

    2016-09-01

    The ursane triterpenoids, asiatic acid 1 and madecassic acid 2, are the major pharmacological constituents of Centella asiatica, commonly known as Gotu Kola, which is used traditionally for the treatment of anxiety and for the improvement of cognition and memory. Using the two-electrode voltage-clamp technique, these triterpenes, and some semisynthetic derivatives, were found to exhibit selective negative modulation of different subtypes of the GABAA receptor expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes. Despite differing by only one hydroxyl group, asiatic acid 1 was found to be a negative modulator of the GABA-induced current at α1 β2 γ2L, α2 β2 γ2L and α5 β3 γ2L GABAA receptors, while madecassic acid 2 was not. Asiatic acid 1 exhibited the greatest effect at α1 β2 γ2L (IC50 37.05 μm), followed by α5 β3 γ2L (IC50 64.05 μm) then α2 β2 γ2L (IC50 427.2 μm) receptors. Conversion of the carboxylic acid group of asiatic acid 1 to a carboxamide group (2α,3β,23-trihydroxy-urs-12-en-28-amide 5) resulted in enhanced inhibition at both the α1 β2 γ2L (IC50 14.07 μm) and α2 β2 γ2L receptor subtypes (IC50 28.41 μm). The results of this study, and the involvement of α5 -containing GABAA receptors in cognition and memory, suggest that asiatic acid 1 may be a lead compound for the enhancement of cognition and memory.

  19. Striatal Serotonin 2C receptors decrease nigrostriatal dopamine release by increasing GABA-A receptor tone in the substantia nigra

    PubMed Central

    Burke, M.V.; Nocjar, C.; Sonneborn, A.J.; McCreary, A.C.

    2017-01-01

    Drugs acting at the serotonin-2C (5-HT2C) receptor subtype have shown promise as therapeutics in multiple syndromes including obesity, depression, and Parkinson’s disease. While it is established that 5-HT2C receptor stimulation inhibits DA release, the neural circuits and the localization of the relevant 5-HT2C receptors remain unknown. The present study used dual-probe in vivo microdialysis to investigate the relative contributions of 5-HT2C receptors localized in the rat substantia nigra (SN) and caudate-putamen (CP) in the control of nigrostriatal DA release. Systemic administration (3.0 mg/kg) of the 5-HT2C receptor selective agonist Ro 60-0175 [(α S )-6-Chloro-5-fluoro-α-methyl-1 H-indole-1-ethanamine fumarate] decreased, whereas intrastriatal infusions of the selective 5-HT2C antagonist SB 242084 [6-Chloro-2,3-dihydro-5-methyl-N-[6-[(2-methyl-3-pyridinyl)oxy]-3-pyridinyl]-1 H-indole-1-carboxyamide; 1.0 µM] increased, basal DA in the CP. Depending on the site within the SN pars reticulata (SNpr), infusions of SB 242084 had more modest but significant effects. Moreover, infusions of the GABA-A receptor agonist muscimol (10 µM) into the SNpr completely reversed the increases in striatal DA release produced by intrastriatal infusions of SB 242084. These findings suggest a role for 5-HT2C receptors regulating striatal DA release that is highly localized. 5-HT2C receptors localized in the striatum may represent a primary site of action that is mediated by actions on GABAergic activity in the SN. PMID:25073477

  20. Effects of Insecticidal Ketones Present in Mint Plants on GABAA Receptor from Mammalian Neurons.

    PubMed

    Sánchez-Borzone, Mariela Eugenia; Marin, Leticia Delgado; García, Daniel Asmed

    2017-01-01

    The genus Mentha, an important member of the Lamiaceae family, is represented by many species commonly known as mint. The insecticidal activity of Mentha oil and its main components has been tested and established against various insects/pests. Among these, the ketone monoterpenes that are most common in different Mentha species demonstrated insect toxicity, with pulegone being the most active, followed by carvone and menthone. Considering that the GABAA receptor (GABAA-R) is one of the main insecticide targets on neurons, and that pulegone would modulate the insect GABA system, it may be expected that the insecticidal properties of Mentha ketones are mediated by their interaction with this receptor. In order to discern the pharmacological actions of these products when used as insecticides on mammalian organisms, we evaluated the pharmacologic activity of ketones, commonly present in Mentha plants, on native GABAA-R from rats. Determination of ketones effects on allosterically enhanced benzodiazepine binding, using primary cultures of cortical neurons, which express functional receptors and MTT assay to evaluate their cell toxicity. Our results seem to indicate that ketone components of Mentha, with proven repellent or insecticide activity, were able to behave as GABAA-R negative allosteric modulators in murine cells and consequently could exhibit convulsant activity in mammalians. Only pulegone at the highest assayed concentration (2 mM) showed a significant reduction in cell viability after exposure for 24 hr. The present results strongly suggest that the ketone components of Mentha are able to exhibit convulsant activity in mammalian organisms, but functional assays and in vivo experiments would be necessary to corroborate this proposed action. The pharmacological activity of insecticide ketones, commonly present in Mentha plants, was evaluated on native GABAA receptor from mammalian neurons.All studied compounds: pulegone, menthone and dihydrocarvone, were

  1. Effects of Insecticidal Ketones Present in Mint Plants on GABAA Receptor from Mammalian Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Sánchez-Borzone, Mariela Eugenia; Marin, Leticia Delgado; García, Daniel Asmed

    2017-01-01

    Background: The genus Mentha, an important member of the Lamiaceae family, is represented by many species commonly known as mint. The insecticidal activity of Mentha oil and its main components has been tested and established against various insects/pests. Among these, the ketone monoterpenes that are most common in different Mentha species demonstrated insect toxicity, with pulegone being the most active, followed by carvone and menthone. Considering that the GABAA receptor (GABAA-R) is one of the main insecticide targets on neurons, and that pulegone would modulate the insect GABA system, it may be expected that the insecticidal properties of Mentha ketones are mediated by their interaction with this receptor. Objective: In order to discern the pharmacological actions of these products when used as insecticides on mammalian organisms, we evaluated the pharmacologic activity of ketones, commonly present in Mentha plants, on native GABAA-R from rats. Materials and Methods: Determination of ketones effects on allosterically enhanced benzodiazepine binding, using primary cultures of cortical neurons, which express functional receptors and MTT assay to evaluate their cell toxicity. Results: Our results seem to indicate that ketone components of Mentha, with proven repellent or insecticide activity, were able to behave as GABAA-R negative allosteric modulators in murine cells and consequently could exhibit convulsant activity in mammalians. Only pulegone at the highest assayed concentration (2 mM) showed a significant reduction in cell viability after exposure for 24 hr. Conclusion: The present results strongly suggest that the ketone components of Mentha are able to exhibit convulsant activity in mammalian organisms, but functional assays and in vivo experiments would be necessary to corroborate this proposed action. SUMMARY The pharmacological activity of insecticide ketones, commonly present in Mentha plants, was evaluated on native GABAA receptor from mammalian

  2. GABAA-benzodiazepine receptor availability in smokers and nonsmokers: Relationship to subsyndromal anxiety and depression

    PubMed Central

    Esterlis, Irina; Cosgrove, Kelly P.; Batis, Jeffery C.; Bois, Frederic; Kloczynski, Tracy A.; Stiklus, Stephanie M.; Perry, Edward; Tamagnan, Gilles D.; Seibyl, John P.; Makuch, Robert; Krishnan-Sarin, Suchitra; O’Malley, Stephanie; Staley, Julie K.

    2009-01-01

    Many smokers experience subsyndromal anxiety symptoms while smoking and during acute abstinence, which may contribute to relapse. We hypothesized that cortical gamma aminobutiric acid A – benzodiazepine receptor (GABAA-BZR) availability in smokers and nonsmokers might be related to the expression of subsyndromal anxiety, depressive, and pain symptoms. Cortical GABAA-BZRs were imaged in 15 smokers (8 men; 7 women), and 15 healthy age and sex-matched nonsmokers, and 4 abstinent tobacco smokers (3 men; 1 woman) using [123I]iomazenil and single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT). Anxiety and depressive symptoms were measured using the Spielberger’s State-Trait Anxiety Index (STAI) and the Center for Epidemiology Scale for Depressive Symptoms (CES-D). The cold pressor task was administered to assess pain tolerance and sensitivity. The relationship between cortical GABAA-BZR availability, smoking status and subsyndromal depression and anxiety symptoms, as well as pain tolerance and sensitivity, were evaluated. Surprisingly, there were no statistically significant differences in overall GABAA-BZR availability between smokers and nonsmokers, or between active and abstinent smokers; however, cortical GABAA-BZR availability negatively correlated with subsyndromal state anxiety symptoms in nonsmokers but not in smokers. In nonsmokers, the correlation was seen across many state anxiety brain areas [parietal (r=−.47, p=.03), frontal (r=−.46, p=.03), anterior cingulate (r=−.47, p=.04), temporal (r=−.47, p=.03), occipital (r=−.43, p=.05) cortices, and cerebellum (r=−.46, p=.04)], trait anxiety [parietal (r=−.72, p=.02), frontal (r=−.72, p=.02), and occipital (r=−.65, p=.04) cortices] and depressive symptoms [parietal (r=− .68; p=.02), frontal (r=−.65; p=.03), anterior cingulate (r=−.61; p=.04), and temporal (r=−.66; p=.02) cortices]. The finding that a similar relationship between GABAA-BZR availability and anxiety symptoms was not observed

  3. A Substituted Anilino Enaminone Acts as a Novel Positive Allosteric Modulator of GABAA Receptors in the Mouse Brain

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Ze-Jun; Sun, Liqin; Jackson, Patrice L.; Scott, Kenneth R.

    2011-01-01

    A small library of anilino enaminones was analyzed for potential anticonvulsant agents. We examined the effects of three anilino enaminones on neuronal activity of output neurons, mitral cells (MC), in an olfactory bulb brain slice preparation using whole-cell patch-clamp recording. These compounds are known to be effective in attenuating pentylenetetrazol-induced convulsions. Among the three compounds tested, 5-methyl-3-(4-trifluoromethoxy-phenylamino)-cyclohex-2-enone (KRS-5Me-4-OCF3) showed potent inhibition of MC activity with an EC50 of 24.5 μM. It hyperpolarized the membrane potential of MCs accompanied by suppression of spontaneous firing. Neither ionotropic glutamate receptor blockers nor a GABAB receptor blocker prevented the KRS-5Me-4-OCF3-evoked inhibitory effects. In the presence of GABAA receptor antagonists, KRS-5Me-4-OCF3 completely failed to evoke inhibition of MC spiking activity, suggesting that KRS-5Me-4-OCF3-induced inhibition may be mediated by direct action on GABAA receptors or indirect action through the elevation of tissue GABA levels. Neither vigabatrin (a selective GABA-T inhibitor) nor 1,2,5,6-tetrahydro-1-[2-[[(diphenylmethylene)amino]oxy]ethyl]-3-pyridinecarboxylic acid hydrochloride (NNC-711) (a selective inhibitor of GABA uptake by GABA transporter 1) eliminated the effect of KRS-5ME-4-OCF3 on neuronal excitability, indicating that the inhibitory effect of the enaminone resulted from direct activation of GABAA receptors. The concentration-response curves for GABA are left-shifted by KRS-5Me-4-OCF3, demonstrating that KRS-5Me-4-OCF3 enhanced GABA affinity and acted as a positive allosteric modulator of GABAA receptors. The effect of KRS-5Me-4-OCF3 was blocked by applying a benzodiazepine site antagonist, suggesting that KRS-5Me-4-OCF3 binds at the classic benzodiazepine site to exert its pharmacological action. The results suggest clinical use of enaminones as anticonvulsants in seizures and as a potential anxiolytic in mental

  4. Neurosteroid interactions with synaptic and extrasynaptic GABAa receptors: regulation of subunit plasticity, phasic and tonic inhibition, and neuronal network excitability

    PubMed Central

    Chase Matthew, Carver; Doodipala Samba, Reddy

    2013-01-01

    Rationale Neurosteroids are steroids synthesized within the brain with rapid effects on neuronal excitability. Allopregnanolone, allotetrahydrodeoxycorticosterone, and androstanediol are three widely explored prototype endogenous neurosteroids. They have very different targets and functions compared to conventional steroid hormones. Neuronal GABAa receptors are one of the prime molecular targets of neurosteroids. Objective This review provides a critical appraisal of recent advances in the pharmacology of endogenous neurosteroids that interact with GABAa receptors in the brain. Neurosteroids possess distinct, characteristic effects on the membrane potential and current conductance of the neuron, mainly via potentiation of GABAa receptors at low concentrations and direct activation of receptor chloride channel at higher concentrations. The GABAa receptor mediates two types of inhibition, now characterized as synaptic (phasic) and extrasynaptic (tonic) inhibition. Synaptic release of GABA results in the activation of low-affinity γ2-containing synaptic receptors, while high-affinity δ-containing extrasynaptic receptors are persistently activated by the ambient GABA present in the extracellular fluid. Neurosteroids are potent positive allosteric modulators of synaptic and extrasynaptic GABAa receptors and therefore enhance both phasic and tonic inhibition. Tonic inhibition is specifically more sensitive to neurosteroids. The resulting tonic conductance generates a form of shunting inhibition that controls neuronal network excitability, seizure susceptibility, and behavior. Conclusion The growing understanding of the mechanisms of neurosteroid regulation of the structure and function of the synaptic and extrasynaptic GABAa receptors provide many opportunities to create improved therapies for sleep, anxiety, stress, epilepsy, and other neuropsychiatric conditions. PMID:24071826

  5. Taurine prevents ammonia-induced accumulation of cyclic GMP in rat striatum by interaction with GABAA and glycine receptors.

    PubMed

    Hilgier, Wojciech; Oja, Simo S; Saransaari, Pirjo; Albrecht, Jan

    2005-05-10

    Previously, we had shown that ammonium chloride (ammonia)-induced accumulation of cyclic GMP in the microdialysates of rat striatum is blocked by taurine. In this study, coinfusion with taurine of a GABAA receptor antagonist bicuculline or a glycine receptor antagonist strychnine (100 microM each), separately, restored ammonia-induced release of cGMP to the extracellular fluid to approximately 29% and 18% of the level measured in the absence of taurine, respectively. Simultaneous coinfusion of both antagonists or of 100 muM picrotoxin, which is an antagonist of both GABAA and Gly receptors, offsets most of the taurine block. Ammonia-induced accumulation of cyclic GMP was attenuated by approximately 12% upon coinfusion of a GABAA receptor agonist muscimol (100 microM). The results suggest that stimulation of both GABAA and glycine receptors is involved in the mechanism by which taurine limits the activation of the NMDA/NO/cGMP pathway by ammonia in the striatum.

  6. Assessment of direct gating and allosteric modulatory effects of meprobamate in recombinant GABAA receptors

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Manish; Dillon, Glenn H.

    2016-01-01

    Meprobamate is a schedule II anxiolytic and the primary metabolite of the muscle relaxant carisoprodol. Meprobamate modulates GABAA (γ-aminobutyric acid type A) receptors, and has barbiturate-like activity. To gain insight into its actions, we have conducted a series of studies using recombinant GABAA receptors. In αxβzγ GABAA receptors (where x = 1–6 and z = 1–3), the ability to enhance GABA-mediated current was evident for all α subunit isoforms, with the largest effect observed in α5-expressing receptors. Direct gating was present with all α subunits, although attenuated in α3-expressing receptors. Allosteric and direct effects were comparable in α1β1γ2 and α1β2γ2 receptors, whereas allosteric effects were enhanced in α1β2 compared to α1β2γ2 receptors. In “extrasynaptic” (α1β3δ and α4β3δ) receptors, meprobamate enhanced EC20 and saturating GABA currents, and directly activated these receptors. The barbiturate antagonist bemegride attenuated direct effects of meprobamate. Whereas pentobarbital directly gated homomeric β3 receptors, meprobamate did not, and instead blocked the spontaneously open current present in these receptors. In wild type homomeric ρ1 receptors, pentobarbital and meprobamate were ineffective in direct gating; a mutation known to confer sensitivity to pentobarbital did not confer sensitivity to meprobamate. Our results provide insight into the actions of meprobamate and parent therapeutic agents such as carisoprodol. Whereas in general actions of meprobamate were comparable to those of carisoprodol, differential effects of meprobamate at some receptor subtypes suggest potential advantages of meprobamate may be exploited. A re-assessment of previously synthesized meprobamate-related carbamate molecules for myorelaxant and other therapeutic indications is warranted. PMID:26872987

  7. 5-(N, N-Hexamethylene) amiloride is a GABA-A ρ1 receptor positive allosteric modulator.

    PubMed

    Snell, Heather D; Gonzales, Eric B

    2016-11-01

    Guanidine compounds act as ion channel modulators. In the case of Cys-loop receptors, the guanidine compound amiloride antagonized the heteromeric GABA-A, glycine, and nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. However, amiloride exhibits characteristics consistent with a positive allosteric modulator for the human GABA-A (hGABA-A) ρ1 receptor. Site-directed mutagenesis revealed that the positive allosteric modulation was influenced by the GABA-A ρ1 second transmembrane domain 15' position, a site implicated in ligand allosteric modulation of Cys-loop receptors. There are a variety of amiloride derivatives that provide opportunities to assess the significance of amiloride functional groups (e.g., the guanidine group, the pyrazine ring, etc.) in the modulation of the GABA-A ρ1 receptor activity. We utilized 3 amiloride derivatives (benzamil, phenamil, and 5-(N, N-Hexamethylene) amiloride) to assess the contribution of these groups toward the potentiation of the GABA-A ρ1 receptor. Benzamil and phenamil failed to potentiate on the wild type GABA-A ρ1 GABA-mediated current while HMA demonstrated efficacy only at the highest concentration studied. The hGABA-A ρ1 (I15'N) mutant receptor activity was potentiated by lower HMA concentrations compared to the wild type receptor. Our findings suggest that an exposed guanidine group on amiloride and amiloride derivatives is critical for modulating the GABA-A ρ1 receptor. The present study provides a conceptual framework for predicting which amiloride derivatives will demonstrate positive allosteric modulation of the GABA-A ρ1 receptor.

  8. GABAa and GABAc receptor-mediated modulation of responses to color stimuli: electroretinographic study in the turtle Emys orbicularis.

    PubMed

    Kupenova, Petia; Vitanova, Lily; Popova, Elka

    2010-04-01

    GABAergic transmission is involved in color coding in the retina. The specific contribution of different GABA receptors to spectral sensitivity of the retinal responses is not well characterized. We studied GABAa and GABAc receptor-mediated effects on the intensity-response functions of the electroretinographic ON (b-wave) and OFF (d-wave) responses to color stimuli. For this purpose, we compared the effects of GABAa receptor blockade by bicuculline with the effects of GABAa + GABAc receptor blockade by picrotoxin. The blockade of both GABAa and GABAc receptors caused an amplitude increase of the electroretinographic responses, but the effects of the two blockades depended in a specific manner on stimulus intensity and wavelength. The effects of GABAa receptor blockade showed distinct color ON/OFF asymmetry. The absolute and relative sensitivities of the ON responses to blue stimuli and OFF responses to red stimuli were increased to the greatest degree while the sensitivity of the ON responses to red stimuli and OFF responses to blue stimuli was least increased. In contrast, color ON/OFF asymmetry was not typical of the effects of GABAc receptor blockade. The most prominent GABAc effect was the sensitivity increase of the ON and OFF responses to blue stimuli and, to some lesser extent, to green stimuli. The results of this study indicate a specific role of GABAa and GABAc receptor-mediated influences in processing of chromatic information in the distal retina.

  9. GABAA and GABAB receptors in detrusor strips from guinea-pig bladder dome.

    PubMed

    Maggi, C A; Santicioli, P; Meli, A

    1985-03-01

    The effects of various GABAA and GABAB receptor agonists and antagonists on electrically induced contractions of detrusor strips from guinea-pig urinary bladder dome were investigated by using both supra and submaximal parameters of stimulation. In supramaximally stimulated preparations GABA (1 mM) inhibited amplitude of contractions. This effect was mimicked, to a lesser degree, by the selective GABAB receptor agonist, (+/-)-baclofen (0.1 mM). Exposure to (+/-)-baclofen reduced markedly the effects of a subsequent challenge with GABA. The GABAA receptor agonists, muscimol (0.3 mM) and homotaurine (1 mM), produced a slight inhibition of contractions and reduced the effects of a subsequent challenge with GABA. The selective GABAA receptor antagonist, picrotoxin (0.1 mM), had a slight, but significant, antagonistic effect toward GABA, but had no effect against (+/-)-baclofen. GABA inhibition of supramaximally stimulated contractions was partly reduced by previous exposure to atropine (3 microM) or to the putative P2-purinoreceptor antagonist, reactive blue 2 (0.3 mM) as well as by desensitization of P2-purinoreceptors produced by the stable ATP analogue beta-gamma-methylene ATP (APPCP). GABA inhibition was unaffected by phentolamine (0.2 microM), propranolol (0.3 microM) or hexamethonium (10 microM). The inhibition produced by atropine plus reactive blue 2 or APPCP desensitization was additive or more than additive. In submaximally stimulated preparations GABA (0.01-1 mM) produced a transient, concentration related enhancement of amplitude of contractions. This effect was mimicked by either muscimol (0.3 mM) or homotaurine (1 mM) but not by (+/-)-baclofen (0.1 mM). A cross desensitization could be observed between the effects of muscimol or homotaurine on one hand and GABA on the other, but not between (+/-)-baclofen and GABA. Picrotoxin (0.03-0.1 mM) produced a concentration dependent antagonism of a noncompetitive type against the excitatory effect of GABA in

  10. Fragrances in oolong tea that enhance the response of GABAA receptors.

    PubMed

    Hossain, Sheikh Julfikar; Aoshima, Hitoshi; Koda, Hirofumi; Kiso, Yoshinobu

    2004-09-01

    We electrophysiologically investigated the effect of some fragrant compounds in oolong tea on the response of ionotropic gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors (GABAA receptors) which were expressed in Xenopus oocytes. Of the tested fragrances in oolong tea, cis-jasmone, jasmine lactone, linalool oxide and methyl jasmonate significantly potentiated the response. Among these, cis-jasmone and methyl jasmonate potently potentiated the response, having a respective dissociation constant of the compound (Kp) and maximum potentiation (Vm) of 0.49 mM and 322% for cis-jasmone, and 0.84 mM and 450% for methyl jasmonate. Inhalation of 0.1% cis-jasmone or methyl jasmonate significantly increased the sleeping time of mice induced by pentobarbital, suggesting that these fragrant compounds were absorbed by the brain and thereby potentiated the GABAA receptor response. Both of these compounds may therefore have a tranquillizing effect on the brain.

  11. Role of the amygdala GABA-A receptors in ACPA-induced deficits during conditioned fear learning.

    PubMed

    Nasehi, Mohammad; Roghani, Farnaz; Ebrahimi-Ghiri, Mohaddeseh; Zarrindast, Mohammad-Reza

    2017-04-04

    The basolateral amygdala (BLA) is a key structure for the emotional processing and storage of memories associated with emotional events, especially fear. On the other hand, endocannabinoids and CB1 receptors play a key role in learning and memory partly through long-term synaptic depression of GABAergic synapses in the BLA. The aim of this study was to explore the effects of GABA-A receptor agonist and antagonist in the fear-related memory acquisition deficits induced by ACPA (a selective CB1 cannabinoid receptor agonist). This study used context and tone fear conditioning paradigms to assess fear-related memory in male NMRI mice. Our results showed that the pre-training intraperitoneal administration of ACPA (0.5mg/kg) or (0.1 and 0.5mg/kg) decreased the percentage of freezing time in the contextual and tone fear conditioning, respectively. This indicated an impaired context- or tone-dependent fear memory acquisition. Moreover, the pre-training intra-BLA microinjection of GABA-A receptor agonist, muscimol, at 0.05 and 0.5μg/mouse impaired context-dependent fear memory, while the same doses of GABA-A antagonist, bicuculline, impaired tone-dependent fear memory. However, a subthreshold dose of muscimol or bicuculline increased the effect of ACPA at 0.1 and 0.5 or 0.05mg/kg on context- or tone-dependent fear memory, respectively. In addition, bicuculline at the lower dose increased the ACPA response on locomotor activity compared to its respective group. Such findings highlighted an interaction between BLA GABAergic and cannabinoidergic systems during the acquisition phase of conditioned fear memories.

  12. Immunochemical Localization of GABAA Receptor Subunits in the Freshwater Polyp Hydra vulgaris (Cnidaria, Hydrozoa).

    PubMed

    Concas, A; Imperatore, R; Santoru, F; Locci, A; Porcu, P; Cristino, L; Pierobon, P

    2016-11-01

    γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors, responding to GABA positive allosteric modulators, are present in the freshwater polyp Hydra vulgaris (Cnidaria, Hydrozoa), one of the most primitive metazoans to develop a nervous system. We examined the occurrence and distribution of GABAA receptor subunits in Hydra tissues by western blot and immunohistochemistry. Antibodies against different GABAA receptor subunits were used in Hydra membrane preparations. Unique protein bands, inhibited by the specific peptide, appeared at 35, 60, ∼50 and ∼52 kDa in membranes incubated with α3, β1, γ3 or δ antibodies, respectively. Immunohistochemical screening of whole mount Hydra preparations revealed diffuse immunoreactivity to α3, β1 or γ3 antibodies in tentacles, hypostome, and upper part of the gastric region; immunoreactive fibers were also present in the lower peduncle. By contrast, δ antibodies revealed a strong labeling in the lower gastric region and peduncle, as well as in tentacles. Double labeling showed colocalization of α3/β1, α3/γ3 and α3/δ immunoreactivity in granules or cells in tentacles and gastric region. In the peduncle, colocalization of both α3/β1 and α3/γ3 immunoreactivity was found in fibers running horizontally above the foot. These data indicate that specific GABAA receptor subunits are present and differentially distributed in Hydra body regions. Subunit colocalization suggests that Hydra GABA receptors are heterologous multimers, possibly sub-serving different physiological activities.

  13. Fibrous and protoplasmic astrocytes express GABAA receptors that differ in benzodiazepine pharmacology.

    PubMed

    Rosewater, K; Sontheimer, H

    1994-02-04

    Astrocytes cultured from spinal cord contain two morphologically distinguishable types of astrocytes: fibrous and protoplasmic cells. Both astrocyte subtypes, in culture, are able to express GABAA receptors, and their activation results in inward currents at the resting potential. Using patch-clamp electrophysiology we characterized their basic receptor pharmacology and compared it to spinal cord neurons that were also present in small numbers in these cultures. As in neuronal GABAA receptors, the local anesthetic pentobarbital effectively potentiated GABA-induced currents in both astrocyte subtypes. Similarly, the benzodiazepine diazepam, on average doubled GABA-induced currents in both astrocytes subtypes. In contrast to these effects that were similar in both astrocytes types and similar to spinal cord neurons, the response to the convulsant methyl-4-ethyl-6,7-dimethoxy-beta-carboline-3-carboxylate (DMCM), which is an inverse benzodiazepine agonist differs between astrocyte subtypes. DMCM reduced GABA-induced currents by about 50% in fibrous astrocytes as we also observed with spinal cord neurons. In contrast, DMCM increased GABA currents in protoplasmic astrocytes by up to 150%, an effect never observed in neurons. DMCM potentiations of GABA currents have recently been attributed to differences in receptor subunit composition. Our results thus indicate that subtypes of astrocytes express GABAA receptors that differ pharmacologically and likely differ also in subunit composition.

  14. Coupling between agonist and chloride ionophore sites of the GABA(A) receptor: agonist/antagonist efficacy of 4-PIOL.

    PubMed

    Rabe, H; Picard, R; Uusi-Oukari, M; Hevers, W; Lüddens, H; Korpi, E R

    2000-12-15

    Eight gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) mimetics were tested on their ability to differentiate native GABA(A) receptor subtypes present in various rat brain regions. In rat brain cryostat sections, little regional variations by the agonistic actions of muscimol, thiomuscimol, 4,5,6,7-tetrahydroisoazolo(5,4-c)pyridin-3-ol, piperidine-4-sulphonic acid, taurine and beta-alanine on [35S]t-butylbicyclophosphorothionate ([35S]TBPS) binding to GABA(A) receptor channels were found. They were very similar to those found for GABA itself and indicated no direct correlation with single subunit distributions for any of these compounds. Only the low-efficacy GABA mimetic 5-(4-piperidyl)isoxazol-3-ol (4-PIOL) acted like a weak partial agonist or antagonist depending on the brain area. As the cerebellar granule cell layer was relatively insensitive to both modes of action, we tested 4-PIOL in recombinant alpha1beta2gamma2 (widespread major subtype) and alpha6beta2gamma2 (cerebellar granule cell restricted) receptors where it had different effects on GABA-modulated [35S]TBPS binding and on electrophysiological responses. 4-PIOL may thus serve as a potential lead for receptor subtype selective compounds.

  15. Calcium-Modulating Cyclophilin Ligand Regulates Membrane Trafficking of Postsynaptic GABAA Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Yuan, Xu; Yao, Jun; Norris, David; Tran, David D.; Bram, Richard J.; Chen, Gong; Luscher, Bernhard

    2008-01-01

    Accumulation of GABAA receptors (GABAARs) at GABAergic synapses requires the cytoplasmic loop region and C-terminal transmembrane domain of the receptor γ2 subunit. We here report a novel interaction of γ2 with Calcium-Modulating cyclophilin Ligand (CAML), an integral membrane protein that regulates this mechanism. Interaction of GABAARs with CAML depends on both the cytoplasmic region and fourth transmembrane domain of the γ2 subunit, CAML immunoprecipitates with GABAARs from transfected cells and brain lysates and colocalizes with γ2 in ER vesicles in soma and dendrites of neurons. CAML shRNA treatment results in reduced expression of postsynaptic GABAARs, along with significant reductions in GABA-evoked whole-cell currents and GABAergic synaptic function, while glutamatergic transmission is unaffected. Reduced surface expression of GABAARs in CAML mutant neurons is associated with selective deficits in recycling of endocytosed GABAARs to the cell surface. Our results indicate a specific role of CAML in functional expression and endocytic recycling of postsynaptic GABAARs. PMID:18424167

  16. Restoring the spinal pain gate: GABA(A) receptors as targets for novel analgesics.

    PubMed

    Zeilhofer, Hanns Ulrich; Ralvenius, William T; Acuña, Mario A

    2015-01-01

    GABAA receptors (GABA(A)Rs) and glycine receptors are key elements of the spinal control of nociception and pain. Compromised functioning of these two transmitter systems contributes to chronic pain states. Restoring their proper function through positive allosteric modulators should constitute a rational approach to the treatment of chronic pain syndromes involving diminished inhibitory spinal pain control. Although classical benzodiazepines (i.e., full agonists at the benzodiazepine binding site of GABA(A)Rs) potentiate synaptic inhibition in spinal pain controlling circuits, they lack clinically relevant analgesic activity in humans. Recent data obtained from experiments in GABA(A)R point-mutated mice suggests dose-limiting sedative effects of classical nonspecific benzodiazepines as the underlying cause. Experiments in genetically engineered mice resistant to the sedative effects of classical benzodiazepines and studies with novel less sedating benzodiazepines have indeed shown that profound antihyperalgesia can be obtained at least in preclinical pain models. Present evidence suggests that compounds with high intrinsic activity at α2-GABA(A)R and minimal agonistic activity at α1-GABA(A)R should possess relevant antihyperalgesic activity without causing unwanted sedation. On-going preclinical studies in genetically engineered mice and clinical trials with more selective benzodiazepine site agonists should soon provide additional insights into this emerging topic.

  17. Antiseizure Activity of Midazolam in Mice Lacking δ-Subunit Extrasynaptic GABAA Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Reddy, Sandesh D.; Younus, Iyan; Clossen, Bryan L.

    2015-01-01

    Midazolam is a benzodiazepine anticonvulsant with rapid onset and short duration of action. Midazolam is the current drug of choice for acute seizures and status epilepticus, including those caused by organophosphate nerve agents. The antiseizure activity of midazolam is thought to result from its allosteric potentiation of synaptic GABAA receptors in the brain. However, there are indications that benzodiazepines promote neurosteroid synthesis via the 18-kDa cholesterol transporter protein (TSPO). Therefore, we investigated the role of neurosteroids and their extrasynaptic GABAA receptor targets in the antiseizure activity of midazolam. Here, we used δ-subunit knockout (DKO) mice bearing a targeted deletion of the extrasynaptic receptors to investigate the contribution of the extrasynaptic receptors to the antiseizure activity of midazolam using the 6-Hz and hippocampus kindling seizure models. In both models, midazolam produced rapid and dose-dependent protection against seizures (ED50, 0.4 mg/kg). Moreover, the antiseizure potency of midazolam was undiminished in DKO mice compared with control mice. Pretreatment with PK11195 [1-(2-chlorophenyl)-N-methyl-N-(1-methylpropyl)-3-isoquinolinecarboxamide], a TSPO blocker, or finasteride, a 5α-reductase neurosteroid inhibitor, did not affect the antiseizure effect of midazolam. The antiseizure activity of midazolam was significantly reversed by pretreatment with flumazenil, a benzodiazepine antagonist. Plasma and brain levels of the neurosteroid allopregnanolone were not significantly greater in midazolam-treated animals. These studies therefore provide strong evidence that neurosteroids and extrasynaptic GABAA receptors are not involved in the antiseizure activity of midazolam, which mainly occurs through synaptic GABAA receptors via direct binding to benzodiazepine sites. This study reaffirms midazolam’s use for controlling acute seizures and status epilepticus. PMID:25784648

  18. Recruitment of GABAA Receptors in Chemoreceptor Pulmonary Neuroepithelial Bodies by Prenatal Nicotine Exposure in Monkey Lung

    PubMed Central

    Fu, XW.; Spindel, E.R.

    2010-01-01

    Pulmonary neuroepithelial bodies (NEB) act as airway oxygen sensors and produce serotonin, a variety of neuropeptides and are involved in autonomic nervous system control of breathing, especially during the neonatal period. We now report that NEB cells also express a GABAegic signaling loop that is increased by prenatal nicotine exposure. In this study, cultured monkey NEB cells show hypoxia-evoked spikes and hypoxia-sensitive K+ current. As shown by both immunofluorescence and RT-PCR, monkey NEB cells synthesize and contain serotonin. The monkey NEB cells express the β2 and β3 GABAA receptor subunits, GAD and also express α7, α4 and β4 nicotinic receptor (nAChR) subunits. The α7 nAChR is co-expressed with GAD in NEB. The numbers of NEB and β3 GABAA receptor subunits expressed in NEB cells in lungs from control newborn monkeys were compared to lungs from animals that received nicotine during gestation. Prenatal nicotine exposure increased the numbers of NEB by 46% in lung and the numbers of NEB cells expressing GAD and GABAA β3 receptors increased by 67% and 66%, respectively. This study suggests that prenatal nicotine exposure can modulate NEB function by increasing the numbers of NEB cells and by increasing both GAD expression and β3 GABAA receptor subunit expression. The interaction of the intrinsic GABAergic system in the lung with nicotinic receptors in PNEC/NEB may provide a mechanism to explain the link between smoking during pregnancy and SIDS. PMID:19536509

  19. Substance P suppresses GABAA receptor function via protein kinase C in primary sensory neurones of bullfrogs.

    PubMed Central

    Yamada, K; Akasu, T

    1996-01-01

    1. The effects of substance P (SP) and related tachykinins on the function of gamma-aminobutyric acid-A (GABAA) receptors were examined in acutely dissociated neurones of bullfrog dorsal root ganglia (DRG) by using whole-cell voltage-clamp techniques. 2. Application of SP (10 nM to 1 microM) depressed inward currents produced by GABAA receptor activation (IGABA). Neurokinin A (NKA) and neurokinin B (NKB) also depressed IGABA; the rank order of agonist potency was SP > NKA > NKB. Spantide ([D-Arg1, D-Trp7,9,Leu11]SP) and L-703,606, NK1 receptor antagonists, blocked the SP-induced depression of IGABA. 3. SP irreversibly depressed IGABA, when neurones were intracellularly dialysed with GTP gamma S. Intracellular application of GDP beta S prevented the SP-induced depression of IGABA. Pertussis toxin (PTX) did not block the inhibitory effect of SP on IGABA. 4. The depression of IGABA produced by SP was inhibited by H-7 and PKC(19-36), protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitors, but not by H-9 and HA-1004, protein kinase A inhibitors. IGABA was suppressed by application of sn-1,2-dioctanoyl glycerol (DOG), a PKC activator. 5. It is concluded that activation of neurokinin-1 (NK1) receptors downregulates the function of the GABAA receptor of primary sensory neurones through a PTX-insensitive G-protein. PKC may be involved in the transduction pathway of the tachykinin-induced inhibition of the GABAA receptor. PMID:8910228

  20. GABAA Receptor Modulation by Phenyl Ring Compounds Is Associated with a Water Solubility Cut-Off Value.

    PubMed

    Brosnan, Robert J; Pham, Trung L

    2016-01-01

    The modulation of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors is associated with a molar water solubility cut-off effect of approximately 1.1 mmol/l and hence are unaffected by significantly less soluble compounds. However, compounds with this molar water solubility are still able to modulate x03B3;-aminobutyric acid type A (GABAA) receptors. We hypothesized that GABAA receptor modulation by phenolic compounds would exhibit cut-off at a molar water solubility value less than 1.1 mmol/l. GABAA receptors consisting of human α1 and rat β2 and x03B3;2s subunits were expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes, and drug responses were measured using standard 2-electrode voltage clamp techniques. Twenty substituted phenols and benzenes of similar size and molecular volume were studied at saturated aqueous concentrations. Reversible and statistically significant change in GABAA receptor current that was 10% or greater in magnitude from the baseline response defined a positive drug effect. All phenyl ring compounds with a molar water solubility value equal to or greater than 0.46 mmol/l positively modulated GABAA receptor currents. No compounds with a molar water solubility value equal to or less than 0.10 mmol/l had any effect on GABAA receptor currents. Saturated solutions of phenols with 2,6-dimethyl and 2,6-diisopropyl substituents also caused channel opening in the absence of GABA. The molar water solubility cut-off for GABAA receptor modulation by phenyl ring compounds lies between 0.10 and 0.46 mmol/l. Data suggest that hydrocarbons, perhaps including inhaled anesthetics, might modulate GABAA receptors by displacing water from one or more low-affinity amphipathic binding sites to induce conformational changes that increase ion conductance. © 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  1. GABA(A) receptor activation is involved in noncontingent shock inhibition of instrumental conditioning in spinal rats.

    PubMed

    Ferguson, Adam R; Washburn, Stephanie N; Crown, Eric D; Grau, James W

    2003-08-01

    Previous work has demonstrated that the spinal cord, isolated from higher neural structures, can support a simple form of instrumental learning. Furthermore, preexposure to uncontrollable (noncontingent) shock to the leg or tail inhibits this form of learning. The present study explores the role of GABA(A) receptor modulation on this inhibitory effect in spinal cord-transected rats. Intrathecal administration of the GABA(A) receptor antagonist bicuculline blocked induction and expression of the inhibition. The GABA(A) receptor agonist muscimol inhibited learning in a dose-dependent manner. However, this effect was transient and showed no additivity with shock. The findings suggest that GABA(A) receptor activation may work like a pharmacological switch that is activated by noncontingent shock to inhibit instrumental conditioning within the spinal cord.

  2. Mutational Analysis of the Putative High-Affinity Propofol Binding Site in Human β3 Homomeric GABAA Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Eaton, Megan M.; Cao, Lily Q.; Chen, Ziwei; Franks, Nicholas P.; Evers, Alex S.

    2015-01-01

    Propofol is a sedative and anesthetic agent that can both activate GABAA receptors and potentiate receptor activation elicited by submaximal concentrations of the transmitter. A recent modeling study of the β3 homomeric GABAA receptor postulated a high-affinity propofol binding site in a hydrophobic pocket in the middle of a triangular cleft lined by the M1 and M2 membrane-spanning domains of one subunit and the M2 domain of the neighboring subunit. The goal of the present study was to gain functional evidence for the involvement of this pocket in the actions of propofol. Human β3 and α1β3 receptors were expressed in Xenopus oocytes, and the effects of substitutions of selected residues were probed on channel activation by propofol and pentobarbital. The data demonstrate the vital role of the β3(Y143), β3(F221), β3(Q224), and β3(T266) residues in the actions of propofol but not pentobarbital in β3 receptors. The effects of β3(Y143W) and β3(Q224W) on activation by propofol are likely steric because propofol analogs with less bulky ortho substituents activated both wild-type and mutant receptors. The T266W mutation removed activation by propofol in β3 homomeric receptors; however, this mutation alone or in combination with a homologous mutation (I271W) in the α1 subunit had almost no effect on activation properties in α1β3 heteromeric receptors. We hypothesize that heteromeric α1β3 receptors can be activated by propofol interactions with β3–β3, α1–β3, and β3–α1 interfaces, but the exact locations of the binding site and/or nature of interactions vary in different classes of interfaces. PMID:26206487

  3. AMPA and GABAA/B Receptor Subunit Expression in the Cortex of Adult Squirrel Monkeys during Peripheral Nerve Regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Mowery, Todd M.; Walls, Sarah M.; Garraghty, Preston E.

    2014-01-01

    The primate somatosensory neuroaxis provides a highly translational model system with which to investigate adult neural plasticity. Here, we report immunohistochemical staining data for AMPA and GABAA/B receptor subunits in the area 3b cortex of adult squirrel monkeys one and five months after median nerve compression. This method of nerve injury was selected because it allows unique insight into how receptor expression changes during the regeneration of the peripheral nerve. One month after nerve compression, the pattern of subunit staining provides evidence that the cortex enters a state of reorganization. GABA 1 receptor subunits are significantly down-regulated in layer IV, V, and VI. Glur2/3 AMPA receptor subunits and postsynaptic GABABR1b receptor subunits are up and down regulated respectively across all layers of cortex. After five months of recovery from nerve compression, the pattern of AMPA and GABAA/B receptor subunits remain significantly altered in a layer specific manner. In layer II/III, GluR1, GluR2/3, and GABA 1 subunit expression is significantly up-regulated while post synaptic GABABR1b receptor subunits are significantly down regulated. In layer VI, V, and VI the GluR2/3 and presynaptic GABABR1a receptor subunits are significantly up-regulated, while the postsynaptic GABABR1b receptor subunits remain significantly down-regulated. Taken together, these results suggest that following nerve injury the cortex enters a state of reorganization that has persistent effects on cortical plasticity even after partial or total reinnervation of the peripheral nerve. PMID:23643858

  4. Mutational Analysis of the Putative High-Affinity Propofol Binding Site in Human β3 Homomeric GABAA Receptors.

    PubMed

    Eaton, Megan M; Cao, Lily Q; Chen, Ziwei; Franks, Nicholas P; Evers, Alex S; Akk, Gustav

    2015-10-01

    Propofol is a sedative and anesthetic agent that can both activate GABA(A) receptors and potentiate receptor activation elicited by submaximal concentrations of the transmitter. A recent modeling study of the β3 homomeric GABA(A) receptor postulated a high-affinity propofol binding site in a hydrophobic pocket in the middle of a triangular cleft lined by the M1 and M2 membrane-spanning domains of one subunit and the M2 domain of the neighboring subunit. The goal of the present study was to gain functional evidence for the involvement of this pocket in the actions of propofol. Human β3 and α1β3 receptors were expressed in Xenopus oocytes, and the effects of substitutions of selected residues were probed on channel activation by propofol and pentobarbital. The data demonstrate the vital role of the β3(Y143), β3(F221), β3(Q224), and β3(T266) residues in the actions of propofol but not pentobarbital in β3 receptors. The effects of β3(Y143W) and β3(Q224W) on activation by propofol are likely steric because propofol analogs with less bulky ortho substituents activated both wild-type and mutant receptors. The T266W mutation removed activation by propofol in β3 homomeric receptors; however, this mutation alone or in combination with a homologous mutation (I271W) in the α1 subunit had almost no effect on activation properties in α1β3 heteromeric receptors. We hypothesize that heteromeric α1β3 receptors can be activated by propofol interactions with β3-β3, α1-β3, and β3-α1 interfaces, but the exact locations of the binding site and/or nature of interactions vary in different classes of interfaces.

  5. The non-competitive blockade of GABAA receptors by an aqueous extract of water hemlock (Cicuta douglasii) tubers.

    PubMed

    Green, Benedict T; Goulart, Camila; Welch, Kevin D; Pfister, James A; McCollum, Isabelle; Gardner, Dale R

    2015-12-15

    Water hemlocks (Cicuta spp.) are acutely toxic members of the Umbellierae family; the toxicity is due to the presence of C17-polyacetylenes such as cicutoxin. There is only limited evidence of noncompetitive antagonism by C17-polyacetylenes at GABAA receptors. In this work with WSS-1 cells, we documented the noncompetitive blockade of GABAA receptors by an aqueous extract of water hemlock (Cicuta douglasii) and modulated the actions of the extract with a pretreatment of 10 μM midazolam.

  6. Antidepressant-like effects of ascorbic acid and ketamine involve modulation of GABAA and GABAB receptors.

    PubMed

    Rosa, Priscila B; Neis, Vivian B; Ribeiro, Camille M; Moretti, Morgana; Rodrigues, Ana Lúcia S

    2016-10-01

    It has been suggested that dysregulation of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-mediated neurotransmission is involved in the etiology of major depressive disorder and in the action of the fast-acting antidepressant ketamine. Considering that recent evidence has suggested that ascorbic acid may exert an antidepressant-like effect through mechanisms similar to ketamine, this study evaluated the involvement of GABAA and GABAB receptors in the antidepressant-like effect of ascorbic acid, comparing the results with those obtained with ketamine. To investigate the involvement of GABAA in the antidepressant-like effect of ascorbic acid and ketamine in the tail suspension test (TST), mice were treated with a sub-effective dose of ascorbic acid (0.1mg/kg, po), ketamine (0.1mg/kg, ip) or vehicle and 30minutes later, a sub-effective dose of muscimol (0.1mg/kg, ip, GABAA receptor agonist) or vehicle was administered. In another set of experiments, mice were treated with ascorbic acid (1mg/kg, po, active dose in the TST) or vehicle and 30minutes later, baclofen (1mg/kg, ip, GABAB receptor agonist) was administered. A similar experimental protocol was performed with ketamine (1mg/kg, ip). The administration of muscimol combined with ascorbic acid or ketamine produced a synergistic antidepressant-like effect in the TST. Moreover, the antidepressant-like effects of ascorbic acid and ketamine were abolished by baclofen. There was no alteration in spontaneous locomotion in any experimental group. Results indicate that the anti-immobility effect of ascorbic acid and ketamine in TST may involve an activation of GABAA receptors and a possible inhibition of GABAB receptors. Copyright © 2016 Institute of Pharmacology, Polish Academy of Sciences. Published by Elsevier Urban & Partner Sp. z o.o. All rights reserved.

  7. Analgesia and unwanted benzodiazepine effects in point-mutated mice expressing only one benzodiazepine-sensitive GABAA receptor subtype.

    PubMed

    Ralvenius, William T; Benke, Dietmar; Acuña, Mario A; Rudolph, Uwe; Zeilhofer, Hanns Ulrich

    2015-04-13

    Agonists at the benzodiazepine-binding site of GABAA receptors (BDZs) enhance synaptic inhibition through four subtypes (α1, α2, α3 and α5) of GABAA receptors (GABAAR). When applied to the spinal cord, they alleviate pathological pain; however, insufficient efficacy after systemic administration and undesired effects preclude their use in routine pain therapy. Previous work suggested that subtype-selective drugs might allow separating desired antihyperalgesia from unwanted effects, but the lack of selective agents has hitherto prevented systematic analyses. Here we use four lines of triple GABAAR point-mutated mice, which express only one benzodiazepine-sensitive GABAAR subtype at a time, to show that targeting only α2GABAARs achieves strong antihyperalgesia and reduced side effects (that is, no sedation, motor impairment and tolerance development). Additional pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic analyses in these mice explain why clinically relevant antihyperalgesia cannot be achieved with nonselective BDZs. These findings should foster the development of innovative subtype-selective BDZs for novel indications such as chronic pain.

  8. Candidate gene study of eight GABAA receptor subunits in panic disorder.

    PubMed

    Crowe, R R; Wang, Z; Noyes, R; Albrecht, B E; Darlison, M G; Bailey, M E; Johnson, K J; Zoëga, T

    1997-08-01

    gamma-Aminobutyric acid type A (GABAA) receptor subunit genes are candidate genes for panic disorder. Benzodiazepine agonists acting at this receptor can suppress panic attacks, and both inverse agonists and antagonists can precipitate them. The human GABAA receptor subtypes are composed of various combinations of 13 subunits, each encoded by a unique gene. The authors tested eight of these subunits in a candidate gene linkage study of panic disorder. In 21 U.S. and five Icelandic multiplex pedigrees of panic disorder, 104 individuals had DSM-III-R panic disorder (the narrowly defined affected phenotype) and 134 had either this diagnosis or subsyndromal panic disorder characterized by panic attacks that failed to meet either the criterion of attack frequency or the number of criterion symptoms necessary for a definite diagnosis (the broadly defined affected phenotype). The authors conducted lod score linkage analyses with both phenotypes using both a dominant and a recessive model of inheritance for the following loci: GABRA1-GABRA5 (alpha 1-alpha 5), GABRB1 (beta 1), GABRB3 (beta 3), and GABRG2 (gamma 2). The results failed to support the hypothesis that any of these genes cause panic disorder in a majority of the pedigrees. Within the limitations of the candidate gene linkage method, panic disorder does not appear to be caused by mutation in any of the eight GABAA receptor genes tested.

  9. Decreased GABAA receptor binding in the medullary serotonergic system in the sudden infant death syndrome.

    PubMed

    Broadbelt, Kevin G; Paterson, David S; Belliveau, Richard A; Trachtenberg, Felicia L; Haas, Elisabeth A; Stanley, Christina; Krous, Henry F; Kinney, Hannah C

    2011-09-01

    γ-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) neurons in the medulla oblongata help regulate homeostasis, in part through interactions with the medullary serotonergic (5-HT) system. Previously, we reported abnormalities in multiple 5-HT markers in the medullary 5-HT system of infants dying from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), suggesting that 5-HT dysfunction is involved in its pathogenesis. Here, we tested the hypothesis that markers of GABAA receptors are decreased in the medullary 5-HT system in SIDS cases compared with controls. Using tissue receptor autoradiography with the radioligand H-GABA, we found 25% to 52% reductions in GABAA receptor binding density in 7 of 10 key nuclei sampled of the medullary 5-HT system in the SIDS cases (postconceptional age [PCA] = 51.7 ± 8.3, n = 28) versus age-adjusted controls (PCA = 55.3 ± 13.5, n = 8) (p ≤ 0.04). By Western blotting, there was 46.2% reduction in GABAAα3 subunit levels in the gigantocellularis (component of the medullary 5-HT system) of SIDS cases (PCA = 53.9 ± 8.4, n = 24) versus controls (PCA = 55.3 ± 8.3, n = 8) (56.8% standard in SIDS cases vs 99.35% in controls; p = 0.026). These data suggest that medullary GABAA receptors are abnormal in SIDS infants and that SIDS is a complex disorder of a homeostatic network in the medulla that involves deficits of the GABAergic and 5-HT systems.

  10. Waking action of ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) involves histamine and GABAA receptor block.

    PubMed

    Yanovsky, Yevgenij; Schubring, Stephan R; Yao, Quiaoling; Zhao, Yan; Li, Sha; May, Andrea; Haas, Helmut L; Lin, Jian-Sheng; Sergeeva, Olga A

    2012-01-01

    Since ancient times ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA), a constituent of bile, is used against gallstone formation and cholestasis. A neuroprotective action of UDCA was demonstrated recently in models of Alzheimer's disease and retinal degeneration. The mechanisms of UDCA action in the nervous system are poorly understood. We show now that UDCA promotes wakefulness during the active period of the day, lacking this activity in histamine-deficient mice. In cultured hypothalamic neurons UDCA did not affect firing rate but synchronized the firing, an effect abolished by the GABA(A)R antagonist gabazine. In histaminergic neurons recorded in slices UDCA reduced amplitude and duration of spontaneous and evoked IPSCs. In acutely isolated histaminergic neurons UDCA inhibited GABA-evoked currents and sIPSCs starting at 10 µM (IC(50) = 70 µM) and did not affect NMDA- and AMPA-receptor mediated currents at 100 µM. Recombinant GABA(A) receptors composed of α1, β1-3 and γ2L subunits expressed in HEK293 cells displayed a sensitivity to UDCA similar to that of native GABA(A) receptors. The mutation α1V256S, known to reduce the inhibitory action of pregnenolone sulphate, reduced the potency of UDCA. The mutation α1Q241L, which abolishes GABA(A)R potentiation by several neurosteroids, had no effect on GABA(A)R inhibition by UDCA. In conclusion, UDCA enhances alertness through disinhibition, at least partially of the histaminergic system via GABA(A) receptors.

  11. GABAA-receptor modification in taurine transporter knockout mice causes striatal disinhibition.

    PubMed

    Sergeeva, O A; Fleischer, W; Chepkova, A N; Warskulat, U; Häussinger, D; Siebler, M; Haas, H L

    2007-12-01

    The Striatum is involved in the regulation of movements and motor skills. We have shown previously, that the osmolyte and neuromodulator taurine plays a role in striatal plasticity. We demonstrate now that hereditary taurine deficiency in taurine-transporter knock-out (TAUT KO) mice results in disinhibition of striatal network activity, which can be corrected by taurine supplementation. Modification of GABAA but not glycine receptors (taurine is a ligand for both receptor types) underlies this disinhibition. Whole-cell recordings from acutely isolated as well as cultured striatal neurons revealed a decreased agonist sensitivity of the GABAA receptor in TAUT KO neurons in the absence of changes in the maximal GABA-evoked current amplitude. The striatal GABA level in TAUT KO mice was unchanged. The amplitude enhancement of spontaneous IPSCs by zolpidem was stronger in TAUT KO than in wild-type (WT) animals. Tonic inhibition was absent in striatal neurons under control conditions but was detected after incubation with the GABA-transaminase inhibitor vigabatrin: bicuculline induced a larger shift of baseline current in WT as compared to TAUT KO neurons. Lack of taurine leads to reduced sensitivity of synaptic and extrasynaptic GABAA receptors and consequently to disinhibition. These findings help in understanding neuropathologies accompanied by the loss of endogenous taurine, for instance in hepatic encephalopathy.

  12. GABAA receptor subunit gene expression in human prefrontal cortex: comparison of schizophrenics and controls

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Akbarian, S.; Huntsman, M. M.; Kim, J. J.; Tafazzoli, A.; Potkin, S. G.; Bunney, W. E. Jr; Jones, E. G.; Bloom, F. E. (Principal Investigator)

    1995-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex of schizophrenics is hypoactive and displays changes related to inhibitory, GABAergic neurons, and GABAergic synapses. These changes include decreased levels of glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD), the enzyme for GABA synthesis, upregulation of muscimol binding, and downregulation of benzodiazepine binding to GABAA receptors. Studies in the visual cortex of nonhuman primates have demonstrated that gene expression for GAD and for several GABAA receptor subunit polypeptides is under control of neuronal activity, raising the possibility that similar mechanisms in the hypoactive prefrontal cortex of schizophrenics may explain the abnormalities in GAD and in GABAA receptor regulation. In the present study, which is the first of its type on human cerebral cortex, levels of mRNAs for six GABAA receptor subunits (alpha 1, alpha 2, alpha 5, beta 1, beta 2, gamma 2) and their laminar expression patterns were analyzed in the prefrontal cortex of schizophrenics and matched controls, using in situ hybridization histochemistry and densitometry. Three types of laminar expression pattern were observed: mRNAs for the alpha 1, beta 2, and gamma 2 subunits, which are the predominant receptor subunits expressed in the mature cortex, were expressed at comparatively high levels by cells of all six cortical layers, but most intensely by cells in lower layer III and layer IV. mRNAs for the alpha 2, alpha 5, and beta 1 subunits were expressed at lower levels; alpha 2 and beta 1 were expressed predominantly by cells in layers II, III, and IV; alpha 5 was expressed predominantly in layers IV, V, and VI. There were no significant changes in overall mRNA levels for any of the receptor subunits in the prefrontal cortex of schizophrenics, and the laminar expression pattern of all six receptor subunit mRNAs did not differ between schizophrenics and controls. Because gene expression for GABAA receptor subunits is not consistently altered in the prefrontal cortex of

  13. GABAA receptor subunit gene expression in human prefrontal cortex: comparison of schizophrenics and controls

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Akbarian, S.; Huntsman, M. M.; Kim, J. J.; Tafazzoli, A.; Potkin, S. G.; Bunney, W. E. Jr; Jones, E. G.; Bloom, F. E. (Principal Investigator)

    1995-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex of schizophrenics is hypoactive and displays changes related to inhibitory, GABAergic neurons, and GABAergic synapses. These changes include decreased levels of glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD), the enzyme for GABA synthesis, upregulation of muscimol binding, and downregulation of benzodiazepine binding to GABAA receptors. Studies in the visual cortex of nonhuman primates have demonstrated that gene expression for GAD and for several GABAA receptor subunit polypeptides is under control of neuronal activity, raising the possibility that similar mechanisms in the hypoactive prefrontal cortex of schizophrenics may explain the abnormalities in GAD and in GABAA receptor regulation. In the present study, which is the first of its type on human cerebral cortex, levels of mRNAs for six GABAA receptor subunits (alpha 1, alpha 2, alpha 5, beta 1, beta 2, gamma 2) and their laminar expression patterns were analyzed in the prefrontal cortex of schizophrenics and matched controls, using in situ hybridization histochemistry and densitometry. Three types of laminar expression pattern were observed: mRNAs for the alpha 1, beta 2, and gamma 2 subunits, which are the predominant receptor subunits expressed in the mature cortex, were expressed at comparatively high levels by cells of all six cortical layers, but most intensely by cells in lower layer III and layer IV. mRNAs for the alpha 2, alpha 5, and beta 1 subunits were expressed at lower levels; alpha 2 and beta 1 were expressed predominantly by cells in layers II, III, and IV; alpha 5 was expressed predominantly in layers IV, V, and VI. There were no significant changes in overall mRNA levels for any of the receptor subunits in the prefrontal cortex of schizophrenics, and the laminar expression pattern of all six receptor subunit mRNAs did not differ between schizophrenics and controls. Because gene expression for GABAA receptor subunits is not consistently altered in the prefrontal cortex of

  14. Extrasynaptic αβ subunit GABAA receptors on rat hippocampal pyramidal neurons

    PubMed Central

    Mortensen, Martin; Smart, Trevor G

    2006-01-01

    Extrasynaptic GABAA receptors that are tonically activated by ambient GABA are important for controlling neuronal excitability. In hippocampal pyramidal neurons, the subunit composition of these extrasynaptic receptors may include α5βγ and/or α4βδ subunits. Our present studies reveal that a component of the tonic current in the hippocampus is highly sensitive to inhibition by Zn2+. This component is probably not mediated by either α5βγ or α4βδ receptors, but might be explained by the presence of αβ isoforms. Using patch-clamp recording from pyramidal neurons, a small tonic current measured in the absence of exogenous GABA exhibited both high and low sensitivity to Zn2+ inhibition (IC50 values, 1.89 and 223 μm, respectively). Using low nanomolar and micromolar GABA concentrations to replicate tonic currents, we identified two components that are mediated by benzodiazepine-sensitive and -insensitive receptors. The latter indicated that extrasynaptic GABAA receptors exist that are devoid of γ2 subunits. To distinguish whether the benzodiazepine-insensitive receptors were αβ or αβδ isoforms, we used single-channel recording. Expressing recombinant α1β3γ2, α5β3γ2, α4β3δ and α1β3 receptors in human embryonic kidney (HEK) or mouse fibroblast (Ltk) cells, revealed similar openings with high main conductances (∼25–28 pS) for γ2 or δ subunit-containing receptors whereas αβ receptors were characterized by a lower main conductance state (∼11 pS). Recording from pyramidal cell somata revealed a similar range of channel conductances, indicative of a mixture of GABAA receptors in the extrasynaptic membrane. The lowest conductance state (∼11 pS) was the most sensitive to Zn2+ inhibition in accord with the presence of αβ receptors. This receptor type is estimated to account for up to 10% of all extrasynaptic GABAA receptors on hippocampal pyramidal neurons. PMID:17023503

  15. Flunitrazepam rapidly reduces GABAA receptor subunit protein expression via a protein kinase C-dependent mechanism

    PubMed Central

    Johnston, Jonathan D; Price, Sally A; Bristow, David R

    1998-01-01

    Acute flunitrazepam (1 μM) exposure for 1 h reduced GABAA receptor α1 (22±4%, mean±s.e.mean) and β2/3 (21±4%) subunit protein levels in cultured rat cerebellar granule cells. This rapid decrease in subunit proteins was completely prevented by bisindolymaleimide 1 (1 μM), an inhibitor of protein kinase C, but not by N-[2-((p-bromocinnamyl)amino)ethyl]-5-isoquinolinesulfonamide (H-89, 4.8 μM), an inhibitor of protein kinases A and G. These results suggest the existence of a benzodiazepine-induced mechanism to rapidly alter GABAA receptor protein expression, that appears to be dependent on protein kinase C activity. PMID:9723942

  16. Possible interaction of fluoroquinolones with the benzodiazepine-GABAA-receptor complex.

    PubMed Central

    Unseld, E; Ziegler, G; Gemeinhardt, A; Janssen, U; Klotz, U

    1990-01-01

    1. The possible involvement of the benzodiazepine (BZD)-GABAA-receptor complex in mediating CNS stimulatory effects of fluoroquinolones was tested in vitro, in a binding inhibition assay and in vivo, in a clinical drug interaction study using electro-encephalogram (EEG) monitoring. 2. The specific binding of [3H]-flunitrazepam to rat synaptic brain membranes was inhibited by various fluoroquinolones in a concentration-dependent manner. 3. Ofloxacin had CNS-stimulating effects as revealed by the EEG which were slightly augmented by flumazenil but reversed by coadministration of midazolam. 4. In conclusion, our findings suggest that clinically observed CNS adverse effects of fluoroquinolones could be mediated at least in part through interaction with the BZD-GABAA-receptor complex and may be controlled by BZD agonist administration. PMID:2167717

  17. Adenosine A1 Receptor Suppresses Tonic GABAA Receptor Currents in Hippocampal Pyramidal Cells and in a Defined Subpopulation of Interneurons.

    PubMed

    Rombo, Diogo M; Dias, Raquel B; Duarte, Sofia T; Ribeiro, Joaquim A; Lamsa, Karri P; Sebastião, Ana M

    2016-03-01

    Adenosine is an endogenous neuromodulator that decreases excitability of hippocampal circuits activating membrane-bound metabotropic A1 receptor (A1R). The presynaptic inhibitory action of adenosine A1R in glutamatergic synapses is well documented, but its influence on inhibitory GABAergic transmission is poorly known. We report that GABAA receptor (GABAAR)-mediated tonic, but not phasic, transmission is suppressed by A1R in hippocampal neurons. Adenosine A1R activation strongly inhibits GABAAR agonist (muscimol)-evoked currents in Cornu Ammonis 1 (CA1) pyramidal neurons and in a specific subpopulation of interneurons expressing axonal cannabinoid receptor type 1. In addition, A1R suppresses tonic GABAAR currents measured in the presence of elevated ambient GABA as well as in naïve slices. The inhibition of GABAergic currents involves both protein kinase A (PKA) and protein kinase C (PKC) signaling pathways and decreases GABAAR δ-subunit expression. On the contrary, no A1R-mediated modulation was detected in phasic inhibitory postsynaptic currents evoked either by afferent electrical stimulation or by spontaneous quantal release. The results show that A1R modulates extrasynaptic rather than synaptic GABAAR-mediated signaling, and that this modulation selectively occurs in hippocampal pyramidal neurons and in a specific subpopulation of inhibitory interneurons. We conclude that modulation of tonic GABAAR signaling by adenosine A1R in specific neuron types may regulate neuronal gain and excitability in the hippocampus.

  18. Negative modulation of GABAA α5 receptors by RO4938581 attenuates discrete sub-chronic and early postnatal phencyclidine (PCP)-induced cognitive deficits in rats.

    PubMed

    Redrobe, John P; Elster, Lisbeth; Frederiksen, Kristen; Bundgaard, Christoffer; de Jong, Inge E M; Smith, Garrick P; Bruun, Anne Techau; Larsen, Peter H; Didriksen, Michael

    2012-06-01

    A growing body of evidence suggests that negative modulation of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) GABA(A) α5 receptors may be a promising strategy for the treatment of certain facets of cognitive impairment; however, selective modulators of GABA(A) α5 receptors have not yet been tested in "schizophrenia-relevant" cognitive assay/model systems in animals. The objectives of this study were to investigate the potential of RO4938581, a negative modulator of GABA(A) α5 receptors, and to attenuate cognitive impairments induced following sub-chronic (sub-PCP) and early postnatal PCP (neo-PCP) administration in the novel object recognition (NOR) and intra-extradimensional shift (ID/ED) paradigms in rats. Complementary in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo studies were performed to confirm negative modulatory activity of RO4938581 and to investigate animal model validity, concept validity and potential side effect issues, respectively. In vitro studies confirmed the reported negative modulatory activity of RO4938581, whilst immunohistochemical analyses revealed significantly reduced parvalbumin-positive cells in the prefrontal cortex of sub-PCP- and neo-PCP-treated rats. RO4938581 (1 mg/kg) ameliorated both sub-PCP- and neo-PCP-induced cognitive deficits in NOR and ID/ED performance, respectively. In contrast, QH-II-066 (1 and 3 mg/kg), a GABA(A) α5 receptor positive modulator, impaired cognitive performance in the NOR task when administered to vehicle-treated animals. Additional studies revealed that both RO4938581 (1 mg/kg) and QH-II-066 (1 and 3 mg/kg) attenuated amphetamine-induced hyperactivity in rats. Taken together, these novel findings suggest that negative modulation of GABA(A) α5 receptors may represent an attractive treatment option for the cognitive impairments, and potentially positive symptoms, associated with schizophrenia.

  19. Disruption of brain MEK-ERK sequential phosphorylation and activation during midazolam-induced hypnosis in mice: Roles of GABAA receptor, MEK1 inactivation, and phosphatase MKP-3.

    PubMed

    Álvaro-Bartolomé, María; Salort, Glòria; García-Sevilla, Jesús A

    2017-04-03

    Midazolam is a positive allosteric modulator at GABAA receptor that induces a short hypnosis and neuroplasticity, in which the sequential phosphorylation of MEK1/2 and ERK1/2 was shown to play a role. This study investigated the parallel activation of p-MEK and p-ERK and regulatory mechanisms induced by midazolam through the stimulation of GABAA receptors in the mouse brain. During the time course of midazolam (60mg/kg)-induced sleep in mice (lasting for about 2h) p-Ser217/221 MEK1/2 was increased (+146% to +258%) whereas, unexpectedly, p-Tyr204/Thr202 ERK1/2 was found decreased (-16% to -38%), revealing uncoupling of MEK to ERK signals in various brain regions. Midazolam-induced p-MEK1/2 upregulation was prevented by pretreatment (30min) with flumazenil (10mg/kg), indicating the involvement of GABAA receptors. Also unexpectedly, midazolam-induced p-ERK1/2 downregulation was not prevented by flumazenil (10 or 30mg/kg). Notably, during midazolam-induced sleep the content of inactivated p-Thr286 MEK1, which can dampen ERK1/2 activation, was increased (+33% to +149%) through a mechanism sensitive to flumazenil (10mg/kg). Midazolam also increased MKP-3 (+13% to +73%) content and this upregulation was prevented by flumazenil (10mg/kg); an effect suggesting ERK inactivation because MKP-3 is the phosphatase selective for ERK1/2 dephosphorylation. The results indicate that during midazolam-induced sleep in mice there is an uncoupling of p-MEK (increased) to p-ERK (decreased) signals. p-ERK1/2 downregulation (not involving GABAA receptors) is the result of increased inactivated MEK1 and phosphatase MKP-3 (both effects involving GABAA receptors). These findings are relevant for the neurobiology and clinical use of benzodiazepines. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. The Testosterone-Derived Neurosteroid Androstanediol Is a Positive Allosteric Modulator of GABAA Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Jian, Kuihuan

    2010-01-01

    Testosterone modulates seizure susceptibility, but the underlying mechanisms are obscure. Recently, we demonstrated that testosterone affects seizure activity via its conversion to neurosteroids in the brain. Androstanediol (5α-androstan-3α,17β-diol) is an endogenous neurosteroid synthesized from testosterone. However, the molecular mechanism underlying the seizure protection activity of androstanediol remains unclear. Here, we show that androstanediol has positive allosteric activity as a GABAA receptor modulator. In whole-cell recordings from acutely dissociated hippocampus CA1 pyramidal cells, androstanediol (but not its 3β-epimer) produced a concentration-dependent enhancement of GABA-activated currents (EC50 of 5 μM). At 1 μM, androstanediol produced a 50% potentiation of GABA responses. In the absence of GABA, androstanediol has moderate direct effects on GABAA receptor-mediated currents at high concentrations. Systemic doses of androstanediol (5–100 mg/kg), but not its 3β-epimer, caused dose-dependent suppression of behavioral and electrographic seizures in mouse hippocampus kindling, which is a model of temporal lobe epilepsy. The ED50 value for antiseizure effects of androstanediol was 50 mg/kg, which did not produce sedation/motor toxicity. At high (2× ED50) doses, androstanediol produced complete seizure protection that lasted for up to 3 h after injection. The estimated plasma concentrations of androstanediol producing 50% seizure protection in the kindling model (10.6 μM) are within the range of concentrations that modulate GABAA receptors. These studies suggest that androstanediol could be a neurosteroid mediator of testosterone actions on neuronal excitability and seizure susceptibility via its activity as a GABAA receptor modulator and that androstanediol may play a key role in men with epilepsy, especially during the age-related decline in androgen levels. PMID:20551294

  1. Decreased GABAA receptors and benzodiazepine binding sites in the anterior cingulate cortex in autism

    PubMed Central

    Oblak, A.; Gibbs, T.T.; Blatt, G.J.

    2009-01-01

    The anterior cingulate cortex (ACC; BA 24) via its extensive limbic and high order association cortical connectivity to prefrontal cortex is a key part of an important circuitry participating in executive function, affect, and socio-emotional behavior. Multiple lines of evidence, including genetic and imaging studies, suggest that the ACC and GABA system may be affected in autism. The benzodiazepine binding site on the GABAA receptor complex is an important target for pharmacotherapy and has important clinical implications. The present multiple-concentration ligand-binding study utilized 3H-muscimol and 3H-flunitrazepam to determine the number (Bmax), binding affinity (Kd), and distribution of GABAA receptors and benzodiazepine binding sites, respectively, in the ACC in adult autistic and control cases. Compared to controls, the autistic group had significant decreases in the mean density of GABAA receptors in the supragranular (46.8%) and infragranular (20.2%) layers of the ACC and in the density of benzodiazepine binding sites in the supragranular (28.9%) and infragranular (16.4 %) lamina. In addition, a trend for a decrease in for the density of benzodiazepine sites was found in the infragranular layers (17.1%) in the autism group. These findings suggest that in the autistic group this downregulation of both benzodiazepine sites and GABAA receptors in the ACC may be the result of increased GABA innervation and/or release disturbing the delicate excitation/inhibition balance of principal neurons as well as their output to key limbic cortical targets. Such disturbances likely underlie the core alterations in socio-emotional behaviors in autism. PMID:19650112

  2. Histone H2AX-dependent GABA(A) receptor regulation of stem cell proliferation.

    PubMed

    Andäng, Michael; Hjerling-Leffler, Jens; Moliner, Annalena; Lundgren, T Kalle; Castelo-Branco, Gonçalo; Nanou, Evanthia; Pozas, Ester; Bryja, Vitezslav; Halliez, Sophie; Nishimaru, Hiroshi; Wilbertz, Johannes; Arenas, Ernest; Koltzenburg, Martin; Charnay, Patrick; El Manira, Abdeljabbar; Ibañez, Carlos F; Ernfors, Patrik

    2008-01-24

    Stem cell self-renewal implies proliferation under continued maintenance of multipotency. Small changes in numbers of stem cells may lead to large differences in differentiated cell numbers, resulting in significant physiological consequences. Proliferation is typically regulated in the G1 phase, which is associated with differentiation and cell cycle arrest. However, embryonic stem (ES) cells may lack a G1 checkpoint. Regulation of proliferation in the 'DNA damage' S/G2 cell cycle checkpoint pathway is known for its role in the maintenance of chromatin structural integrity. Here we show that autocrine/paracrine gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) signalling by means of GABA(A) receptors negatively controls ES cell and peripheral neural crest stem (NCS) cell proliferation, preimplantation embryonic growth and proliferation in the boundary-cap stem cell niche, resulting in an attenuation of neuronal progenies from this stem cell niche. Activation of GABA(A) receptors leads to hyperpolarization, increased cell volume and accumulation of stem cells in S phase, thereby causing a rapid decrease in cell proliferation. GABA(A) receptors signal through S-phase checkpoint kinases of the phosphatidylinositol-3-OH kinase-related kinase family and the histone variant H2AX. This signalling pathway critically regulates proliferation independently of differentiation, apoptosis and overt damage to DNA. These results indicate the presence of a fundamentally different mechanism of proliferation control in these stem cells, in comparison with most somatic cells, involving proteins in the DNA damage checkpoint pathway.

  3. GABAA receptor-mediated input change on orexin neurons following sleep deprivation in mice.

    PubMed

    Matsuki, T; Takasu, M; Hirose, Y; Murakoshi, N; Sinton, C M; Motoike, T; Yanagisawa, M

    2015-01-22

    Orexins are bioactive peptides, which have been shown to play a pivotal role in vigilance state transitions: the loss of orexin-producing neurons (orexin neurons) leads to narcolepsy with cataplexy in the human. However, the effect of the need for sleep (i.e., sleep pressure) on orexin neurons remains largely unknown. Here, we found that immunostaining intensities of the α1 subunit of the GABAA receptor and neuroligin 2, which is involved in inhibitory synapse specialization, on orexin neurons of mouse brain were significantly increased by 6-h sleep deprivation. In contrast, we noted that immunostaining intensities of the α2, γ2, and β2/3 subunits of the GABAA receptor and Huntingtin-associated protein 1, which is involved in GABAAR trafficking, were not changed by 6-h sleep deprivation. Using a slice patch recording, orexin neurons demonstrated increased sensitivity to a GABAA receptor agonist together with synaptic plasticity changes after sleep deprivation when compared with an ad lib sleep condition. In summary, the GABAergic input property of orexin neurons responds rapidly to sleep deprivation. This molecular response of orexin neurons may thus play a role in the changes that accompany the need for sleep following prolonged wakefulness, in particular the decreased probability of a transition to wakefulness once recovery sleep has begun.

  4. CO2-induced ocean acidification increases anxiety in rockfish via alteration of GABAA receptor functioning.

    PubMed

    Hamilton, Trevor James; Holcombe, Adam; Tresguerres, Martin

    2014-01-22

    The average surface pH of the ocean is dropping at a rapid rate due to the dissolution of anthropogenic CO2, raising concerns for marine life. Additionally, some coastal areas periodically experience upwelling of CO2-enriched water with reduced pH. Previous research has demonstrated ocean acidification (OA)-induced changes in behavioural and sensory systems including olfaction, which is due to altered function of neural gamma-aminobutyric acid type A (GABAA) receptors. Here, we used a camera-based tracking software system to examine whether OA-dependent changes in GABAA receptors affect anxiety in juvenile Californian rockfish (Sebastes diploproa). Anxiety was estimated using behavioural tests that measure light/dark preference (scototaxis) and proximity to an object. After one week in OA conditions projected for the next century in the California shore (1125 ± 100 µatm, pH 7.75), anxiety was significantly increased relative to controls (483 ± 40 µatm CO2, pH 8.1). The GABAA-receptor agonist muscimol, but not the antagonist gabazine, caused a significant increase in anxiety consistent with altered Cl(-) flux in OA-exposed fish. OA-exposed fish remained more anxious even after 7 days back in control seawater; however, they resumed their normal behaviour by day 12. These results show that OA could severely alter rockfish behaviour; however, this effect is reversible.

  5. CO2-induced ocean acidification increases anxiety in Rockfish via alteration of GABAA receptor functioning

    PubMed Central

    Hamilton, Trevor James; Holcombe, Adam; Tresguerres, Martin

    2014-01-01

    The average surface pH of the ocean is dropping at a rapid rate due to the dissolution of anthropogenic CO2, raising concerns for marine life. Additionally, some coastal areas periodically experience upwelling of CO2-enriched water with reduced pH. Previous research has demonstrated ocean acidification (OA)-induced changes in behavioural and sensory systems including olfaction, which is due to altered function of neural gamma-aminobutyric acid type A (GABAA) receptors. Here, we used a camera-based tracking software system to examine whether OA-dependent changes in GABAA receptors affect anxiety in juvenile Californian rockfish (Sebastes diploproa). Anxiety was estimated using behavioural tests that measure light/dark preference (scototaxis) and proximity to an object. After one week in OA conditions projected for the next century in the California shore (1125 ± 100 µatm, pH 7.75), anxiety was significantly increased relative to controls (483 ± 40 µatm CO2, pH 8.1). The GABAA-receptor agonist muscimol, but not the antagonist gabazine, caused a significant increase in anxiety consistent with altered Cl− flux in OA-exposed fish. OA-exposed fish remained more anxious even after 7 days back in control seawater; however, they resumed their normal behaviour by day 12. These results show that OA could severely alter rockfish behaviour; however, this effect is reversible. PMID:24285203

  6. Implication for treatment: GABAA receptors in aging, Down syndrome and Alzheimer's disease

    PubMed Central

    Rissman, Robert A.; Mobley, William C.

    2011-01-01

    In addition to progressive dementia, Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized by increased incidence of seizure activity. Although originally discounted as a secondary process occurring as a result of neurodegeneration, more recent data suggest that alterations in excitatory-inhibitory (E/I) balance occur in AD and may be a primary mechanism contributing AD cognitive decline. In this study, we discuss relevant research and reports on the GABAA receptor in developmental disorders, such as Down syndrome, in healthy aging, and highlight documented aberrations in the GABAergic system in AD. Stressing the importance of understanding the subunit composition of individual GABAA receptors, investigations demonstrate alterations of particular GABAA receptor subunits in AD, but overall sparing of the GABAergic system. In this study, we review experimental data on the GABAergic system in the pathobiology of AD and discuss relevant therapeutic implications. When developing AD therapeutics that modulate GABA it is important to consider how E/I balance impacts AD pathogenesis and the relationship between seizure activity and cognitive decline. PMID:21388375

  7. GABAA receptor modulation of temperature sensitive neurons in the diagonal band of Broca in vitro.

    PubMed

    Hays, T C; Szymusiak, R; McGinty, D

    1999-10-23

    Several regions of the brain, including the horizontal limb of the diagonal band of Broca (HDB), contain neurons that are responsive to changes in local temperature. These neurons are hypothesized to participate in thermoregulation and sleep-wake control. The HDB contains a large number of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) terminals, and it has many neurons that utilize GABA as a neurotransmitter. Therefore, in this study we characterized the in vitro effects of the GABAA receptor agonist muscimol (0.5, 0.25, 0.1 and 0.0625 microM doses) and the GABAA receptor antagonist bicuculline (3.0 and 1.0 microM doses) on the firing rate and thermosensitivity of HDB neurons. Of the 51 neurons recorded in a submerged slice chamber, 53% were warm sensitive, 45% were temperature insensitive and 2% were cold sensitive. All neurons exposed to bath applied muscimol exhibited reductions in both firing rate and thermosensitivity. Muscimol induced reductions were maintained for at least 20 min after washout. Neurons exposed to bicuculline had no change in firing rate or thermosensitivity. However, after bicuculline washout there were reductions in both firing rate and thermosensitivity. These findings support the hypothesis that GABAA receptor induced inhibition of HDB thermosensitive neurons can modulate both thermoregulation and sleep-wake control.

  8. Two distinct interactions of barbiturates and chlormethiazole with the GABAA receptor complex in rat cuneate nucleus in vitro.

    PubMed Central

    Harrison, N. L.; Simmonds, M. A.

    1983-01-01

    Some pharmacological properties of the GABAA receptor complex in the rat cuneate nucleus slice have been assessed from depolarization responses to the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) analogue muscimol and antagonism of the responses by bicuculline and picrotoxin. Responses to muscimol were potentiated by the following drugs, in descending order of potency with regard to the concentrations required in the Krebs medium: (+/-)-5-(1,3-dimethylbutyl)-5-ethylbarbituric acid [+/-)-DMBB) = (+/-)-quinalbarbitone = (+/-)-pentobarbitone greater than (+/-)-methyl-phenobarbitone = (-)-methylphenobarbitone greater than butobarbitone = chlormethiazole greater than phenobarbitone greater than barbitone = (+)-methylphenobarbitone. Primidone and phenylethylmalonamide were inactive. Calculation of the concentrations likely to be present in membrane lipids for equal potentiations of muscimol revealed little difference between quinalbarbitone, pentobarbitone, phenobarbitone and barbitone. The effect of picrotoxin as a muscimol antagonist was selectively reduced only by DMBB, chlormethiazole, phenobarbitone and (-)-methylphenobarbitone in concentrations that caused only a modest potentiation of muscimol. It is suggested that a specific site of action in the GABAA receptor complex is involved in the reduction of picrotoxin effect and that this may be relevant to the anticonvulsant properties of chlormethiazole, phenobarbitone and (-)-methylphenobarbitone. The potentiation of muscimol by chlormethiazole and the barbiturates in general involves a distinctly different site that is less selective and this may underlie the hypnotic properties of these drugs. PMID:6317133

  9. Inhibition of carbonic anhydrase augments GABAA receptor-mediated analgesia via a spinal mechanism of action

    PubMed Central

    Asiedu, Marina N.; Mejia, Galo L.; Hübner, Christian A.; Kaila, Kai; Price, Theodore J.

    2014-01-01

    Peripheral nerve injury negatively influences spinal GABAergic networks via a reduction in the neuron-specific K+-Cl- cotransporter KCC2. This process has been linked to the emergence of neuropathic allodynia. In vivo pharmacological and modeling studies show that a loss of KCC2 function results in a decrease in the efficacy of GABAA -mediated spinal inhibition. One potential strategy to mitigate this effect entails inhibition of carbonic anhydrase activity to reduce HCO3- -dependent depolarization via GABAA receptors when KCC2 function is compromised. We have tested this hypothesis here. Our results show that, similarly to when KCC2 is pharmacologically blocked, peripheral nerve injury causes a loss of analgesic effect for neurosteroid GABAA allosteric modulators at maximally effective doses in naïve mice in the tail flick test. Remarkably, inhibition of carbonic anhydrase activity with intrathecal acetazolamide rapidly restores an analgesic effect for these compounds suggesting an important role of carbonic anhydrase activity in regulating GABAA -mediated analgesia after peripheral nerve injury. Moreover, spinal acetazolamide administration leads to a profound reduction in the mouse formalin pain test indicating that spinal carbonic anhydrase inhibition produces analgesia when primary afferent activity is driven by chemical mediators. Finally, we demonstrate that systemic administration of acetazolamide to rats with peripheral nerve injury produces an anti-allodynia effect by itself and an enhancement of the peak analgesic effect with a change in the shape of the dose response curve of the α1-sparing benzodiazepine L-838,417. Thus, carbonic anhydrase inhibition mitigates the negative effects of loss of KCC2 function after nerve injury in multiple species and through multiple administration routes resulting in an enhancement of analgesic effects for several GABAA allosteric modulators. We suggest that carbonic anhydrase inhibitors, many of which are clinically

  10. [3H]Ethynylbicycloorthobenzoate ([3H]EBOB) binding in recombinant GABAA receptors.

    PubMed

    Yagle, Monica A; Martin, Michael W; de Fiebre, Christopher M; de Fiebre, NancyEllen C; Drewe, John A; Dillon, Glenn H

    2003-12-01

    Ethynylbicycloorthobenzoate (EBOB) is a recently developed ligand that binds to the convulsant site of the GABAA receptor. While a few studies have examined the binding of [3H]EBOB in vertebrate brain tissue and insect preparations, none have examined [3H]EBOB binding in preparations that express known configurations of the GABAA receptor. We have thus examined [3H]EBOB binding in HEK293 cells stably expressing human alpha1beta2gamma2 and alpha2beta2gamma2 GABAA receptors, and the effects of CNS convulsants on its binding. The ability of the CNS convulsants to displace the prototypical convulsant site ligand, [35S]TBPS, was also assessed. Saturation analysis revealed [3H]EBOB binding at a single site, with a K(d) of approximately 9 nM in alpha1beta2gamma2 and alpha2beta2gamma2 receptors. Binding of both [3H]EBOB and [35S]TBPS was inhibited by dieldrin, lindane, tert-butylbicycloorthobenzoate (TBOB), PTX, TBPS, and pentylenetetrazol (PTZ) at one site in a concentration-dependent fashion. Affinities were in the high nM to low microM range for all compounds except PTZ (low mM range), and the rank order of potency for these convulsants to displace [3H]EBOB and [35S]TBPS was the same. Low [GABA] stimulated [3H]EBOB binding, while higher [GABA] (greater than 10 microM) inhibited [3H]EBOB binding. Overall, our data demonstrate that [3H]EBOB binds to a single, high affinity site in alpha1beta2gamma2 and alpha2beta2gamma2 GABAA receptors, and modulation of its binding is similar to that seen with [35S]TBPS. [3H]EBOB has a number of desirable traits that may make it preferable to [35S]TBPS for analysis of the convulsant site of the GABAA receptor.

  11. Seizure-Related Regulation of GABAA Receptors in Spontaneously Epileptic Rats

    PubMed Central

    González, Marco I.; Grabenstatter, Heidi L.; del Rio, Christian Cea; Del Angel, Yasmin Cruz; Carlsen, Jessica; Laoprasert, Rick; White, Andrew M.; Huntsman, Molly M.; Brooks-Kayal, Amy

    2015-01-01

    In this study, we analyzed the impact that spontaneous seizures might have on the plasma membrane expression, composition and function of GABAA receptors (GABAARs). For this, tissue of chronically epileptic rats was collected within 3 hours of seizure occurrence (≤3 hours group) or at least 24 hours after seizure occurrence (≥24 hours group). A retrospective analysis of seizure frequency revealed that selecting animals on the bases of seizure proximity also grouped animals in terms of overall seizure burden with a higher seizure burden observed in the ≤3 hours group. A biochemical analysis showed that although animals with more frequent/recent seizures (≤3 hours group) had similar levels of GABAAR at the plasma membrane they showed deficits in inhibitory neurotransmission. In contrast, tissue obtained from animals experiencing infrequent seizures (≥24 hours group) had increased plasma membrane levels of GABAAR and showed no deficit in inhibitory function. Together, our findings offer an initial insight into the molecular changes that might help to explain how alterations in GABAAR function can be associated with differential seizure burden. Our findings also suggest that increased plasma membrane levels of GABAAR might act as a compensatory mechanism to more effectively maintain inhibitory function, repress hyperexcitability and reduce seizure burden. This study is an initial step towards a fuller characterization of the molecular events that trigger alterations in GABAergic neurotransmission during chronic epilepsy. PMID:25769812

  12. 2-Aminoethyl Methylphosphonate, a Potent and Rapidly Acting Antagonist of GABAA-ρ1 Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Xie, An; Yan, Jun; Yue, Lan; Feng, Feng; Mir, Fozia; Abdel-Halim, Heba; Chebib, Mary; Le Breton, Guy C.; Standaert, Robert F.; Qian, Haohua

    2011-01-01

    2-Aminoethyl methylphosphonate (2-AEMP), an analog of GABA, has been found to exhibit antagonist activity at GABAA-ρ1 (also known as ρ1 GABAC) receptors. The present study was undertaken to elucidate 2-AEMP's action and to test the activities of 2-AEMP analogs. Whole-cell patch-clamp techniques were used to record membrane currents in neuroblastoma cells stably transfected with human GABAA-ρ1 receptors. The action of 2-AEMP was compared with that of 1,2,5,6-tetrahydropyridin-4-yl methylphosphinic acid (TPMPA), a commonly used GABAA-ρ1 antagonist. With 10 μM GABA, 2-AEMP's IC50 (18 μM) differed by less than 2.5-fold from that of TPMPA (7 μM), and results obtained were consistent with a primarily competitive mode of inhibition by 2-AEMP. Terminating the presentation of 2-AEMP or TPMPA in the presence of GABA produced a release from inhibition. However, the rate of inhibition release upon the termination of 2-AEMP considerably exceeded that determined with termination of TPMPA. Moreover, when presented at concentrations near their respective IC50 values, the preincubation period associated with 2-AEMP's onset of inhibition was much shorter than that for TPMPA. Analogs of 2-AEMP possessing a benzyl or n-butyl rather than a methyl substituent at the phosphorus atom, as well as analogs bearing a C-methyl substituent on the aminoethyl side chain, exhibited reduced potency relative to 2-AEMP. Of these analogs, only (R)-2-aminopropyl methylphosphonate significantly diminished the response to 10 μM GABA. Structure-activity relationships are discussed in the context of molecular modeling of ligand binding to the antagonist binding site of the GABAA-ρ1 receptor. PMID:21810922

  13. Selective GABAA α5 Positive Allosteric Modulators Improve Cognitive Function in Aged Rats with Memory Impairment

    PubMed Central

    Koh, Ming Teng; Rosenzweig-Lipson, Sharon; Gallagher, Michela

    2012-01-01

    A condition of excess activity in the hippocampal formation is observed in the aging brain and in conditions that confer additional risk during aging for Alzheimer’s disease. Compounds that act as positive allosteric modulators at GABAA α5 receptors might be useful in targeting this condition because GABAA α5 receptors mediate tonic inhibition of principal neurons in the affected network. While agents to improve cognitive function in the past focused on inverse agonists, which are negative allosteric modulators at GABAA α5 receptors, research supporting that approach used only young animals and predated current evidence for excessive hippocampal activity in age-related conditions of cognitive impairment. Here, we used two compounds, Compound 44 [6,6-dimethyl-3-(3-hydroxypropyl)thio-1-(thiazol-2-yl)-6,7-dihydro-2-benzothiophen-4(5H)-one] and Compound 6 [methyl 3,5-diphenylpyridazine-4-carboxylate], with functional activity as potentiators of γ-aminobutyric acid at GABAA α5 receptors, to test their ability to improve hippocampal-dependent memory in aged rats with identified cognitive impairment. Improvement was obtained in aged rats across protocols differing in motivational and performance demands and across varying retention intervals. Significant memory improvement occurred after either intracereboventricular infusion with Compound 44 (100 μg) in a water maze task or systemic administration with Compound 6 (3 mg/kg) in a radial arm maze task. Furthermore, systemic administration improved behavioral performance at dosing shown to provide drug exposure in the brain and in vivo receptor occupancy in the hippocampus. These data suggest a novel approach to improve neural network function in clinical conditions of excess hippocampal activity. PMID:22732440

  14. Contribution of GABAA Receptors Containing α3 Subunits to the Therapeutic-Related and Side Effects of Benzodiazepine-Type Drugs in Monkeys

    PubMed Central

    Fischer, Bradford D.; Atack, John R.; Platt, Donna M.; Reynolds, David S.; Dawson, Gerard R.; Rowlett, James K.

    2011-01-01

    Rationale Experimental evidence suggests that the differential behavioral effects of benzodiazepines depend on their relative actions at γ-aminobutyric acid type A (GABAA) receptors that contain either an α1, α2, α3 or α5 subunit. Objectives The present study was aimed at understanding the role of α3 subunit-containing GABAA (α3GABAA) receptors by examining the behavioral pharmacology of TP003 (4,2’-difluoro-5’-[8-fluoro-7-(1-hydroxy-1-methylethyl)imidazo[1,2-a]pyridine-3-yl]biphenyl-2-carbonitrile), which shows functional selectivity for α3GABAA receptors. Methods First, a conflict procedure was used to assess the anxiolytic-like effects of TP003 and a representative clinically available benzodiazepine. TP003 was also administered before daily periods of sucrose pellet availability to evaluate potential hyperphagic effects. In separate experiments, observable behavioral effects were used to assess the motor and sedative effects of TP003. Results Administration of TP003 produced robust anti-conflict effects without the rate-decreasing effects that were observed with the representative benzodiazepine. Unlike reported effects of benzodiazepines, TP003 did not enhance palatable food consumption. However, increases in observable sleep-associated posture were induced by TP003, as were decreases in some species-typical behaviors (vocalization, locomotion, and environment-directed behaviors). When evaluated for its ability to induce a procumbent posture, TP003 failed to produce an effect. Conclusions Based on conflict and observation tests in monkeys, our results suggest that TP003 may have anxiolytic properties but lacks ataxic, hyperphagic, and pronounced sedative effects characteristic of classical benzodiazepines. TP003 did induce myorelaxant-like effects and had relatively mild sedative effects. Collectively, these results suggest that α3GABAA receptors play an important role in the anxiolytic-like and motor effects of benzodiazepine-type drugs. PMID

  15. Partial Agonism of Taurine at Gamma-Containing Native and Recombinant GABAA Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Kletke, Olaf; Gisselmann, Guenter; May, Andrea; Hatt, Hanns; A. Sergeeva, Olga

    2013-01-01

    Taurine is a semi-essential sulfonic acid found at high concentrations in plasma and mammalian tissues which regulates osmolarity, ion channel activity and glucose homeostasis. The structural requirements of GABAA-receptors (GABAAR) gated by taurine are not yet known. We determined taurine potency and efficacy relative to GABA at different types of recombinant GABAAR occurring in central histaminergic neurons of the mouse hypothalamic tuberomamillary nucleus (TMN) which controls arousal. At binary α1/2β1/3 receptors taurine was as efficient as GABA, whereas incorporation of the γ1/2 subunit reduced taurine efficacy to 60–90% of GABA. The mutation γ2F77I, which abolishes zolpidem potentiation, significantly reduced taurine efficacy at recombinant and native receptors compared to the wild type controls. As taurine was a full- or super- agonist at recombinant αxβ1δ-GABAAR, we generated a chimeric γ2 subunit carrying the δ subunit motif around F77 (MTVFLH). At α1/2β1γ2(MTVFLH) receptors taurine became a super-agonist, similar to δ-containing ternary receptors, but remained a partial agonist at β3-containing receptors. In conclusion, using site-directed mutagenesis we found structural determinants of taurine’s partial agonism at γ-containing GABAA receptors. Our study sheds new light on the β1 subunit conferring the widest range of taurine-efficacies modifying GABAAR function under (patho)physiological conditions. PMID:23637894

  16. Partial agonism of taurine at gamma-containing native and recombinant GABAA receptors.

    PubMed

    Kletke, Olaf; Gisselmann, Guenter; May, Andrea; Hatt, Hanns; A Sergeeva, Olga

    2013-01-01

    Taurine is a semi-essential sulfonic acid found at high concentrations in plasma and mammalian tissues which regulates osmolarity, ion channel activity and glucose homeostasis. The structural requirements of GABAA-receptors (GABAAR) gated by taurine are not yet known. We determined taurine potency and efficacy relative to GABA at different types of recombinant GABAAR occurring in central histaminergic neurons of the mouse hypothalamic tuberomamillary nucleus (TMN) which controls arousal. At binary α(1/2)β(1/3) receptors taurine was as efficient as GABA, whereas incorporation of the γ(1/2) subunit reduced taurine efficacy to 60-90% of GABA. The mutation γ(2F77I), which abolishes zolpidem potentiation, significantly reduced taurine efficacy at recombinant and native receptors compared to the wild type controls. As taurine was a full- or super- agonist at recombinant αxβ1δ-GABAAR, we generated a chimeric γ(2) subunit carrying the δ subunit motif around F77 (MTVFLH). At α(1/2)β(1)γ2(MTVFLH) receptors taurine became a super-agonist, similar to δ-containing ternary receptors, but remained a partial agonist at β3-containing receptors. In conclusion, using site-directed mutagenesis we found structural determinants of taurine's partial agonism at γ-containing GABAA receptors. Our study sheds new light on the β1 subunit conferring the widest range of taurine-efficacies modifying GABAAR function under (patho)physiological conditions.

  17. In the developing rat hippocampus a tonic GABAA-mediated conductance selectively enhances the glutamatergic drive of principal cells

    PubMed Central

    Marchionni, Ivan; Omrani, Azar; Cherubini, Enrico

    2007-01-01

    In the adult hippocampus, two different forms of GABAA receptor-mediated inhibition have been identified: phasic and tonic. The first is due to the activation of GABAA receptors facing the presynaptic releasing sites, whereas the second is due to the activation of receptors localized away from the synapses. Because of their high affinity and low desensitization rate, extrasynaptic receptors are persistently able to sense low concentrations of GABA. Here we show that, early in postnatal life, between postnatal day (P) 2 and P6, CA1 and CA3 pyramidal cells but not stratum radiatum interneurons, express a tonic GABAA-mediated conductance. Block of the neuronal GABA transporter GAT-1 slightly enhanced the persistent GABA conductance in principal cells but not in GABAergic interneurons. However, in adulthood, a tonic GABAA-mediated conductance could be revealed in stratum radiatum interneurons, indicating that the ability of these cells to sense ambient GABA levels is developmentally regulated. Pharmacological analysis of the tonic conductance in principal cells demonstrated the involvement of β2/β3, α5 and γ2 GABAA receptor subunits. Removal of the tonic depolarizing action of GABA with picrotoxin, reduced the excitability and the glutamatergic drive of principal cells but did not modify the excitability of stratum radiatum interneurons. The increased cell excitability and synaptic activity following the activation of extrasynaptic GABAA receptors by ambient GABA would facilitate the induction of giant depolarizing potentials. PMID:17317750

  18. The heterogeneity in GABAA receptor-mediated IPSC kinetics reflects heterogeneity of subunit composition among inhibitory and excitatory interneurons in spinal lamina II

    PubMed Central

    Labrakakis, Charalampos; Rudolph, Uwe; De Koninck, Yves

    2014-01-01

    GABAergic inhibition displays rich functional diversity throughout the CNS, which arises from variations in the nature of inputs, subunit composition, subcellular localization of receptors and synapse geometry, or reuptake mechanisms. In the spinal dorsal horn (SDH), GABAA and glycine receptors play a major role in the control of excitability and accuracy of nociceptive processing. Identifying which components shape the properties of the inhibitory synapses in different cell types is necessary to understand how nociceptive information is integrated. To address this, we used transgenic mice where inhibitory interneurons express GAD65-EGFP. We found that GABAA, but not glycine receptor-mediated evoked IPSCs displayed slower kinetics in EGFP+ vs. EGFP− interneurons. GABAA miniature IPSC decay kinetics showed a large variability in both populations, however the distribution of decays differed between EGFP+ and EGFP− interneurons. The range of mIPSC decay kinetics observed was replicated in experiments using rapid application of GABA on outside-out patches taken from SDH neurons in slices. Furthermore, GABAA decay kinetics were not affected by uptake blockers and were not different in mice lacking δ or α5 subunits, indicating that intrinsic channel properties likely underlie the heterogeneity. To identify whether other α subunits shape the various kinetic properties observed we took advantage of knock-in mice carrying point mutations in either the α1, α2, or α3 subunits rendering Ro 15-4513 a selective agonist at the benzodiazepine modulatory site. We found that α1 and α2 subunit underlie the fast decaying component of IPSCs while the slow component is determined by the α3 subunit. The differential distribution of GABAA subunits at inhibitory synapses thus sculpts the heterogeneity of the SDH inhibitory circuitry. This diversity of inhibitory elements can be harnessed to selectively modulate different components of the spinal nociceptive circuitry for

  19. GABAA RECEPTORS AS BROADCASTERS OF SEXUALLY DIFFERENTIATING SIGNALS IN THE BRAIN

    PubMed Central

    Galanopoulou, Aristea S

    2006-01-01

    Epileptic seizures are more common in males than in females. One of the areas that have recently been implicated in the higher susceptibility of males to seizures is the substantia nigra reticulata (SNR). Several studies support the existence of phenotypic differences between male and female infantile SNR neurons and particularly in several aspects of the GABAergic system, including its ability to control seizures. We have recently found that at postnatal day 14-17 (PN14-17) rats, which are equivalent to infants, activation of GABAA receptors has different physiological effects in male and female SNR neurons. This is likely due to the differences in the expression of the neuronal-specific potassium-chloride cotransporter KCC2, which regulates the intracellular chloride concentration. In male PN14-17 SNR neurons, GABAA receptor activation with muscimol causes depolarization and increments in intracellular calcium concentration and the expression of calcium regulated genes, such as KCC2. Blockade of L-type voltage sensitive calcium channels (L-VSCC) by nifedipine decreases KCC2 mRNA expression. In PN14-17 females, however, muscimol hyperpolarizes the SNR neurons, does not increase intracellular calcium and decreases KCC2 mRNA expression. In PN15 females, nifedipine has no effect on KCC2 mRNA expression in the SNR. This sexually dimorphic function of GABAA receptors also creates divergent patterns of estradiol signaling. In male PN15 rats, estradiol decreases KCC2 mRNA expression in SNR neurons. Pretreatment with the GABAA receptor antagonist bicuculline or with nifedipine, prevents the appearance of estradiol-mediated downregulation of KCC2 mRNA expression. In contrast, in PN15 females, estradiol does not influence KCC2 expression. These show that, in infantile rats, drugs or conditions that modulate the activity of GABAA receptors or L-VSCCs have different effects on the differentiation of the SNR. As a result, they have the potency of causing long-term changes in

  20. Binge alcohol drinking is associated with GABAA α2-regulated Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) expression in the central amygdala

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Juan; Yang, Andrew R.; Kelly, Timothy; Puche, Adam; Esoga, Chioma; June, Harry L.; Elnabawi, Ahmed; Merchenthaler, Istvan; Sieghart, Werner; June, Harry L.; Aurelian, Laure

    2011-01-01

    Binge drinking (blood-alcohol levels ≥ 0.08 g% in a 2-h period), is a significant public health burden in need of improved treatment. Gene therapy may offer beneficial alternatives to current psychosocial and pharmacotherapeutic interventions, but identification of the target genes is a clinical challenge. We report that a GABAA α2 siRNA vector (pHSVsiLA2) infused into the central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA) of alcohol-preferring (P) rats caused profound and selective reduction of binge drinking associated with inhibition of α2 expression, decreased GABAA receptor density, and inhibition of Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4). CeA infusion of a TLR4 siRNA vector (pHSVsiLTLR4a) also inhibited binge drinking, but neither vector functioned when infused into the ventral pallidum. Binge drinking was inhibited by a GABAA α1 siRNA vector (pHSVsiLA1) infused into the ventral pallidum, unrelated to TLR4. The vectors did not alter sucrose intake and a scrambled siRNA vector was negative. The data indicate that GABAA α2-regulated TLR4 expression in the CeA contributes to binge drinking and may be a key early neuroadaptation in excessive drinking. PMID:21368176

  1. Methods for recording and measuring tonic GABAA receptor-mediated inhibition.

    PubMed

    Bright, Damian P; Smart, Trevor G

    2013-12-05

    Tonic inhibitory conductances mediated by GABAA receptors have now been identified and characterized in many different brain regions. Most experimental studies of tonic GABAergic inhibition have been carried out using acute brain slice preparations but tonic currents have been recorded under a variety of different conditions. This diversity of recording conditions is likely to impact upon many of the factors responsible for controlling tonic inhibition and can make comparison between different studies difficult. In this review, we will firstly consider how various experimental conditions, including age of animal, recording temperature and solution composition, are likely to influence tonic GABAA conductances. We will then consider some technical considerations related to how the tonic conductance is measured and subsequently analyzed, including how the use of current noise may provide a complementary and reliable method for quantifying changes in tonic current.

  2. Methods for recording and measuring tonic GABAA receptor-mediated inhibition

    PubMed Central

    Bright, Damian P.; Smart, Trevor G.

    2013-01-01

    Tonic inhibitory conductances mediated by GABAA receptors have now been identified and characterized in many different brain regions. Most experimental studies of tonic GABAergic inhibition have been carried out using acute brain slice preparations but tonic currents have been recorded under a variety of different conditions. This diversity of recording conditions is likely to impact upon many of the factors responsible for controlling tonic inhibition and can make comparison between different studies difficult. In this review, we will firstly consider how various experimental conditions, including age of animal, recording temperature and solution composition, are likely to influence tonic GABAA conductances. We will then consider some technical considerations related to how the tonic conductance is measured and subsequently analyzed, including how the use of current noise may provide a complementary and reliable method for quantifying changes in tonic current. PMID:24367296

  3. Hypoplasia of spiral and Scarpa's ganglion cells in GABA(A) receptor beta(3) subunit knockout mice.

    PubMed

    Koo, Ja-Won; Homanics, Gregg E; Balaban, Carey D

    2002-05-01

    This study documents morphologic alterations in the spiral ganglion and Scarpa's ganglion from gamma-aminobutyric acid A (GABA(A)) receptor beta(3) subunit null mutant mice. The ganglion cells of the mutant mice were hypoplastic in hematoylin&eosin-stained sections. Hypoplasia was observed at every location of the spiral ganglion and Scarpa's ganglion except the apical cochlear turn. Calretinin immunostaining demonstrated a selective hypoplasia of calretinin-negative cells at every location of spiral and Scarpa's ganglion cells, while the soma area of calretinin-positive cells was not affected by the gene deletion. Meanwhile, in the spiral ganglion of both wild type and knockout mice, there were apical to basal gradients in the soma size and the proportion of calretinin-positive cells. The absence of statistically significant hypoplasia in hematoylin&eosin sections through the apical turn of the cochlea can be explained by the relatively higher proportion of calretinin-positive ganglion cells, which were unaffected by the gene deletion. These findings suggest that GABA(A) receptor isoforms containing the beta(3) subunit may play an important role in the development and differentiation of non-calyceal terminals of Scarpa's ganglion cells and type II and smaller type I spiral ganglion cells.

  4. Benzodiazepine-induced anxiolysis and reduction of conditioned fear are mediated by distinct GABAA receptor subtypes in mice.

    PubMed

    Smith, Kiersten S; Engin, Elif; Meloni, Edward G; Rudolph, Uwe

    2012-08-01

    GABA(A) receptor modulating drugs such as benzodiazepines (BZs) have been used to treat anxiety disorders for over five decades. In order to determine whether the same or different GABA(A) receptor subtypes are necessary for the anxiolytic-like action of BZs in unconditioned anxiety and conditioned fear models, we investigated the role of different GABA(A) receptor subtypes by challenging wild type, α1(H101R), α2(H101R) and α3(H126R) mice bred on the C57BL/6J background with diazepam or chlordiazepoxide in the elevated plus maze and the fear-potentiated startle paradigms. Both drugs significantly increased open arm exploration in the elevated plus maze in wild type, α1(H101R) and α3(H126R), but this effect was abolished in α2(H101R) mice; these were expected results based on previous published results. In contrast, while administration of diazepam and chlordiazepoxide significantly attenuated fear-potentiated startle (FPS) in wild type mice and α3(H126R) mice, the fear-reducing effects of these drugs were absent in both α1(H101R) and α2(H101R) point mutants, indicating that both α1- and α2-containing GABA(A) receptors are necessary for BZs to exert their effects on conditioned fear responses. Our findings illustrate both an overlap and a divergence between the GABA(A) receptor subtype requirements for the impact of BZs, specifically that both α1- and α2-containing GABA(A) receptors are necessary for BZs to reduce conditioned fear whereas only α2-containing GABA(A) receptors are needed for BZ-induced anxiolysis in unconditioned tests of anxiety. This raises the possibility that GABAergic pharmacological interventions for specific anxiety disorders can be differentially tailored. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Metal-assisted synthesis of unsymmetrical magnolol and honokiol analogs and their biological assessment as GABAA receptor ligands

    PubMed Central

    Rycek, Lukas; Puthenkalam, Roshan; Schnürch, Michael; Ernst, Margot; Mihovilovic, Marko D.

    2015-01-01

    We present the synthesis of new derivatives of natural products magnolol (1) and honokiol (2) and their evaluation as allosteric ligands for modulation of GABAA receptor activity. New derivatives were prepared via metal assisted cross-coupling reactions in two consecutive steps. Compounds were tested by means of two-electrode voltage clamp electrophysiology at the α1β2γ2 receptor subtype at low GABA concentrations. We have identified several compounds enhancing GABA induced current (IGABA) in the range similar or even higher than the lead structures. At 3 μM, compound 8g enhanced IGABA by factor of 443, compared to 162 and 338 of honokiol and magnolol, respectively. Furthermore, 8g at EC10–20 features a much bigger window of separation between the α1β2γ2 and the α1β1γ2 subtypes compared to honokiol, and thus improved subtype selectivity. PMID:25510374

  6. Bicarbonate efflux via GABAA receptors depolarizes membrane potential and inhibits two-pore domain potassium channels of astrocytes in rat hippocampal slices

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Bao-Feng; Xie, Min-Jie; Zhou, Min

    2014-01-01

    Increasing evidence indicates the functional expression of ionotropic γ-aminobutyric acid receptor (GABAA-R) in astrocytes. However, it remains controversial in regard to the intracellular Cl− concentration ([Cl−]i) and the functional role of anion-selective GABAA-R in astrocytes. In gramicidin perforated-patch recordings from rat hippocampal CA1 astrocytes, GABA and GABAA-R specific agonist THIP depolarized astrocyte membrane potential (Vm), and the THIP induced currents reversed at the voltages between −75.3 to −78.3 mV, corresponding to a [Cl−]i of 3.1 – 3.9 mM that favors a passive distribution of Cl− anions across astrocyte membrane. Further analysis showed that GABAA-R induced Vm depolarization is ascribed to HCO3− efflux, while a passively distributed Cl− mediates no net flux or influx of Cl-that leads to an unchanged or hyperpolarized Vm. In addition to a rapidly activated GABAA-R current component, GABA and THIP also induced a delayed inward current (DIC) in 63% of astrocytes. The DIC became manifest after agonist withdrawal and enhanced in amplitude with increasing agonist application duration or concentrations. Astrocytic two-pore domain K+ channels (K2Ps), especially TWIK-1, appeared to underlie the DIC, because 1) acidic intracellular pH, as a result of HCO3− efflux, inhibited TWIK-1; 2) the DIC remained in the Cs+ recording solutions that inhibited conventional K+ channels and 3) the DIC was completely inhibited by 1 mM quinine but not by blockers for other cation/anion channels. Altogether, HCO3− efflux through activated GABAA-R depolarizes astrocyte Vm and induces a delayed inhibition of K2Ps K+ channels via intracellular acidification. PMID:22855415

  7. GABA-A receptors regulate neocortical neuronal migration in vitro and in vivo.

    PubMed

    Heck, Nicolas; Kilb, Werner; Reiprich, Petra; Kubota, Hisahiko; Furukawa, Tomonori; Fukuda, Atsuo; Luhmann, Heiko J

    2007-01-01

    The cortical migration process depends on a number of trophic factors and on the activation of different voltage- and ligand-gated channels. We investigated the role of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) type A receptors in the neuronal migration process of the newborn rat parietal cortex in vivo and in vitro. Local in vivo application of the GABA-A antagonist bicuculline methiodide (BMI) or the agonist muscimol via cortical surface Elvax implants induced prominent alterations in the cortical architecture when compared with untreated or sham-operated controls. BMI- and muscimol-treated animals revealed heterotopic cell clusters in the upper layers and a complete loss of the cortical lamination in the region underlying the Elvax implant. Immunocytochemical staining for glial fibrillary acidic protein, N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors, and GABA demonstrated that heterotopia was not provoked by glial proliferation and confirmed the presence of both glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons. In organotypic neocortical slices from embryonic day 18-19 embryos, application of BMI and to a lesser extent also muscimol induced an increase in the migration speed and an accumulation of neurons in the upper cortical layers. Spontaneous intracellular calcium ([Ca2+]i) oscillations in neocortical slices from newborn rats were abolished by BMI (5 and 20 microM) and muscimol (1 and 10 microM), indicating that both compounds interfere with [Ca2+]i signaling required for normal neuronal migration. Electrophysiological recordings from migrating neurons in newborn rat neocortical slices indicate that long-term application of muscimol causes a pronounced reduction (1 microM muscimol) or blockade (10 microM) in the responsiveness of postsynaptic GABA-A receptors due to a pronounced receptor desensitization. Our results indicate that modulation of GABA-A receptors by compounds acting as agonists or antagonists may profoundly influence the neuronal migration process in the developing cerebral cortex.

  8. Tyrosine Phosphorylation of GABAA Receptor γ2-Subunit Regulates Tonic and Phasic Inhibition in the Thalamus

    PubMed Central

    Nani, Francesca; Bright, Damian P.; Revilla-Sanchez, Raquel; Tretter, Verena; Moss, Stephen J.

    2013-01-01

    GABA-mediated tonic and phasic inhibition of thalamic relay neurons of the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (dLGN) was studied after ablating tyrosine (Y) phosphorylation of receptor γ2-subunits. As phosphorylation of γ2 Y365 and Y367 reduces receptor internalization, to understand their importance for inhibition we created a knock-in mouse in which these residues are replaced by phenylalanines. On comparing wild-type (WT) and γ2Y365/367F+/− (HT) animals (homozygotes are not viable in utero), the expression levels of GABAA receptor α4-subunits were increased in the thalamus of female, but not male mice. Raised δ-subunit expression levels were also observed in female γ2Y365/367F +/− thalamus. Electrophysiological analyses revealed no difference in the level of inhibition in male WT and HT dLGN, while both the spontaneous inhibitory postsynaptic activity and the tonic current were significantly augmented in female HT relay cells. The sensitivity of tonic currents to the δ-subunit superagonist THIP, and the blocker Zn2+, were higher in female HT relay cells. This is consistent with upregulation of extrasynaptic GABAA receptors containing α4- and δ-subunits to enhance tonic inhibition. In contrast, the sensitivity of GABAA receptors mediating inhibition in the female γ2Y356/367F +/− to neurosteroids was markedly reduced compared with WT. We conclude that disrupting tyrosine phosphorylation of the γ2-subunit activates a sex-specific increase in tonic inhibition, and this most likely reflects a genomic-based compensation mechanism for the reduced neurosteroid sensitivity of inhibition measured in female HT relay neurons. PMID:23904608

  9. Tyrosine phosphorylation of GABAA receptor γ2-subunit regulates tonic and phasic inhibition in the thalamus.

    PubMed

    Nani, Francesca; Bright, Damian P; Revilla-Sanchez, Raquel; Tretter, Verena; Moss, Stephen J; Smart, Trevor G

    2013-07-31

    GABA-mediated tonic and phasic inhibition of thalamic relay neurons of the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (dLGN) was studied after ablating tyrosine (Y) phosphorylation of receptor γ2-subunits. As phosphorylation of γ2 Y365 and Y367 reduces receptor internalization, to understand their importance for inhibition we created a knock-in mouse in which these residues are replaced by phenylalanines. On comparing wild-type (WT) and γ2(Y365/367F)+/- (HT) animals (homozygotes are not viable in utero), the expression levels of GABAA receptor α4-subunits were increased in the thalamus of female, but not male mice. Raised δ-subunit expression levels were also observed in female γ2(Y365/367F) +/- thalamus. Electrophysiological analyses revealed no difference in the level of inhibition in male WT and HT dLGN, while both the spontaneous inhibitory postsynaptic activity and the tonic current were significantly augmented in female HT relay cells. The sensitivity of tonic currents to the δ-subunit superagonist THIP, and the blocker Zn(2+), were higher in female HT relay cells. This is consistent with upregulation of extrasynaptic GABAA receptors containing α4- and δ-subunits to enhance tonic inhibition. In contrast, the sensitivity of GABAA receptors mediating inhibition in the female γ2(Y356/367F) +/- to neurosteroids was markedly reduced compared with WT. We conclude that disrupting tyrosine phosphorylation of the γ2-subunit activates a sex-specific increase in tonic inhibition, and this most likely reflects a genomic-based compensation mechanism for the reduced neurosteroid sensitivity of inhibition measured in female HT relay neurons.

  10. GABAA receptors can initiate the formation of functional inhibitory GABAergic synapses

    PubMed Central

    Fuchs, Celine; Abitbol, Karine; Burden, Jemima J; Mercer, Audrey; Brown, Laura; Iball, Jonathan; Anne Stephenson, F; Thomson, Alex M; Jovanovic, Jasmina N

    2013-01-01

    The mechanisms that underlie the selection of an inhibitory GABAergic axon's postsynaptic targets and the formation of the first contacts are currently unknown. To determine whether expression of GABAA receptors (GABAARs) themselves – the essential functional postsynaptic components of GABAergic synapses – can be sufficient to initiate formation of synaptic contacts, a novel co-culture system was devised. In this system, the presynaptic GABAergic axons originated from embryonic rat basal ganglia medium spiny neurones, whereas their most prevalent postsynaptic targets, i.e. α1/β2/γ2-GABAARs, were expressed constitutively in a stably transfected human embryonic kidney 293 (HEK293) cell line. The first synapse-like contacts in these co-cultures were detected by colocalization of presynaptic and postsynaptic markers within 2 h. The number of contacts reached a plateau at 24 h. These contacts were stable, as assessed by live cell imaging; they were active, as determined by uptake of a fluorescently labelled synaptotagmin vesicle-luminal domain-specific antibody; and they supported spontaneous and action potential-driven postsynaptic GABAergic currents. Ultrastructural analysis confirmed the presence of characteristics typical of active synapses. Synapse formation was not observed with control or N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor-expressing HEK293 cells. A prominent increase in synapse formation and strength was observed when neuroligin-2 was co-expressed with GABAARs, suggesting a cooperative relationship between these proteins. Thus, in addition to fulfilling an essential functional role, postsynaptic GABAARs can promote the adhesion of inhibitory axons and the development of functional synapses. PMID:23909897

  11. GABA-A RECEPTOR ACTIVITY IN THE NORADRENERGIC LOCUS COERULEUS DRIVES TRIGEMINAL NEUROPATHIC PAIN IN THE RAT; CONTRIBUTION OF NAα1 RECEPTORS IN THE MEDIAL PREFRONTAL CORTEX

    PubMed Central

    KAUSHAL, R.; TAYLOR, B. K.; JAMAL, A. B.; ZHANG, L.; MA, F.; DONAHUE, R.; WESTLUND, K. N.

    2017-01-01

    Trigeminal neuropathic pain is described as constant excruciating facial pain. The study goal was to investigate the role of nucleus locus coeruleus (LC) in a model of chronic orofacial neuropathic pain (CCI-ION). The study examines LC’s relationship to both the medullary dorsal horn receiving trigeminal nerve sensory innervation and the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). LC is a major source of CNS noradrenaline (NA) and a primary nucleus involved in pain modulation. Although descending inhibition of acute pain by LC is well established, contribution of the LC to facilitation of chronic neuropathic pain is also reported. In the present study, a rat orofacial pain model of trigeminal neuropathy was induced by chronic constrictive injury of the infraorbital nerve (CCI-ION). Orofacial neuropathic pain was indicated by development of whisker pad mechanical hypersensitivity. Hypersensitivity was alleviated by selective elimination of NA neurons, including LC (A6 cell group), with the neurotoxin anti-dopamine-β-hydroxylase saporin (anti-DβH-saporin) microinjected either intracerebroventricularly (i.c.v.) or into trigeminal spinal nucleus caudalis (spVc). The GABAA receptor antagonist, bicuculline, administered directly into LC (week 8) inhibited hypersensitivity. This indicates a valence shift in which increased GABAA signaling ongoing in LC after trigeminal nerve injury paradoxically produces excitatory facilitation of the chronic pain state. Microinjection of NAα1 receptor antagonist, benoxathian, into mPFC attenuated whisker pad hypersensitivity, while NAα2 receptor antagonist, idazoxan, was ineffective. Thus, GABAA-mediated activation of NA neurons during CCI-ION can facilitate hypersensitivity through NAα1 receptors in the mPFC. These data indicate LC is a chronic pain generator. Published by Elsevier Ltd on behalf of IBRO. PMID:27520081

  12. 5-HT2 receptors mediate functional modulation of GABAa receptors and inhibitory synaptic transmissions in human iPS-derived neurons

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Haitao; Hu, Lingli; Liu, Chunhua; Su, Zhenghui; Wang, Lihui; Pan, Guangjin; Guo, Yiping; He, Jufang

    2016-01-01

    Neural progenitors differentiated from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS) hold potentials for treating neurological diseases. Serotonin has potent effects on neuronal functions through multiple receptors, underlying a variety of neural disorders. Glutamate and GABA receptors have been proven functional in neurons differentiated from iPS, however, little is known about 5-HT receptor-mediated modulation in such neuronal networks. In the present study, human iPS were differentiated into cells possessing featured physiological properties of cortical neurons. Whole-cell patch-clamp recording was used to examine the involvement of 5-HT2 receptors in functional modulation of GABAergic synaptic transmission. We found that serotonin and DOI (a selective agonist of 5-HT2A/C receptor) reversibly reduced GABA-activated currents, and this 5-HT2A/C receptor mediated inhibition required G protein, PLC, PKC, and Ca2+ signaling. Serotonin increased the frequency of miniature inhibitory postsynaptic currents (mIPSCs), which could be mimicked by α-methylserotonin, a 5-HT2 receptor agonist. In contrast, DOI reduced both frequency and amplitude of mIPSCs. These findings suggested that in iPS-derived human neurons serotonin postsynaptically reduced GABAa receptor function through 5-HT2A/C receptors, but presynaptically other 5-HT2 receptors counteracted the action of 5-HT2A/C receptors. Functional expression of serotonin receptors in human iPS-derived neurons provides a pre-requisite for their normal behaviors after grafting. PMID:26837719

  13. Spinal vasopressin alleviates formalin-induced nociception by enhancing GABAA receptor function in mice.

    PubMed

    Peng, Fang; Qu, Zu-Wei; Qiu, Chun-Yu; Liao, Min; Hu, Wang-Ping

    2015-04-23

    Arginine vasopressin (AVP) plays a regulatory role in nociception. Intrathecal administration of AVP displays an antinociceptive effect. However, little is understood about the mechanism underlying spinal AVP analgesia. Here, we have found that spinal AVP dose dependently reduced the second, but not first, phase of formalin-induced spontaneous nociception in mice. The AVP analgesia was completely blocked by intrathecal injected SR 49059, a vasopressin-1A (V1A) receptor antagonist. However, spinal AVP failed to exert its antinociceptive effect on the second phase formalin-induced spontaneous nociception in V1A receptor knock-out (V1A-/-) mice. The AVP analgesia was also reversed by bicuculline, a GABAA receptor antagonist. Moreover, AVP potentiated GABA-activated currents in dorsal root ganglion neurons from wild-type littermates, but not from V1A-/- mice. Our results may reveal a novel spinal mechanism of AVP analgesia by enhancing the GABAA receptor function in the spinal cord through V1A receptors.

  14. Ethanol inhibits excitatory neurotransmission in the nucleus accumbens of adolescent mice through GABAA and GABAB receptors.

    PubMed

    Mishra, Devesh; Chergui, Karima

    2013-07-01

    Age-related differences in various acute physiological and behavioral effects of alcohol have been demonstrated in humans and in other species. Adolescents are more sensitive to positive reinforcing properties of alcohol than adults, but the cellular mechanisms that underlie such a difference are not clearly established. We, therefore, assessed age differences in the ability of ethanol to modulate glutamatergic synaptic transmission in the mouse nucleus accumbens (NAc), a brain region importantly involved in reward mechanisms. We measured field excitatory postsynaptic potentials/population spikes (fEPSP/PS) in NAc slices from adolescent (22-30 days old) and adult (5-8 months old) male mice. We found that 50mM ethanol applied in the perfusion solution inhibits glutamatergic neurotransmission in the NAc of adolescent, but not adult, mice. This effect is blocked by the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)A receptor antagonist bicuculline and by the GABAB receptor antagonist CGP 55845. Furthermore, bicuculline applied alone produces a stronger increase in the fEPSP/PS amplitude in adult mice than in adolescent mice. Activation of GABAA receptors with muscimol produces a stronger and longer lasting depression of neurotransmission in adolescent mice as compared with adult mice. Activation of GABAB receptors with SKF 97541 also depresses neurotransmission more strongly in adolescent than in adult mice. These results demonstrate that an increased GABA receptor function associated with a reduced inhibitory tone underlies the depressant action of ethanol on glutamatergic neurotransmission in the NAc of adolescent mice.

  15. Axon-to-Glia Interaction Regulates GABAA Receptor Expression in Oligodendrocytes.

    PubMed

    Arellano, Rogelio O; Sánchez-Gómez, María Victoria; Alberdi, Elena; Canedo-Antelo, Manuel; Chara, Juan Carlos; Palomino, Aitor; Pérez-Samartín, Alberto; Matute, Carlos

    2016-01-01

    Myelination requires oligodendrocyte-neuron communication, and both neurotransmitters and contact interactions are essential for this process. Oligodendrocytes are endowed with neurotransmitter receptors whose expression levels and properties may change during myelination. However, only scant information is available about the extent and timing of these changes or how they are regulated by oligodendrocyte-neuron interactions. Here, we used electrophysiology to study the expression of ionotropic GABA, glutamate, and ATP receptors in oligodendrocytes derived from the optic nerve and forebrain cultured either alone or in the presence of dorsal root ganglion neurons. We observed that oligodendrocytes from both regions responded to these transmitters at 1 day in culture. After the first day in culture, however, GABA sensitivity diminished drastically to less than 10%, while that of glutamate and ATP remained constant. In contrast, the GABA response amplitude was sustained and remained stable in oligodendrocytes cocultured with dorsal root ganglion neurons. Immunochemistry and pharmacological properties of the responses indicated that they were mediated by distinctive GABAA receptors and that in coculture with neurons, the oligodendrocytes bearing the receptors were those in direct contact with axons. These results reveal that GABAA receptor regulation in oligodendrocytes is driven by axonal cues and that GABA signaling may play a role in myelination and/or during axon-glia recognition.

  16. Enhancement of Inhibitory Neurotransmission by GABAA Receptors Having α2,3-Subunits Ameliorates Behavioral Deficits in a Mouse Model of Autism

    PubMed Central

    Han, Sung; Tai, Chao; Jones, Christina J.; Scheuer, Todd; Catterall, William A.

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) may arise from increased ratio of excitatory to inhibitory neurotransmission in the brain. Many pharmacological treatments have been tested in ASD, but only limited success has been achieved. Here we report that BTBR T+ Itpr3tf/J (BTBR) mice, a model of idiopathic autism, have reduced spontaneous GABAergic neurotransmission. Treatment with low non-sedating/non-anxiolytic doses of benzodiazepines, which increase inhibitory neurotransmission through positive allosteric modulation of postsynaptic GABAA receptors, improved deficits in social interaction, repetitive behavior, and spatial learning. Moreover, negative allosteric modulation of GABAA receptors impaired social behavior in C57BL/6J and 129SvJ wild-type mice, suggesting reduced inhibitory neurotransmission may contribute to social and cognitive deficits. The dramatic behavioral improvement after low-dose benzodiazepine treatment was subunit-specific—the α2,3-subunit-selective positive allosteric modulator L-838,417 was effective, but the α1-subunit-selective drug zolpidem exacerbated social deficits. Impaired GABAergic neurotransmission may contribute to ASD, and α2,3-subunit-selective positive GABAA receptor modulation may be an effective treatment. PMID:24656250

  17. Loss of functional GABAA receptors in the Alzheimer diseased brain

    PubMed Central

    Limon, Agenor; Reyes-Ruiz, Jorge Mauricio; Miledi, Ricardo

    2012-01-01

    The cholinergic and glutamatergic neurotransmission systems are known to be severely disrupted in Alzheimer's disease (AD). GABAergic neurotransmission, in contrast, is generally thought to be well preserved. Evidence from animal models and human postmortem tissue suggest GABAergic remodeling in the AD brain. Nevertheless, there is no information on changes, if any, in the electrophysiological properties of human native GABA receptors as a consequence of AD. To gain such information, we have microtransplanted cell membranes, isolated from temporal cortices of control and AD brains, into Xenopus oocytes, and recorded the electrophysiological activity of the transplanted GABA receptors. We found an age-dependent reduction of GABA currents in the AD brain. This reduction was larger when the AD membranes were obtained from younger subjects. We also found that GABA currents from AD brains have a faster rate of desensitization than those from non-AD brains. Furthermore, GABA receptors from AD brains were slightly, but significantly, less sensitive to GABA than receptors from non-AD brains. The reduction of GABA currents in AD was associated with reductions of mRNA and protein of the principal GABA receptor subunits normally present in the temporal cortex. Pairwise analysis of the transcripts within control and AD groups and analyses of the proportion of GABA receptor subunits revealed down-regulation of α1 and γ2 subunits in AD. In contrast, the proportions of α2, β1, and γ1 transcripts were up-regulated in the AD brains. Our data support a functional remodeling of GABAergic neurotransmission in the human AD brain. PMID:22691495

  18. Association between alcoholism and the genetic polymorphisms of the GABAA receptor genes on chromosome 5q33-34 in Korean population.

    PubMed

    Park, Chul-Soo; Park, So-Young; Lee, Chul-Soon; Sohn, Jin-Wook; Hahn, Gyu-Hee; Kim, Bong-Jo

    2006-06-01

    Family, twin, and adoption studies have demonstrated that genes play an important role in the development of alcoholism. We investigated the association between alcoholism and the genetic polymorphisms of the GABAA receptor genes on chromosome 5q33-34 in Korean population. The genotype of the GABAA receptor gene polymorphisms were determined by performing polymerase chain reaction genotyping for 172 normal controls and 162 male alcoholics who are hospitalized in alcoholism treatment institute. We found a significant association between the genetic polymorphisms of the GABAA alpha1 and GABAA alpha6 receptor gene and alcoholism. The GG genotype of the GABAA alpha1 receptor gene was associated with the onset age of alcoholism and alcohol withdrawal symptoms, and a high score on the Korean version of the ADS. However, there was no association between the genetic polymorphisms of the GABAA beta2 and gamma2 receptor gene and alcoholisms. Our finding suggest that genetic polymorphisms of the GABAA alpha1 and GABAA alpha6 receptor gene may be associated with the development of alcoholism and that the GG genotype of the GABAA alpha1 receptor gene play an important role in the development of the early onset and the severe type of alcoholism.

  19. Decreased GABAA Receptor Binding in the Medullary Serotonergic System In the Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Broadbelt, Kevin G.; Paterson, David S.; Belliveau, Richard A.; Trachtenberg, Felicia L.; Haas, Elisabeth A.; Stanley, Christina; Krous, Henry F.; Kinney, Hannah C.

    2011-01-01

    γ-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) neurons in the medulla oblongata help regulate homeostasis, in part through interactions with the medullary serotonergic (5-HT) system. Previously, we reported abnormalities in multiple 5-HT markers in the medullary 5-HT system of infants dying from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), suggesting that 5-HT dysfunction is involved in its pathogenesis. Here, we tested the hypothesis that markers of GABAA receptors are decreased in the medullary 5-HT system in SIDS cases compared to controls. Using tissue receptor autoradiography with the radioligand 3H-GABA, we found 25–52% reductions in GABAA receptor binding density in 7 of 10 key nuclei sampled of the medullary 5-HT system in the SIDS cases (postconceptional age [PCA] = 51.7 ± 8.3, n = 28) vs. age-adjusted controls (PCA = 55.3 ± 13.5, n = 8) (p ≤ 0.04). By Western blotting there was 46.2% reduction in GABAAα3 subunit levels in the gigantocellularis (component of the medullary 5-HT system) of SIDS cases (PCA = 53.9 ± 8.4, n = 24) vs. controls (PCA = 55.3 ± 8.3, n = 8) (56.8% standard in SIDS cases vs. 99.35% in controls; p = 0.026). These data suggest that medullary GABAA receptors are abnormal in SIDS infants and that SIDS is a complex disorder of a homeostatic network in the medulla that involves deficits of the GABAergic and 5-HT systems. PMID:21865888

  20. Rat alpha6beta2delta GABAA receptors exhibit two distinct and separable agonist affinities.

    PubMed

    Hadley, Stephen H; Amin, Jahanshah

    2007-06-15

    The onset of motor learning in rats coincides with exclusive expression of GABAA receptors containing alpha6 and delta subunits in the granule neurons of the cerebellum. This development temporally correlates with the presence of a spontaneously active chloride current through alpha6-containing GABAA receptors, known as tonic inhibition. Here we report that the coexpression of alpha6, beta2, and delta subunits produced receptor-channels which possessed two distinct and separable states of agonist affinity, one exhibiting micromolar and the other nanomolar affinities for GABA. The high-affinity state was associated with a significant level of spontaneous channel activity. Increasing the level of expression or the ratio of beta2 to alpha6 and delta subunits increased the prevalence of the high-affinity state. Comparative studies of alpha6beta2delta, alpha1beta2delta, alpha6beta2gamma2, alpha1beta2gamma2 and alpha4beta2delta receptors under equivalent levels of expression demonstrated that the significant level of spontaneous channel activity is uniquely attributable to alpha6beta2delta receptors. The pharmacology of spontaneous channel activity arising from alpha6beta2delta receptor expression corresponded to that of tonic inhibition. For example, GABAA receptor antagonists, including furosemide, blocked the spontaneous current. Further, the neuroactive steroid 5alpha-THDOC and classical glycine receptor agonists beta-alanine and taurine directly activated alpha6beta2delta receptors with high potency. Specific mutation within the GABA-dependent activation domain (betaY157F) impaired both low- and high-affinity components of GABA agonist activity in alpha6betaY157Fdelta receptors, but did not attenuate the spontaneous current. In comparison, a mutation located between the second and third transmembrane segments of the delta subunit (deltaR287M) significantly diminished the nanomolar component and the spontaneous activity. The possibility that the high affinity state

  1. Bicuculline, a GABAA-receptor antagonist, blocked HPA axis activation induced by ghrelin under an acute stress.

    PubMed

    Gastón, M S; Cid, M P; Salvatierra, N A

    2017-03-01

    Ghrelin is a peptide of 28 amino acids with a homology between species, which acts on the central nervous system to regulate different actions, including the control of growth hormone secretion and metabolic regulation. It has been suggested that central ghrelin is a mediator of behavior linked to stress responses and induces anxiety in rodents and birds. Previously, we observed that the anxiogenic-like behavior induced by ghrelin injected into the intermediate medial mesopallium (IMM) of the forebrain was blocked by bicuculline (a GABAA receptor competitive antagonist) but not by diazepam (a GABAA receptor allosteric agonist) in neonatal meat-type chicks (Cobb). Numerous studies have indicated that hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activation mediates the response to stress in mammals and birds. However, it is still unclear whether this effect of ghrelin is associated with HPA activation. Therefore, we investigated whether anxiety behavior induced by intra-IMM ghrelin and mediated through GABAA receptors could be associated with HPA axis activation in the neonatal chick. In the present study, in an Open Field test, intraperitoneal bicuculline methiodide blocked anxiogenic-like behavior as well as the increase in plasma ACTH and corticosterone levels induced by ghrelin (30pmol) in neonatal chicks. Moreover, we showed for the first time that a competitive antagonist of GABAA receptor suppressed the HPA axis activation induced by an anxiogenic dose of ghrelin. These results show that the anxiogenic ghrelin action involves the activation of the HPA axis, with a complex functional interaction with the GABAA receptor.

  2. GABAA Receptor α1 Subunit Mutation A322D Associated with Autosomal Dominant Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy Reduces the Expression and Alters the Composition of Wild Type GABAA Receptors*

    PubMed Central

    Ding, Li; Feng, Hua-Jun; Macdonald, Robert L.; Botzolakis, Emanuel J.; Hu, Ningning; Gallagher, Martin J.

    2010-01-01

    A GABAA receptor (GABAAR) α1 subunit mutation, A322D (AD), causes an autosomal dominant form of juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (ADJME). Previous studies demonstrated that the mutation caused α1(AD) subunit misfolding and rapid degradation, reducing its total and surface expression substantially. Here, we determined the effects of the residual α1(AD) subunit expression on wild type GABAAR expression to determine whether the AD mutation conferred a dominant negative effect. We found that although the α1(AD) subunit did not substitute for wild type α1 subunits on the cell surface, it reduced the surface expression of α1β2γ2 and α3β2γ2 receptors by associating with the wild type subunits within the endoplasmic reticulum and preventing them from trafficking to the cell surface. The α1(AD) subunit reduced surface expression of α3β2γ2 receptors by a greater amount than α1β2γ2 receptors, thus altering cell surface GABAAR composition. When transfected into cultured cortical neurons, the α1(AD) subunit altered the time course of miniature inhibitory postsynaptic current kinetics and reduced miniature inhibitory postsynaptic current amplitudes. These findings demonstrated that, in addition to causing a heterozygous loss of function of α1(AD) subunits, this epilepsy mutation also elicited a modest dominant negative effect that likely shapes the epilepsy phenotype. PMID:20551311

  3. Differential effects of chronic lorazepam and alprazolam on benzodiazepine binding and GABAA-receptor function.

    PubMed Central

    Galpern, W. R.; Miller, L. G.; Greenblatt, D. J.; Shader, R. I.

    1990-01-01

    1. Chronic benzodiazepine administration has been associated with tolerance and with downregulation of gamma-aminobutyric acidA (GABAA)-receptor binding and function. However, effects of individual benzodiazepines on brain regions have varied. 2. To compare the effects of chronic lorazepam and alprazolam, we have administered these drugs to mice for 1 and 7 days (2 mg kg-1 day-1) and determined benzodiazepine receptor binding in vivo with and without administration of CL 218,872, 25 mg kg-1 i.p., and GABA-dependent chloride uptake in 3 brain regions at these time points. 3. Benzodiazepine binding was decreased in the cortex and hippocampus at day 7 compared to day 1 of lorazepam, with an increase in CL 218,872-resistant (Type 2) sites in both regions. Maximal GABA-dependent chloride uptake was also decreased in the cortex and hippocampus at day 7. 4. Binding was decreased only in the cortex after 7 days of alprazolam, with no significant change in Type 2 binding. Maximal GABA-dependent chloride uptake was also decreased only in the cortex. 5. These data suggest that the effects of chronic benzodiazepine administration on the GABAA-receptor may be both region-specific and receptor subtype-specific. PMID:1964820

  4. Altered Channel Conductance States and Gating of GABAA Receptors by a Pore Mutation Linked to Dravet Syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Hernandez, Ciria C.; Kong, Weijing; Zhang, Yujia; Jackson, Laurel; Liu, Xiaoyan; Jiang, Yuwu

    2017-01-01

    Abstract We identified a de novo missense mutation, P302L, in the γ-aminobutyric acid type A (GABAA) receptor γ2 subunit gene GABRG2 in a patient with Dravet syndrome using targeted next-generation sequencing. The mutation was in the cytoplasmic portion of the transmembrane segment M2 of the γ2 subunit that faces the pore lumen. GABAA receptor α1 and β3 subunits were coexpressed with wild-type (wt) γ2L or mutant γ2L(P302L) subunits in HEK 293T cells and cultured mouse cortical neurons. We measured currents using whole-cell and single-channel patch clamp techniques, surface and total expression levels using surface biotinylation and Western blotting, and potential structural perturbations in mutant GABAA receptors using structural modeling. The γ2(P302L) subunit mutation produced an ∼90% reduction of whole-cell current by increasing macroscopic desensitization and reducing GABA potency, which resulted in a profound reduction of GABAA receptor-mediated miniature IPSCs (mIPSCs). The conductance of the receptor channel was reduced to 24% of control conductance by shifting the relative contribution of the conductance states from high- to low-conductance levels with only slight changes in receptor surface expression. Structural modeling of the GABAA receptor in the closed, open, and desensitized states showed that the mutation was positioned to slow activation, enhance desensitization, and shift channels to a low-conductance state by reshaping the hour-glass-like pore cavity during transitions between closed, open, and desensitized states. Our study revealed a novel γ2 subunit missense mutation (P302L) that has a novel pathogenic mechanism to cause defects in the conductance and gating of GABAA receptors, which results in hyperexcitability and contributes to the pathogenesis of the genetic epilepsy Dravet syndrome. PMID:28197552

  5. The general anesthetic propofol excites nociceptors by activating TRPV1 and TRPA1 rather than GABAA receptors.

    PubMed

    Fischer, Michael J M; Leffler, Andreas; Niedermirtl, Florian; Kistner, Katrin; Eberhardt, Mirjam; Reeh, Peter W; Nau, Carla

    2010-11-05

    Anesthetic agents can induce a paradox activation and sensitization of nociceptive sensory neurons and, thus, potentially facilitate pain processing. Here we identify distinct molecular mechanisms that mediate an activation of sensory neurons by 2,6-diisopropylphenol (propofol), a commonly used intravenous anesthetic known to elicit intense pain upon injection. Clinically relevant concentrations of propofol activated the recombinant transient receptor potential (TRP) receptors TRPA1 and TRPV1 heterologously expressed in HEK293t cells. In dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons, propofol-induced activation correlated better to expression of TRPA1 than of TRPV1. However, pretreatment with the protein kinase C activator 4β-phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) resulted in a significantly sensitized propofol-induced activation of TRPV1 in DRG neurons as well as in HEK293t cells. Pharmacological and genetic silencing of both TRPA1 and TRPV1 only partially abrogated propofol-induced responses in DRG neurons. The remaining propofol-induced activation was abolished by the selective γ-aminobutyric acid, type A (GABA(A)) receptor antagonist picrotoxin. Propofol but not GABA evokes a release of calcitonin gene-related peptide, a key component of neurogenic inflammation, from isolated peripheral nerves of wild-type but not TRPV1 and TRPA1-deficient mice. Moreover, propofol but not GABA induced an intense pain upon intracutaneous injection. As both the release of calcitonin gene-related peptide and injection pain by propofol seem to be independent of GABA(A) receptors, our data identify TRPV1 and TRPA1 as key molecules for propofol-induced excitation of sensory neurons. This study warrants further investigations into the role of anesthetics to induce nociceptor sensitization and to foster postoperative pain.

  6. The General Anesthetic Propofol Excites Nociceptors by Activating TRPV1 and TRPA1 Rather than GABAA Receptors*

    PubMed Central

    Fischer, Michael J. M.; Leffler, Andreas; Niedermirtl, Florian; Kistner, Katrin; Eberhardt, Mirjam; Reeh, Peter W.; Nau, Carla

    2010-01-01

    Anesthetic agents can induce a paradox activation and sensitization of nociceptive sensory neurons and, thus, potentially facilitate pain processing. Here we identify distinct molecular mechanisms that mediate an activation of sensory neurons by 2,6-diisopropylphenol (propofol), a commonly used intravenous anesthetic known to elicit intense pain upon injection. Clinically relevant concentrations of propofol activated the recombinant transient receptor potential (TRP) receptors TRPA1 and TRPV1 heterologously expressed in HEK293t cells. In dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons, propofol-induced activation correlated better to expression of TRPA1 than of TRPV1. However, pretreatment with the protein kinase C activator 4β-phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) resulted in a significantly sensitized propofol-induced activation of TRPV1 in DRG neurons as well as in HEK293t cells. Pharmacological and genetic silencing of both TRPA1 and TRPV1 only partially abrogated propofol-induced responses in DRG neurons. The remaining propofol-induced activation was abolished by the selective γ-aminobutyric acid, type A (GABAA) receptor antagonist picrotoxin. Propofol but not GABA evokes a release of calcitonin gene-related peptide, a key component of neurogenic inflammation, from isolated peripheral nerves of wild-type but not TRPV1 and TRPA1-deficient mice. Moreover, propofol but not GABA induced an intense pain upon intracutaneous injection. As both the release of calcitonin gene-related peptide and injection pain by propofol seem to be independent of GABAA receptors, our data identify TRPV1 and TRPA1 as key molecules for propofol-induced excitation of sensory neurons. This study warrants further investigations into the role of anesthetics to induce nociceptor sensitization and to foster postoperative pain. PMID:20826794

  7. Recombinant GABAA receptor desensitization: the role of the gamma 2 subunit and its physiological significance.

    PubMed

    Dominguez-Perrot, C; Feltz, P; Poulter, M O

    1996-11-15

    1. The purpose of these investigations was to examine the role that the gamma 2 subunit plays in human GABAA receptor desensitization. Two different recombinant GABAA receptors (alpha 1 beta 3 and alpha 1 beta 3 gamma 2) were compared by measuring the relaxation of whole-cell currents during the application of GABA, isoguvacine or taurine. 2. At concentrations which trigger a maximum response (100-500 microM GABA) the current relaxation usually fitted the sum of two exponentials. For alpha 1 beta 3 subunit receptors these values were tau 1 = 145 +/- 12 ms and tau 2 = 6.3 +/- 2.1 s (means +/- S.E.M.). Receptors consisting of alpha 1 beta 3 gamma 2 subunits desensitized faster: tau 1 = 41.6 +/- 8.3 ms and tau 2 = 2.4 +/- 0.6 s. 3. The Hill slope, determined for each receptor subunit combination, was the same and greater than 1.0, implying two binding steps in the activation of both receptor subunit combinations. 4. For alpha 1 beta 3 subunit receptors the fast desensitization rates were unaltered by reducing the GABA concentration from the EC100 (100 microM) to the approximate EC50 values (10-20 microM), whereas for alpha 1 beta 3 gamma 2 subunit receptors a significant slowing was observed. The fast desensitization disappeared at agonist concentrations below the EC50 for both subunit combinations. In contrast, the slow desensitization appeared at agonist concentrations near the EC20. This rate was dependent on agonist concentration reaching a maximum near the EC60 value of GABA. 5. The fast desensitization rates were unaltered by changing the holding potential of the cell during agonist application. However, for alpha 1 beta 3 gamma 2 subunit receptors the slow desensitization rate increased by approximately 15- to 20-fold over the range of voltages of -60 to +40 mV. This indicates that the gamma 2 subunit makes GABAA receptor desensitization voltage dependent. 6. Recovery from desensitization was also biphasic. The first recovery phase was faster for alpha 1 beta 3

  8. Neuroprotection by steroids after neurotrauma in organotypic spinal cord cultures: a key role for progesterone receptors and steroidal modulators of GABA(A) receptors.

    PubMed

    Labombarda, Florencia; Ghoumari, Abdel Moumen; Liere, Philippe; De Nicola, Alejandro F; Schumacher, Michael; Guennoun, Rachida

    2013-08-01

    Progesterone is neuroprotective after spinal cord injury, however its mechanism of action remains unexplored. Here we used organotypic spinal cord slice cultures from 3 weeks-old mice to evaluate the mechanisms of neuroprotection by progesterone and its 5α-reduced metabolites. In vitro spinal cord injury, using a weight drop model, induced a decrease in the number of motoneurons. This was correlated with an increase in the number of dying cells (PI⁺ cells) and in LDH release. Addition of 10 μM of progesterone, 5α-dihydroprogesterone (5α-DHP) or allopregnanolone (3α, 5α-tetrahydroprogesterone) to the medium at the time of injury rescued the spinal cord slices from the effects of damage. Progesterone prevented membrane cell damage, motoneuron loss and cell death. These effects were not due to its bioconversion to 5α-DHP nor to allopregnanolone, as supported by the finasteride, an inhibitor of 5α-reductase enzymes, and by the absence of 5α-reduced progesterone metabolites in the slices analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The neuroprotective effects of progesterone required PR as they could not be observed in slices from homozygous knockout PR(-/-) mice. Allopregnanolone treatment was also neuroprotective. Its effects were not due to its bioconversion back to 5α-DHP, which can activate gene transcription via PR, because they were still observed in slices from knockout PR(-/-) mice. Allopregnanolone effects involved GABA(A) receptors, as they were inhibited by the selective GABA(A) receptor antagonist Gabazine, in both PR(+/+) and PR(-/-) mice. Altogether, these findings identify both PR and GABA(A) receptors as important targets for neuroprotection by progestagens after spinal cord injury. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. γ1-Containing GABA-A Receptors Cluster at Synapses Where they Mediate Slower Synaptic Currents than γ2-Containing GABA-A Receptors.

    PubMed

    Dixon, Christine L; Sah, Pankaj; Keramidas, Angelo; Lynch, Joseph W; Durisic, Nela

    2017-01-01

    GABA-A receptors (GABAARs) are pentameric ligand-gated ion channels that are assembled mainly from α (α1-6), β (β1-3) and γ (γ1-3) subunits. Although GABAARs containing γ2L subunits mediate most of the inhibitory neurotransmission in the brain, significant expression of γ1 subunits is seen in the amygdala, pallidum and substantia nigra. However, the location and function of γ1-containing GABAARs in these regions remains unclear. In "artificial" synapses, where the subunit composition of postsynaptic receptors is specifically controlled, γ1 incorporation slows the synaptic current decay rate without affecting channel deactivation, suggesting that γ1-containing receptors are not clustered and therefore activated by diffuse neurotransmitter. However, we show that γ1-containing receptors are localized at neuronal synapses and form clusters in both synaptic and extrasynaptic regions. In addition, they exhibit rapid membrane diffusion and a higher frequency of exchange between synaptic and perisynaptic populations compared to γ2L-containing GABAARs. A point mutation in the large intracellular domain and a pharmacological analysis reveal that when a single non-conserved γ2L residue is mutated to its γ1 counterpart (T349L), the synaptic current decay is slowed from γ2L- to γ1-like without changing the clustering or diffusion properties of the receptors. In addition, previous fast perfusion and single channel kinetic experiments revealed no difference in the intrinsic closing rates of γ2L- and γ1-containing receptors when expressed in HEK293 cells. These observations together with Monte Carlo simulations of synaptic function confirm that decreased clustering does not control γ1-containing GABAAR kinetics. Rather, they suggest that γ1- and γ2L-containing receptors exhibit differential synaptic current decay rates due to differential gating dynamics when localized at the synapse.

  10. Role of spinal GABAA receptors in pudendal inhibition of nociceptive and nonnociceptive bladder reflexes in cats.

    PubMed

    Xiao, Zhiying; Reese, Jeremy; Schwen, Zeyad; Shen, Bing; Wang, Jicheng; Roppolo, James R; de Groat, William C; Tai, Changfeng

    2014-04-01

    Picrotoxin, an antagonist for γ-aminobutyric acid receptor subtype A (GABAA), was used to investigate the role of GABAA receptors in nociceptive and nonnociceptive reflex bladder activities and pudendal inhibition of these activities in cats under α-chloralose anesthesia. Acetic acid (AA; 0.25%) was used to irritate the bladder and induce nociceptive bladder overactivity, while saline was used to distend the bladder and induce nonnociceptive bladder activity. To modulate the bladder reflex, pudendal nerve stimulation (PNS) was applied at multiple threshold (T) intensities for inducing anal sphincter twitching. AA irritation significantly (P < 0.01) reduced bladder capacity to 34.3 ± 7.1% of the saline control capacity, while PNS at 2T and 4T significantly (P < 0.01) increased AA bladder capacity to 84.0 ± 7.8 and 93.2 ± 15.0%, respectively, of the saline control. Picrotoxin (0.4 mg it) did not change AA bladder capacity but completely removed PNS inhibition of AA-induced bladder overactivity. Picrotoxin (iv) only increased AA bladder capacity at a high dose (0.3 mg/kg) but significantly (P < 0.05) reduced 2T PNS inhibition at low doses (0.01-0.1 mg/kg). During saline cystometry, PNS significantly (P < 0.01) increased bladder capacity to 147.0 ± 7.6% at 2T and 172.7 ± 8.9% at 4T of control capacity, and picrotoxin (0.4 mg it or 0.03-0.3 mg/kg iv) also significantly (P < 0.05) increased bladder capacity. However, picrotoxin treatment did not alter PNS inhibition during saline infusion. These results indicate that spinal GABAA receptors have different roles in controlling nociceptive and nonnociceptive reflex bladder activities and in PNS inhibition of these activities.

  11. Role of spinal GABAA receptors in pudendal inhibition of nociceptive and nonnociceptive bladder reflexes in cats

    PubMed Central

    Xiao, Zhiying; Reese, Jeremy; Schwen, Zeyad; Shen, Bing; Wang, Jicheng; Roppolo, James R.; de Groat, William C.

    2014-01-01

    Picrotoxin, an antagonist for γ-aminobutyric acid receptor subtype A (GABAA), was used to investigate the role of GABAA receptors in nociceptive and nonnociceptive reflex bladder activities and pudendal inhibition of these activities in cats under α-chloralose anesthesia. Acetic acid (AA; 0.25%) was used to irritate the bladder and induce nociceptive bladder overactivity, while saline was used to distend the bladder and induce nonnociceptive bladder activity. To modulate the bladder reflex, pudendal nerve stimulation (PNS) was applied at multiple threshold (T) intensities for inducing anal sphincter twitching. AA irritation significantly (P < 0.01) reduced bladder capacity to 34.3 ± 7.1% of the saline control capacity, while PNS at 2T and 4T significantly (P < 0.01) increased AA bladder capacity to 84.0 ± 7.8 and 93.2 ± 15.0%, respectively, of the saline control. Picrotoxin (0.4 mg it) did not change AA bladder capacity but completely removed PNS inhibition of AA-induced bladder overactivity. Picrotoxin (iv) only increased AA bladder capacity at a high dose (0.3 mg/kg) but significantly (P < 0.05) reduced 2T PNS inhibition at low doses (0.01–0.1 mg/kg). During saline cystometry, PNS significantly (P < 0.01) increased bladder capacity to 147.0 ± 7.6% at 2T and 172.7 ± 8.9% at 4T of control capacity, and picrotoxin (0.4 mg it or 0.03–0.3 mg/kg iv) also significantly (P < 0.05) increased bladder capacity. However, picrotoxin treatment did not alter PNS inhibition during saline infusion. These results indicate that spinal GABAA receptors have different roles in controlling nociceptive and nonnociceptive reflex bladder activities and in PNS inhibition of these activities. PMID:24523385

  12. Structure of excitatory synapses and GABAA receptor localization at inhibitory synapses are regulated by neuroplastin-65.

    PubMed

    Herrera-Molina, Rodrigo; Sarto-Jackson, Isabella; Montenegro-Venegas, Carolina; Heine, Martin; Smalla, Karl-Heinz; Seidenbecher, Constanze I; Beesley, Philip W; Gundelfinger, Eckart D; Montag, Dirk

    2014-03-28

    Formation, maintenance, and activity of excitatory and inhibitory synapses are essential for neuronal network function. Cell adhesion molecules (CAMs) are crucially involved in these processes. The CAM neuroplastin-65 (Np65) highly expressed during periods of synapse formation and stabilization is present at the pre- and postsynaptic membranes. Np65 can translocate into synapses in response to electrical stimulation and it interacts with subtypes of GABAA receptors in inhibitory synapses. Here, we report that in the murine hippocampus and in hippocampal primary culture, neurons of the CA1 region and the dentate gyrus (DG) express high Np65 levels, whereas expression in CA3 neurons is lower. In neuroplastin-deficient (Np(-/-)) mice the number of excitatory synapses in CA1 and DG, but not CA3 regions is reduced. Notably this picture is mirrored in mature Np(-/-) hippocampal cultures or in mature CA1 and DG wild-type (Np(+/+)) neurons treated with a function-blocking recombinant Np65-Fc extracellular fragment. Although the number of GABAergic synapses was unchanged in Np(-/-) neurons or in mature Np65-Fc-treated Np(+/+) neurons, the ratio of excitatory to inhibitory synapses was significantly lower in Np(-/-) cultures. Furthermore, GABAA receptor composition was altered at inhibitory synapses in Np(-/-) neurons as the α1 to α2 GABAA receptor subunit ratio was increased. Changes of excitatory and inhibitory synaptic function in Np(-/-) neurons were confirmed evaluating the presynaptic release function and using patch clamp recording. These data demonstrate that Np65 is an important regulator of the number and function of synapses in the hippocampus.

  13. Prelimbic cortex GABAA receptors are involved in the mediation of restraint stress-evoked cardiovascular responses.

    PubMed

    Fassini, Aline; Resstel, Leonardo B M; Corrêa, Fernando M A

    2016-11-01

    Stress is a response of the organism to homeostasis-threatening stimuli and is coordinated by two main neural systems: the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal and the autonomic nervous system. Acute restraint stress (RS) is a model of unavoidable stress, which is characterized by autonomic responses including an increase in mean arterial pressure (MAP) and heart rate (HR), as well as a drop in tail temperature. The prelimbic cortex (PL) has been implicated in the modulation of functional responses caused by RS. The present study aimed to evaluate the role of PL GABAergic neurotransmission in the modulation of autonomic changes induced by RS. Bilateral microinjection of the GABAA receptor antagonist bicuculline methiodide into the PL reduced pressor and tachycardic responses evoked by RS, in a dose-dependent manner, without affecting the tail temperature drop evoked by RS. In order to investigate which peripheral autonomic effector modulated the reduction in RS-cardiovascular responses caused by the blockade of PL GABAA receptors, rats were intravenously pretreated with either atenolol or homatropine methylbromide. The blockade of the cardiac sympathetic nervous system with atenolol blunted the reducing effect of PL treatment with bicuculline methiodide on RS-evoked pressor and tachycardic responses. The blockade of the parasympathetic nervous system with homatropine methylbromide, regardless of affecting the beginning of the tachycardic response, did not impact on the reduction of RS-evoked tachycardic and pressor responses caused by the PL treatment with bicuculline methiodide. The present results indicate that both cardiac sympathetic and parasympathetic activities are involved in the reduction of RS-evoked cardiovascular responses evidenced after the blockade of PL GABAA receptors by bicuculline methiodide.

  14. Local oxytocin tempers anxiety by activating GABAA receptors in the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Adam S.; Tabbaa, Manal; Lei, Kelly; Eastham, Patrick; Butler, Michael J.; Linton, Latanya; Altshuler, Randy; Liu, Yan; Wang, Zuoxin

    2015-01-01

    Oxytocin (Oxt) is released in various hypothalamic and extrahypothalamic brain areas in response to anxiogenic stimuli to regulate aspects of emotionality and stress coping. We examined the anxiolytic action of Oxt in the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN) while appraising if Oxt recruits GABA neurons to inhibit the behavioral, hormonal, and neuronal response to stress in female prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster). Voles received an injection of Oxt in the PVN either before or after an elevated platform stress to determine a time-course for the effects of Oxt on the hormonal stress response. Subsequently, we evaluated if ante-stress injections of Oxt affected anxiety-like behaviors as well as neuronal activity in the PVN, using real-time in-vivo retrodialysis and immunohistochemistry with c-Fos expression as a biomarker of neural activity. In addition, we exposed voles to Oxt and a GABAA receptor antagonist, concurrently, to evaluate the impact of pharmacological blockade of GABAA receptors on the anxiolytic effects of Oxt. Elevated platform stress amplified anxiety-like behaviors and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activity—catalyzing corticotrophin-releasing hormone (CRH) neuronal activity and augmenting corticosterone release in circulation. Ante-stress Oxt injections in the PVN blocked these stress effects while promoting PVN GABA activity and release. Post-stress Oxt treatments were ineffective. The anxiolytic effects of Oxt were hindered by concurrent pharmacological blockade of GABAA receptors. Together, our data demonstrate ante-stress treatments of Oxt in the PVN inhibit stress activation of the HPA axis through recruitment of GABAergic neurons, providing insights to the local circuitry and potential therapeutically-relevant mechanisms. PMID:26415118

  15. GABA(A) receptor mediated inhibition contributes to corticostriatal frequency filtering.

    PubMed

    Jelinek, Devin A; Partridge, L Donald

    2012-11-21

    The striatum plays an important role in the initiation and learning of skilled motor behavior [6] and receives topographic input from most areas of the cortex. Cortical afferents make divergent contact with many striatal medium spiny neurons while individual medium spiny neurons receive tens of thousands of these glutamatergic synapses [13]. Temporal filtering of frequency information within synaptic fields plays an important role in the processing of neuronal signals. We have previously shown differential filtering characteristics within CA1, CA3, and the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus [26] and have now extended these studies to the cortical input to the dorsal striatum in order to address the network filtering characteristics in this important synaptic field. We measured field potentials of striatal medium spiny neurons in response to layer V cortical input over a range of stimulus frequencies from 2Hz to 100Hz. The average population spike amplitude in response to these stimulus trains exhibited a non-linear relationship to frequency, with characteristics of a low pass filter. In order to assess potential modulation of these filter properties, we examined the frequency response in the presence of antagonists to CB1, D2, nACh, and GABA(A) receptors, which are all known to be expressed at these synapses [13]. Of these, only GABA(A) receptor antagonists significantly modulated the frequency filtering characteristics over the examined frequency range. High frequency stimulation induces long term plasticity at corticostriatal synapses [4] and this process is strengthened when GABA(A) receptors are blocked [7,20,29]. Our results suggest a model whereby a temporary decrease in GABA level would modulate the filtering parameters of the corticostriatal circuit, allowing a more robust induction of high frequency-dependent plasticity. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. GABAA receptor epsilon subunit expression in identified peptidergic neurons of the rat hypothalamus.

    PubMed

    Moragues, Nathalie; Ciofi, Philippe; Lafon, Pierrette; Tramu, Gérard; Garret, Maurice

    2003-03-28

    Dual-labeling immunohistochemical or in situ hybridization studies for the recently cloned epsilon-subunit and several neuropeptides were performed in the rat hypothalamus. We revealed an extensive co-expression (>90%) with hypocretin (Hcrt), oxytocin (OT), the gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), and the melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) peptides, whereas occasional co-expression (<10%) with cocaine-amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART) was found. Our results suggest that novel GABA(A) receptor subtypes comprising epsilon-subunit are important for metabolic and neuroendocrine functions.

  17. Role of GABAA and GABAB receptors and peripheral cholinergic mechanisms in the antinociceptive action of taurine.

    PubMed

    Serrano, M I; Serrano, J S; Guerrero, M R; Fernández, A

    1994-10-01

    1. Gabaergic and cholinergic mediation in the antinociceptive effect of taurine has been investigated in mice (acetic acid test) and rats (tail-flick test). 2. Scopolamine sulfate and methylnitrate exhibit intrinsic antinociceptive activity and increase the effect of taurine in mice. 3. Baclofen also increases the antinociceptive effect of taurine in mice. 4. Anticholinergic agents and bicuculline but not CGP 35348 antagonize the effect of taurine in rats. 5. These results suggest that the antinociceptive effect of taurine may be partly mediated by spinal GABAA receptors and peripheral cholinergic mechanisms.

  18. Evidence that GABAA receptors mediate relaxation of rat duodenum by activating intramural nonadrenergic-noncholinergic neurones.

    PubMed

    Maggi, C A; Manzini, S; Meli, A

    1984-06-01

    GABA produced rapid and transient relaxation of rat duodenum. Homotaurine (3-aminopropansulphonic acid) but not (+/-)-baclofen had a GABA-like effect. GABA-induced relaxation was almost completely inhibited by tetrodotoxin but was unaffected by atropine. Cross desensitization developed between GABA and homotaurine but not between GABA and (+/-)-baclofen. The concentration response curve to the relaxant effects of GABA was shifted to the right by both bicuculline and picrotoxin. However maximal relaxation was still produced by GABA in the presence of bicuculline but not in the presence of picrotoxin. GABA-induced relaxation was not affected by prazosin, yohimbine, propranolol or reserpine pretreatment. Field stimulation (0.1 Hz) of rat isolated duodenum in the presence of atropine and guanethidine produced relaxation similar to that produced by GABA. The ganglionic stimulant DMPP produced a similar effect. Neither Met-enkephalin, noradrenaline, 5-HT, histamine, VIP or arachidonic acid could be held responsible for GABA-induced neurogenic relaxation of rat duodenum. ATP produced relaxations which closely mimicked those produced by either GABA or field stimulation. Exposure to ATP desensitized responses to both GABA and field stimulation to about the same extent. ATP, GABA and field stimulation-induced relaxation was unaffected by either theophylline or indomethacin, but was significantly and selectively antagonized by apamin. In conclusion, GABA-induced relaxation of rat isolated duodenum is largely dependent upon activation of intra-mural nonadrenergic-noncholinergic neurones. The GABA receptor involved appears to be of the GABAA subtype. Circumstantial evidence is provided indicating that ATP might be the endogenous substance released by GABA.

  19. GABAA-receptor activation in the subthalamic nucleus compensates behavioral asymmetries in the hemiparkinsonian rat.

    PubMed

    Petri, David; Pum, Martin; Vesper, Jan; Huston, Joseph P; Schnitzler, Alfons

    2013-09-01

    The subthalamic nucleus (STN) has a pivotal role in the pathophysiology of Parkinson's disease (PD). Modulation of STN activity (by lesions, pharmacological or electrical stimulation) has been shown to improve motor parameters in PD patients and in animal models of PD. In an attempt to characterize the neurochemical bases for such antiparkinsonian action, we address specific neurotransmitter systems via local pharmacological manipulation of the STN in hemiparkinsonian rats. Here, we have focused on the GABAergic and glutamatergic receptors in the STN. In animals with unilateral 6-hydroxydopamine lesions of the nigro-striatal tract, we administered either the selective GABAA-agonist muscimol (0.5 μg and 1.0 μg), the non-competitive N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA)-antagonist MK-801 (dizocilpine; 2.5 μg), or vehicle (0.25 μl) into the STN. The effects of GABAergic and glutamatergic modulation of the STN on motor parameters were assessed by gauging rotational behavior and locomotion. Application of muscimol ipsilateral to the side of dopamine-depletion influenced turning behavior in a dose-dependent fashion, with the low dose re-adjusting turning behavior to a non-biased distribution, and the high dose evoking contraversive turning. The administration of MK-801 did not have such effects. These findings give evidence for the involvement of GABAergic activation in the STN in the compensation of motor asymmetries in the hemiparkinsonian rat, whereas N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA)-antagonism was ineffective in this model of PD.

  20. Seeking potential anticonvulsant agents that target GABAA receptors using experimental and theoretical procedures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saavedra-Vélez, Margarita Virginia; Correa-Basurto, José; Matus, Myrna H.; Gasca-Pérez, Eloy; Bello, Martiniano; Cuevas-Hernández, Roberto; García-Rodríguez, Rosa Virginia; Trujillo-Ferrara, José; Ramos-Morales, Fernando Rafael

    2014-12-01

    The aim of this study was to identify compounds that possess anticonvulsant activity by using a pentylenetetrazol (PTZ)-induced seizure model. Theoretical studies of a set of ligands, explored the binding affinities of the ligands for the GABAA receptor (GABAAR), including some benzodiazepines. The ligands satisfy the Lipinski rules and contain a pharmacophore core that has been previously reported to be a GABAAR activator. To select the ligands with the best physicochemical properties, all of the compounds were analyzed by quantum mechanics and the energies of the highest occupied molecular orbital and lowest unoccupied molecular orbital were determined. Docking calculations between the ligands and the GABAAR were used to identify the complexes with the highest Gibbs binding energies. The identified compound D1 (dibenzo( b,f)(1,4)diazocine-6,11(5H,12H)-dione) was synthesized, experimentally tested, and the GABAAR-D1 complex was submitted to 12-ns-long molecular dynamics (MD) simulations to corroborate the binding conformation obtained by docking techniques. MD simulations were also used to analyze the decomposition of the Gibbs binding energy of the residues involved in the stabilization of the complex. To validate our theoretical results, molecular docking and MD simulations were also performed for three reference compounds that are currently in commercial use: clonazepam (CLZ), zolpidem and eszopiclone. The theoretical results show that the GABAAR-D1, and GABAAR-CLZ complexes bind to the benzodiazepine binding site, share a similar map of binding residues, and have similar Gibbs binding energies and entropic components. Experimental studies using a PTZ-induced seizure model showed that D1 possesses similar activity to CLZ, which corroborates the predicted binding free energy identified by theoretical calculations.

  1. Allosteric modulation of nicotinic and GABAA receptor subtypes differentially modify autism-like behaviors in the BTBR mouse model.

    PubMed

    Yoshimura, Ryan F; Tran, Minhtam B; Hogenkamp, Derk J; Ayala, Narielle L; Johnstone, Timothy; Dunnigan, Andrew J; Gee, Timothy K; Gee, Kelvin W

    2017-08-24

    Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is associated with two core symptoms (social communication deficits and stereotyped repetitive behaviors) in addition to a number of comorbidities. There are no FDA-approved drugs for the core symptoms and the changes that underlie these behaviors are not fully understood. One hypothesis is an imbalance of the excitation (E)/inhibition (I) ratio with excessive E and diminished I occurring in specific neuronal circuits. Data suggests that both gamma-aminobutyric acidA (GABAA) and α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) significantly impact E/I. BTBR T(+)tf/J (BTBR) mice are a model that display an autism-like phenotype with impaired social interaction and stereotyped behavior. A β2/3-subunit containing GABAA receptor (GABAAR) subtype selective positive allosteric modulator (PAM), 2-261, and an α7 nAChR subtype selective PAM, AVL-3288, were tested in social approach and repetitive self-grooming paradigms. 2-261 was active in the social approach but not the self-grooming paradigm, whereas AVL-3288 was active in both. Neither compound impaired locomotor activity. Modulating α7 nAChRs alone may be sufficient to correct these behavioral and cognitive deficits. GABAergic and nicotinic compounds are already in various stages of clinical testing for treatment of the core symptoms and comorbidities associated with ASD. Our findings and those of others suggest that compounds that have selective activities at GABAAR subtypes and the α7 nAChR may address not only the core symptoms, but many of the associated comorbidities as well and warrant further investigation in other models of ASD. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Channel opening by anesthetics and GABA induces similar changes in the GABAA receptor M2 segment.

    PubMed

    Rosen, Ayelet; Bali, Moez; Horenstein, Jeffrey; Akabas, Myles H

    2007-05-01

    For many general anesthetics, their molecular basis of action involves interactions with GABA(A) receptors. Anesthetics produce concentration-dependent effects on GABA(A) receptors. Low concentrations potentiate submaximal GABA-induced currents. Higher concentrations directly activate the receptors. Functional effects of anesthetics have been characterized, but little is known about the conformational changes they induce. We probed anesthetic-induced conformational changes in the M2 membrane-spanning, channel-lining segment using disulfide trapping between engineered cysteines. Previously, we showed that oxidation by copper phenanthroline in the presence of GABA of the M2 6' cysteine mutants, alpha(1)T261Cbeta(1)T256C and alpha(1)beta(1)T256C resulted in formation of an intersubunit disulfide bond between the adjacent beta-subunits that significantly increased the channels' spontaneous open probability. Oxidation in GABA's absence had no effect. We examined the effect on alpha(1)T261Cbeta(1)T256C and on alpha(1)beta(1)T256C of oxidation by copper phenanthroline in the presence of potentiating and directly activating concentrations of the general anesthetics propofol, pentobarbital, and isoflurane. Oxidation in the presence of potentiating concentration of anesthetics had little effect. Oxidation in the presence of directly activating anesthetic concentrations significantly increased the channels' spontaneous open probability. We infer that activation by anesthetics and GABA induces a similar conformational change at the M2 segment 6' position that is related to channel opening.

  3. Participation of central GABAA receptors in the trigeminal processing of mechanical allodynia in rats

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Min Ji; Park, Young Hong; Yang, Kui Ye; Ju, Jin Sook; Bae, Yong Chul

    2017-01-01

    Here we investigated the central processing mechanisms of mechanical allodynia and found a direct excitatory link with low-threshold input to nociceptive neurons. Experiments were performed on male Sprague-Dawley rats weighing 230-280 g. Subcutaneous injection of interleukin 1 beta (IL-1β) (1 ng/10 µL) was used to produce mechanical allodynia and thermal hyperalgesia. Intracisternal administration of bicuculline, a gamma aminobutyric acid A (GABAA) receptor antagonist, produced mechanical allodynia in the orofacial area under normal conditions. However, intracisternal administration of bicuculline (50 ng) produced a paradoxical anti-allodynic effect under inflammatory pain conditions. Pretreatment with resiniferatoxin (RTX), which depletes capsaicin receptor protein in primary afferent fibers, did not alter the paradoxical anti-allodynic effects produced by the intracisternal injection of bicuculline. Intracisternal injection of bumetanide, an Na-K-Cl cotransporter (NKCC 1) inhibitor, reversed the IL-1β-induced mechanical allodynia. In the control group, application of GABA (100 µM) or muscimol (3 µM) led to membrane hyperpolarization in gramicidin perforated current clamp mode. However, in some neurons, application of GABA or muscimol led to membrane depolarization in the IL-1β-treated rats. These results suggest that some large myelinated Aβ fibers gain access to the nociceptive system and elicit pain sensation via GABAA receptors under inflammatory pain conditions. PMID:28066142

  4. Neurosteroids shift partial agonist activation of GABA(A) receptor channels from low- to high-efficacy gating patterns.

    PubMed

    Bianchi, Matt T; Macdonald, Robert L

    2003-11-26

    Although GABA activates synaptic (alphabetagamma) GABA(A) receptors with high efficacy, partial agonist activation of alphabetagamma isoforms and GABA activation of the primary extrasynaptic (alphabetadelta) GABA(A) receptors are limited to low-efficacy activity, characterized by minimal desensitization and brief openings. The unusual sensitivity of alphabetadelta receptor channels to neurosteroid modulation prompted investigation of whether this high sensitivity was dependent on the delta subunit or the low-efficacy channel function that it confers. We show that the isoform specificity (alphabetadelta > alphabetagamma) of neurosteroid modulation could be reversed by conditions that reversed isoform-specific activity modes, including the use of beta-alanine to achieve increased efficacy with alphabetadelta receptors and taurine to render alphabetagamma receptors low efficacy. We suggest that neurosteroids preferentially enhance low-efficacy GABA(A) receptor activity independent of subunit composition. Allosteric conversion of partial to full agonism may be a general mechanism for reversibly scaling the efficacy of GABA(A) receptors to endogenous partial agonists.

  5. A Predicted Binding Site for Cholesterol on the GABAA Receptor

    PubMed Central

    Hénin, Jérôme; Salari, Reza; Murlidaran, Sruthi; Brannigan, Grace

    2014-01-01

    Modulation of the GABA type A receptor (GABAAR) function by cholesterol and other steroids is documented at the functional level, yet its structural basis is largely unknown. Current data on structurally related modulators suggest that cholesterol binds to subunit interfaces between transmembrane domains of the GABAAR. We construct homology models of a human GABAAR based on the structure of the glutamate-gated chloride channel GluCl of Caenorhabditis elegans. The models show the possibility of previously unreported disulfide bridges linking the M1 and M3 transmembrane helices in the α and γ subunits. We discuss the biological relevance of such disulfide bridges. Using our models, we investigate cholesterol binding to intersubunit cavities of the GABAAR transmembrane domain. We find that very similar binding modes are predicted independently by three approaches: analogy with ivermectin in the GluCl crystal structure, automated docking by AutoDock, and spontaneous rebinding events in unbiased molecular dynamics simulations. Taken together, the models and atomistic simulations suggest a somewhat flexible binding mode, with several possible orientations. Finally, we explore the possibility that cholesterol promotes pore opening through a wedge mechanism. PMID:24806926

  6. Upregulation of high affinity GABAA receptors in cultured rat dorsal root ganglion neurons

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Kwan Yeop; Charbonnet, Marcel; Gold, Michael S.

    2012-01-01

    Despite evidence that high-affinity GABAA receptor subunit mRNA and protein are present in dorsal root ganglia (DRG), low affinity currents dominate those detected in acutely dissociated DRG neurons in vitro. This observation raises the possibility that high affinity receptors are normally trafficked out of the DRG toward central and peripheral terminals. We therefore hypothesized that with time in culture, there would be an increase in high-affinity GABAA currents in DRG neurons. To test this hypothesis, we studied dissociated DRG neurons 2 hrs (acute) and 24 hrs (cultured) after plating with whole cell patch clamp techniques, western blot and qRT-PCR analysis. GABAA current density increases dramatically with time in culture in association with the emergence of two persistent currents with EC50’s of 0.25 ± 0.01 μM and 3.2 ± 0.02 μM for GABA activation. In a subpopulation of neurons, there was also an increase in the potency of GABA activation of the transient current from an EC50 of 78.16 ± 10.1 μM to 9.56 ± 1.3 μM with time in culture. A fraction of the high affinity current was potentiated by δ-subunit agonist 4,5,6,7-tetrahydroisoxazolo[5,4-c]pyridine-3-ol (THIP). δ-subunit immunoreactivity was largely restricted to the cytosolic fraction in acute but the membrane fraction in cultured DRG neurons with no detectable change in δ-subunit mRNA. However, the emergence of a high affinity current blocked by THIP and insensitive to bicuculline was detected in a subpopulation of cultured neurons as well in association with an increase in ρ2 and 3-subunit mRNA in cultured DRG neurons. Our results suggest that high-affinity δ-subunit containing GABAA receptors are normally trafficked out of the DRG where they are targeted to peripheral and central processes. They also highlight that the interpretation of data obtained from cultured DRG neurons should be made with caution. PMID:22366297

  7. Identification of dehydroabietc acid from Boswellia thurifera resin as a positive GABAA receptor modulator.

    PubMed

    Rueda, Diana C; Raith, Melanie; De Mieri, Maria; Schöffmann, Angela; Hering, Steffen; Hamburger, Matthias

    2014-12-01

    In a two-microelectrode voltage clamp assay with Xenopus laevis oocytes, a petroleum ether extract (100 μg/mL) of the resin of Boswellia thurifera (Burseraceae) potentiated GABA-induced chloride currents (IGABA) through receptors of the subtype α₁β₂γ₂s by 319.8% ± 79.8%. With the aid of HPLC-based activity profiling, three known terpenoids, dehydroabietic acid (1), incensole (2), and AKBA (3), were identified in the active fractions of the extract. Structure elucidation was achieved by means of HR-MS and microprobe 1D/2D NMR spectroscopy. Compound 1 induced significant receptor modulation in the oocyte assay, with a maximal potentiation of IGABA of 397.5% ± 34.0%, and EC₅₀ of 8.7 μM ± 1.3 μM. This is the first report of dehydroabietic acid as a positive GABAA receptor modulator.

  8. Hypnotic effects and binding studies for GABA(A) and 5-HT(2C) receptors of traditional medicinal plants used in Asia for insomnia.

    PubMed

    Cho, Sueng-Mock; Shimizu, Makoto; Lee, C Justin; Han, Dae-Seok; Jung, Cheol-Kyun; Jo, Jin-Ho; Kim, Young-Myoung

    2010-10-28

    Many medicinal plants have been used for treatment of insomnia in Asia. However, scientific evidence and precise mechanism for their sedative-hypnotic activity have not been fully investigated. Thus, we investigated the binding activity of the oriental plant extracts (mainly from Korea and Japan) to the well-known molecular targets for sleep regulation, GABA(A) and 5-HT(2C) receptors. Following the binding assay, sedative-hypnotic effects of the extracts with high affinity were examined in an animal model of sleep. Aqueous and ethanol extracts of 15 medicinal plants were tested for binding at the benzodiazepine site of GABA(A) receptor and 5-HT site of 5-HT(2C) receptor. The sedative-hypnotic effects of selected extracts were evaluated by measuring the sleep latency and sleep duration during pentobarbital-induced sleep in mice after oral administration of extracts. In the GABA(A) assay, the ethanol extracts of licorice and danshen displayed concentration-dependent, high affinity binding, whereas in the 5-HT(2C) assay, the ethanol extracts of ginseng and silk tree showed high affinity. Among these extracts we tested previously uncharacterized licorice and silk tree for hypnotic effects. We found the ethanol extracts of licorice and silk tree significantly decreased sleep latency and increased sleep duration in pentobarbital-induced sleep. We demonstrate for the first time that licorice and silk tree have the sedative-hypnotic activity possibly by modulating GABA(A) and 5-HT(2C) receptors. We propose that licorice and silk tree might be effective candidates for treatment of insomnia. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. HPLC-based activity profiling for GABAA receptor modulators from the traditional Chinese herbal drug Kushen (Sophora flavescens root)

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    An EtOAc extract from the roots of Sophora flavescens (Kushen) potentiated γ -aminobutyric acid (GABA)-induced chloride influx in Xenopus oocytes transiently expressing GABAA receptors with subunit composition, α1β2γ2S. HPLC-based activity profiling of the extract led to the identification of 8-lavandulyl flavonoids, kushenol I, sophoraflavanone G, (–)-kurarinone, and kuraridine as GABAA receptor modulators. In addition, a series of inactive structurally related flavonoids were characterized. Among these, kushenol Y (4) was identified as a new natural product. The 8-lavandulyl flavonoids are first representatives of a novel scaffold for the target. PMID:21207144

  10. Modulation of GABAA receptors in the treatment of epilepsy.

    PubMed

    Palma, Eleonora; Ruffolo, Gabriele; Cifelli, Pierangelo; Roseti, Cristina; van Vliet, Erwin A; Aronica, Eleonora

    2017-08-09

    A variety of evidence suggested that an imbalance in excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission could be one of the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying the occurrence and progression of seizures. Understanding the causes of this imbalance may provide essential insight into the basic mechanisms of epilepsy and may uncover novel targets for future drug therapies. Accordingly, GABA is the most important inhibitory neurotransmitter in the CNS and its receptors (e.g., GABAARs) can still be relevant targets of new antiepileptic drugs (AEDs). Up to now, a variety of modulating agents that directly or indirectly act at GABAARs have been proposed for restoring the physiological balance of excitation and inhibition in the epileptogenic brain. While benzodiazepine, barbiturates and allosteric modulators of GABAARs are well-known for their anticonvulsant effect, new compounds as modulators of chloride homeostasis or phytocannabinoids are not completely unraveled and their antiepileptic action is still matter of debate. In addition, several inflammatory mediators as cytokines and chemokines play an important role in the modulation of GABAAR function, even if further research is needed to translate these new findings from the bench to the bedside. Finally yet importantly, a new frontier in epilepsy research is represented by the observation that specific small noncoding RNAs, namely miRNAs, may regulate GABAAR function paving the road to therapeutic approaches based on the modulation of gene expression. Here, we review key physiological, neuropathological and functional studies that altogether strengthen the role of modulation of GABAARs function as therapeutic target. The discovery of the novel molecular mechanisms underlying the GABAergic transmission in epilepsy represents another heavy piece in the "epileptic puzzle". Even if GABAAR is an old story in the pharmacology of the epilepsy, the reviewed findings suggest that new players in the scenario need to be considered

  11. Genetic disruption of the autism spectrum disorder risk gene PLAUR induces GABAA receptor subunit changes

    PubMed Central

    Eagleson, Kathie L.; Gravielle, Maria C.; SchlueterMcFadyen-Ketchum, Lisa J.; Russek, Shelley J.; Farb, David H.; Levitt, Pat

    2010-01-01

    Disruption of the GABAergic system has been implicated in multiple developmental disorders, including epilepsy, autism spectrum disorder and schizophrenia. The human gene encoding uPAR (PLAUR) has been shown recently to be associated with the risk of autism. The uPAR-/- mouse exhibits a regionally selective reduction in GABAergic interneurons in frontal and parietal regions of the cerebral cortex as well as in the CA1 and dentate gyrus subfields of the hippocampus. Behaviorally, these mice exhibit increased sensitivity to pharmacologically-induced seizures, heightened anxiety, and atypical social behavior. Here, we explore potential alterations in GABAergic circuitry that may occur in the context of altered interneuron development. Analysis of gene expression for 13 GABAA receptor subunits using quantitative real-time PCR indicates seven subunit mRNAs (α1, α2, α3, β2, β3, γ2S and γ2L) of interest. Semi-quantitative in situ hybridization analysis focusing on these subunit mRNAs reveals a complex pattern of potential gene regulatory adaptations. The levels of α2 subunit mRNAs increase in frontal cortex, CA1 and CA3, while those of α3 decrease in frontal cortex and CA1. In contrast, α1 subunit mRNAs are unaltered in any region examined. β2 subunit mRNAs are increased in frontal cortex whereas β3 subunit mRNAs are decreased in parietal cortex. Finally, γ2S subunit mRNAs are increased in parietal cortex while γ2L subunit mRNAs are increased in the dentate gyrus, potentially altering the γ2S:γ2L ratio in these two regions. For all subunits, no changes were observed in forebrain regions where GABAergic interneuron numbers are normal. We propose that disrupted differentiation of GABAergic neurons specifically in frontal and parietal cortices leads to regionally-selective alterations in local circuitry and subsequent adaptive changes in receptor subunit composition. Future electrophysiological studies will be useful in determining how alterations in network

  12. The GABAA receptor complex in hepatic encephalopathy. Autoradiographic evidence for the presence of elevated levels of a benzodiazepine receptor ligand

    SciTech Connect

    Basile, A.S.; Ostrowski, N.L.; Gammal, S.H.; Jones, E.A.; Skolnick, P. )

    1990-02-01

    Autoradiographic analysis was used to examine radioligand binding to benzodiazepine (BZ) and GABAA receptors in the brains of rabbits with hepatic encephalopathy (HE). Thin sections of whole brain from normal rabbits and rabbits with HE were mounted on slides and subdivided into two groups. One group was washed before incubation with radioligand, while the second group was not prewashed. (3H)Flunitrazepam binding to BZ receptors was decreased by 22% to 42% (p less than 0.05) in the cerebral cortex, superior and inferior colliculi, and cerebellum of unwashed sections from rabbits with HE compared to all other groups. The binding of (3H)Ro 15-1788 to unwashed sections from rabbits with HE was reduced by a similar degree (18% to 37%, p less than 0.05) in the cerebral cortex, hippocampus, superior colliculus, and cerebellar cortex. Incubation of sections with the GABA-mimetic muscimol and NaCl produced an additional decrease in (3H)flunitrazepam binding to the cortex and hippocampus (25% to 31%, p less than 0.05) in unwashed HE rabbit brain, but increased radioligand binding (27% to 71%, p less than 0.05) to several regions in control rabbits. No changes in radioligand binding to either GABAA or peripheral benzodiazepine receptors was observed between HE and control rabbit sections. These findings are consistent with previous electrophysiologic and neurochemical observations indicating no significant changes in either the function or density of GABAA or BZ receptors in this model of HE. Further, they indicate that a reversible BZ receptor ligand with agonist properties is present in the brain in HE. This substance may contribute to the enhancement of GABAergic tone observed in this syndrome.

  13. The natural products magnolol and honokiol are positive allosteric modulators of both synaptic and extra-synaptic GABAA receptors

    PubMed Central

    Alexeev, Mikhail; Grosenbaugh, Denise K.; Mott, David D.; Fisher, Janet L.

    2012-01-01

    The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) estimates that nearly 40% of adults in the United States use alternative medicines, often in the form of an herbal supplement. Extracts from the tree bark of magnolia species have been used for centuries in traditional Chinese and Japanese medicines to treat a variety of neurological diseases, including anxiety, depression, and seizures. The active ingredients in the extracts have been identified as the bi-phenolic isomers magnolol and honokiol. These compounds were shown to enhance the activity of GABAA receptors, consistent with their biological effects. The GABAA receptors exhibit substantial subunit heterogeneity, which influences both their functional and pharmacological properties. We examined the activity of magnolol and honokiol at different populations of both neuronal and recombinant GABAA receptors to characterize their mechanism of action and to determine whether sensitivity to modulation was dependent upon the receptor’s subunit composition. We found that magnolol and honokiol enhanced both phasic and tonic GABAergic neurotransmission in hippocampal dentate granule neurons. In addition, all recombinant receptors examined were sensitive to modulation, regardless of the identity of the α, β, or γ subunit subtype, although the compounds showed particularly high efficacy at δ-containing receptors. This direct positive modulation of both synaptic and extra-synaptic populations of GABAA receptors suggests that supplements containing magnolol and/or honokiol would be effective anxiolytics, sedatives, and anti-convulsants. However, significant side-effects and risk of drug interactions would also be expected. PMID:22445602

  14. GABAA and glutamate receptor involvement in dendrodendritic synaptic interactions from salamander olfactory bulb.

    PubMed

    Wellis, D P; Kauer, J S

    1993-09-01

    1. Whole-cell patch clamp and optical recording techniques were applied to the same in vitro salamander olfactory bulb preparations to study the postsynaptic responses of single mitral/tufted cells in the context of the surrounding neural activity in which they are embedded. Mitral/tufted cells were identified by intracellular filling with biocytin. 2. Single mitral/tufted cells were under a tonic GABAA receptor-mediated inhibitory influence as revealed by the recording of bicuculline methiodide (BMI)/picrotoxin-sensitive inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs) in symmetrical chloride conditions at a holding potential of -70 mV. Depolarizing voltage steps (100 ms) applied to single cells or electrical stimulation of the olfactory nerve or medial olfactory tract evoked a prolonged increase in the frequency of GABAergic IPSCs. 3. The frequency of spontaneous and driven IPSCs was reduced with application of the glutamate receptor antagonists 6-cyano-2,3-dihydroxy-7-nitro-quionoxaline (CNQX) or 2-amino-5-phosphonopentanoic acid (AP5) whereas olfactory nerve- or medial olfactory tract-driven IPSC frequency was enhanced with removal of bathing Mg2+, indicating that GABAergic interneurones were driven by mitral/tufted cells at both non-NMDA and NMDA receptors. 4. Olfactory nerve or medial olfactory tract stimulation evoked widely distributed changes in fluorescence in preparations stained with the voltage-sensitive dye RH414. The optical response predominantly consisted of a decrease in fluorescence, indicative of depolarization. The presence of the dye did not obviously affect mitral/tufted cell postsynaptic responses. 5. BMI enhanced the amplitude and duration of optical signals related to depolarization within the bulb and in regions central to the bulb. In the presence of BMI, depolarizing activity appeared to spread hundreds of micrometres into regions of the bulb not activated in control conditions showing explicitly that GABAA receptors in the bulb participate in

  15. Activation of single heteromeric GABAA receptor ion channels by full and partial agonists

    PubMed Central

    Mortensen, Martin; Kristiansen, Uffe; Ebert, Bjarke; Frølund, Bente; Krogsgaard-Larsen, Povl; Smart, Trevor G

    2004-01-01

    The linkage between agonist binding and the activation of a GABAA receptor ion channel is yet to be resolved. This aspect was examined on human recombinant α1β2γ2S GABAA receptors expressed in human embryonic kidney cells using the following series of receptor agonists: GABA, isoguvacine, 4,5,6,7-tetrahydroisoxazolo[5,4-c]pyridin-3-ol (THIP), isonipecotic acid, piperidine-4-sulphonic acid (P4S), imidazole-4-acetic acid (IAA), 5-(4-piperidyl)-3-isothiazolol (thio-4-PIOL) and 5-(4-piperidyl)-3-isoxazolol (4-PIOL). Whole-cell concentration–response curves enabled the agonists to be categorized into four classes based upon their maximum responses. Single channel analyses revealed that the channel conductance of 25–27 pS was unaffected by the agonists. However, two open states were resolved from the open period distributions with mean open times reduced 5-fold by the weakest partial agonists. Using saturating agonist concentrations, estimates of the channel shutting rate, α, ranged from 200 to 600 s−1. The shut period distributions were described by three or four components and for the weakest partial agonists, the interburst shut periods increased whilst the mean burst durations and longest burst lengths were reduced relative to the full agonists. From the burst analyses, the opening rates for channel activation, β, and the total dissociation rates, k−1, for the agonists leaving the receptor were estimated. The agonist efficacies were larger for the full agonists (E ∼7−9) compared to the weak partial agonists (∼0.4–0.6). Overall, changes in agonist efficacy largely determined the different agonist profiles with contributions from the agonist affinities and the degree of receptor desensitization. From this we conclude that GABAA receptor activation does not occur in a switch-like manner since the agonist recognition sites are flexible, accommodating diverse agonist structures which differentially influence the opening and shutting rates of the ion

  16. Alcohol use disorders and current pharmacological therapies: the role of GABAA receptors

    PubMed Central

    Liang, Jing; Olsen, Richard W

    2014-01-01

    Alcohol use disorders (AUD) are defined as alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence, which create large problems both for society and for the drinkers themselves. To date, no therapeutic can effectively solve these problems. Understanding the underlying mechanisms leading to AUD is critically important for developing effective and safe pharmacological therapies. Benzodiazepines (BZs) are used to reduce the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal syndrome. However, frequent use of BZs causes cross-tolerance, dependence, and cross-addiction to alcohol. The FDA-approved naltrexone and acamprosate have shown mixed results in clinical trials. Naltrexone is effective to treat alcohol dependence (decreased length and frequency of drinking bouts), but its severe side effects, including withdrawal symptoms, are difficult to overcome. Acamprosate showed efficacy for treating alcohol dependence in European trials, but two large US trials have failed to confirm the efficacy. Another FDA-approved medication, disulfiram, does not diminish craving, and it causes a peripheral neuropathy. Kudzu is the only natural medication mentioned by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, but its mechanisms of action are not yet established. It has been recently shown that dihydromyricetin, a flavonoid purified from Hovenia, has unique effects on GABAA receptors and blocks ethanol intoxication and withdrawal in alcoholic animal models. In this article, we review the role of GABAA receptors in the treatment of AUD and currently available and potentially novel pharmacological agents. PMID:25066321

  17. Point mutations affecting antagonist affinity and agonist dependent gating of GABAA receptor channels.

    PubMed Central

    Sigel, E; Baur, R; Kellenberger, S; Malherbe, P

    1992-01-01

    Two variant amino acid sequences, which differ in a single amino acid residue, have been reported for the alpha 1-subunit of the rat brain GABAA receptor. We separately co-expressed these two variants in Xenopus oocytes, in combination with beta 2 and gamma 2. This experiment showed that substitution of alpha 1-Phe64 by Leu strongly decreases the apparent affinity for GABA dependent channel gating from 6 microM to 1260 microM. Starting from this observation, we used in vitro mutagenesis to obtain information relevant for the localization of the agonist/antagonist binding site in the GABAA receptor. Homologous mutation in alpha 5 had similar consequences for alpha 5 beta 2 gamma 2. Homologous mutation in beta 2 and gamma 2 resulted in intermediate and small shifts in EC50, respectively. The apparent affinities of the competitive antagonists bicuculline methiodide and SR95531, the latter sharing close structural similarity with the agonist GABA, were decreased 60- to 200-fold by these mutations in alpha-subunits. Interestingly, these affinities remained nearly unaffected upon introduction of the homologous mutations in beta 2 and gamma 2, or upon mutation of the neighbouring amino acid in alpha 1, Phe65 to Leu. These results suggest close functional and structural association of alpha-subunits with the agonist/antagonist binding site, and involvement of N-terminal portions of the extracellular domains of all subunits in the gating of the channel. PMID:1376242

  18. Three-Step Test System for the Identification of Novel GABAA Receptor Modulating Food Plants.

    PubMed

    Sahin, Sümeyye; Eulenburg, Volker; Kreis, Wolfgang; Villmann, Carmen; Pischetsrieder, Monika

    2016-12-01

    Potentiation of γ-amino butyric acid (GABA)-induced GABAA receptor (GABAAR) activation is a common pathway to achieve sedative, sleep-enhancing, anxiolytic, and antidepressant effects. Presently, a three-component test system was established for the identification of novel GABAAR modulating food plants. In the first step, potentiation of GABA-induced response of the GABAAR was analysed by two-electrode voltage clamp (TEVC) for activity on human α1β2-GABAAR expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes. Positively tested food plants were then subjected to quantification of GABA content by high-performance liquid chromatography with fluorescence detection (HPLC-FLD) to exclude test foods, which evoke a TEVC-response by endogenous GABA. In the third step, specificity of GABAA-modulating activity was assessed by TEVC analysis of Xenopus laevis oocytes expressing the homologous glycine receptor (GlyR). The three-component test was then applied to screen 10 aqueous extracts of food plants for their GABAAR activity. Thus, hop cones (Humulus lupulus) and Sideritis sipylea were identified as the most potent specific GABAAR modulators eliciting significant potentiation of the current by 182 ± 27 and 172 ± 19 %, respectively, at the lowest concentration of 0.5 μg/mL. The extracts can now be further evaluated by in vivo studies and by structural evaluation of the active components.

  19. Alcohol use disorders and current pharmacological therapies: the role of GABA(A) receptors.

    PubMed

    Liang, Jing; Olsen, Richard W

    2014-08-01

    Alcohol use disorders (AUD) are defined as alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence, which create large problems both for society and for the drinkers themselves. To date, no therapeutic can effectively solve these problems. Understanding the underlying mechanisms leading to AUD is critically important for developing effective and safe pharmacological therapies. Benzodiazepines (BZs) are used to reduce the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal syndrome. However, frequent use of BZs causes cross-tolerance, dependence, and cross-addiction to alcohol. The FDA-approved naltrexone and acamprosate have shown mixed results in clinical trials. Naltrexone is effective to treat alcohol dependence (decreased length and frequency of drinking bouts), but its severe side effects, including withdrawal symptoms, are difficult to overcome. Acamprosate showed efficacy for treating alcohol dependence in European trials, but two large US trials have failed to confirm the efficacy. Another FDA-approved medication, disulfiram, does not diminish craving, and it causes a peripheral neuropathy. Kudzu is the only natural medication mentioned by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, but its mechanisms of action are not yet established. It has been recently shown that dihydromyricetin, a flavonoid purified from Hovenia, has unique effects on GABAA receptors and blocks ethanol intoxication and withdrawal in alcoholic animal models. In this article, we review the role of GABAA receptors in the treatment of AUD and currently available and potentially novel pharmacological agents.

  20. Silencing the α2 subunit of GABAA receptors in rat dorsal root ganglia reveals its major role in antinociception post-traumatic nerve injury

    PubMed Central

    Obradović, Aleksandar LJ; Scarpa, Joseph; Osuru, Hari P; Weaver, Janelle L; Park, Ji-Yong; Pathirathna, Sriyani; Peterkin, Alexander; Lim, Yunhee; Jagodic, Miljenko M; Todorovic, Slobodan M; Jevtovic-Todorovic, Vesna

    2015-01-01

    Background Neuropathic pain is likely the result of repetitive high frequency bursts of peripheral afferent activity leading to long-lasting changes in synaptic plasticity in the spinal dorsal horn (DH). Drugs that promote GABA activity in the DH provide partial relief of neuropathic symptoms. We examined how in vivo silencing of the GABAA α2 gene in DRG controls of NPP. Methods After crush injury to the right sciatic nerve of female rats, the α2 GABAA antisense and mismatch oligodeoxynucleotides or NO-711 (a GABA uptake inhibitor) were applied to the L5 DRG. In vivo behavioral assessment of nociception was conducted prior to the injury and ensuing 10 days (n=4–10). In vitro quantification of α2 GABAA protein and electrophysiology studies of GABAA currents were performed on acutely dissociated L5 DRG neurons at relevant time-points (n=6–14). Results NPP post-crush injury of a sciatic nerve in adult female rats coincides with significant down-regulation of the α2 subunit expression in the ipsilateral DRG (about 30%). Selective down-regulation of α2 expression in DRGs significantly worsens mechanical (2.55±0.75 to 5.16±1.16) and thermal (7.97±0.96 to 5.51±0.75) hypersensitivity in crush-injured animals and causes development of significant mechanical (2.33±0.40 to 5.00±0.33) and thermal (10.80±0.29 to 7.34±0.81) hypersensitivity in sham animals (data shown as MEAN±SD). Conversely, up-regulation of endogenous GABA via blockade of its uptake in DRG alleviates NPP. Conclusions The GABAA receptor in the DRG plays an important role in pathophysiology of NPP caused by sciatic nerve injury and represent promising target for novel pain therapies. PMID:26164299

  1. Alterations in Purkinje cell GABAA receptor pharmacology following oxygen and glucose deprivation and cerebral ischemia reveal novel contribution of β1-subunit-containing receptors

    PubMed Central

    Kelley, Melissa H.; Ortiz, Justin; Shimizu, Kaori; Grewal, Himmat; Quillinan, Nidia; Herson, Paco S.

    2013-01-01

    Cerebellar Purkinje cells (PCs) are particularly sensitive to cerebral ischemia, and decreased GABAA receptor function following injury is thought to contribute to PC sensitivity to ischemia-induced excitotoxicity. Here we examined the functional properties of the GABAA receptors that are spared following ischemia in cultured Purkinje cells from rat and in vivo ischemia in mouse. Using subunit-specific positive modulators of GABAA receptors, we observed that oxygen and glucose deprivation (OGD) and cardiac arrest-induced cerebral ischemia cause a decrease in sensitivity to the β2/3-subunit-preferring compound, etomidate. However, sensitivity to propofol, a β-subunit-acting compound that modulates β1–3-subunits, was not affected by OGD. The α/γ-subunit-act-ing compounds, diazepam and zolpidem, were also unaffected by OGD. We performed single-cell reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction on isolated PCs from acutely dissociated cerebellar tissue and observed that PCs expressed the β1-subunit, contrary to previous reports examining GABAA receptor subunit expression in PCs. GABAA receptor β1-subunit protein was also detected in cultured PCs by western blot and by immunohistochemistry in the adult mouse cerebellum and levels remained unaffected by ischemia. High concentrations of loreclezole (30 µm) inhibited PC GABA-mediated currents, as previously demonstrated with β1-subunit-containing GABAA receptors expressed in heterologous systems. From our data we conclude that PCs express the β1-subunit and that there is a greater contribution of β1-subunit-containing GABAA receptors following OGD. PMID:23176253

  2. Encephalitis with refractory seizures, status epilepticus, and antibodies to the GABAA receptor: a case series, characterisation of the antigen, and analysis of the effects of antibodies.

    PubMed

    Petit-Pedrol, Mar; Armangue, Thaís; Peng, Xiaoyu; Bataller, Luis; Cellucci, Tania; Davis, Rebecca; McCracken, Lindsey; Martinez-Hernandez, Eugenia; Mason, Warren P; Kruer, Michael C; Ritacco, David G; Grisold, Wolfgang; Meaney, Brandon F; Alcalá, Carmen; Sillevis-Smitt, Peter; Titulaer, Maarten J; Balice-Gordon, Rita; Graus, Francesc; Dalmau, Josep

    2014-03-01

    Increasing evidence suggests that seizures and status epilepticus can be immune-mediated. We aimed to describe the clinical features of a new epileptic disorder, and to establish the target antigen and the effects of patients' antibodies on neuronal cultures. In this observational study, we selected serum and CSF samples for antigen characterisation from 140 patients with encephalitis, seizures or status epilepticus, and antibodies to unknown neuropil antigens. The samples were obtained from worldwide referrals of patients with disorders suspected to be autoimmune between April 28, 2006, and April 25, 2013. We used samples from 75 healthy individuals and 416 patients with a range of neurological diseases as controls. We assessed the samples using immunoprecipitation, mass spectrometry, cell-based assay, and analysis of antibody effects in cultured rat hippocampal neurons with confocal microscopy. Neuronal cell-membrane immunoprecipitation with serum of two index patients revealed GABAA receptor sequences. Cell-based assay with HEK293 expressing α1/β3 subunits of the GABAA receptor showed high titre serum antibodies (>1:160) and CSF antibodies in six patients. All six patients (age 3-63 years, median 22 years; five male patients) developed refractory status epilepticus or epilepsia partialis continua along with extensive cortical-subcortical MRI abnormalities; four patients needed pharmacologically induced coma. 12 of 416 control patients with other diseases, but none of the healthy controls, had low-titre GABAA receptor antibodies detectable in only serum samples, five of them also had GAD-65 antibodies. These 12 patients (age 2-74 years, median 26.5 years; seven male patients) developed a broader spectrum of symptoms probably indicative of coexisting autoimmune disorders: six had encephalitis with seizures (one with status epilepticus needing pharmacologically induced coma; one with epilepsia partialis continua), four had stiff-person syndrome (one with seizures

  3. Encephalitis with refractory seizures, status epilepticus, and antibodies to the GABAA receptor: a case series, characterisation of the antigen, and analysis of the effects of antibodies

    PubMed Central

    Petit-Pedrol, Mar; Armangue, Thaís; Peng, Xiaoyu; Bataller, Luis; Cellucci, Tania; Davis, Rebecca; McCracken, Lindsey; Martinez-Hernandez, Eugenia; Mason, Warren P; Kruer, Michael C; Ritacco, David G; Grisold, Wolfgang; Meaney, Brandon F; Alcalá, Carmen; Sillevis-Smitt, Peter; Titulaer, Maarten J; Balice-Gordon, Rita; Graus, Francesc; Dalmau, Josep

    2016-01-01

    Summary Background Increasing evidence suggests that seizures and status epilepticus can be immune-mediated. We aimed to describe the clinical features of a new epileptic disorder, and to establish the target antigen and the effects of patients’ antibodies on neuronal cultures. Methods In this observational study, we selected serum and CSF samples for antigen characterisation from 140 patients with encephalitis, seizures or status epilepticus, and antibodies to unknown neuropil antigens. The samples were obtained from worldwide referrals of patients with disorders suspected to be autoimmune between April 28, 2006, and April 25, 2013. We used samples from 75 healthy individuals and 416 patients with a range of neurological diseases as controls. We assessed the samples using immunoprecipitation, mass spectrometry, cell-based assay, and analysis of antibody effects in cultured rat hippocampal neurons with confocal microscopy. Findings Neuronal cell-membrane immunoprecipitation with serum of two index patients revealed GABAA receptor sequences. Cell-based assay with HEK293 expressing α1/β3 subunits of the GABAA receptor showed high titre serum antibodies (>1:160) and CSF antibodies in six patients. All six patients (age 3–63 years, median 22 years; five male patients) developed refractory status epilepticus or epilepsia partialis continua along with extensive cortical-subcortical MRI abnormalities; four patients needed pharmacologically induced coma. 12 of 416 control patients with other diseases, but none of the healthy controls, had low-titre GABAA receptor antibodies detectable in only serum samples, five of them also had GAD-65 antibodies. These 12 patients (age 2–74 years, median 26·5 years; seven male patients) developed a broader spectrum of symptoms probably indicative of coexisting autoimmune disorders: six had encephalitis with seizures (one with status epilepticus needing pharmacologically induced coma; one with epilepsia partialis continua), four

  4. Mechanisms of anabolic androgenic steroid inhibition of mammalian ɛ-subunit-containing GABAA receptors

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Brian L; Whiting, Paul J; Henderson, Leslie P

    2006-01-01

    GABAergic transmission regulates the activity of gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons in the preoptic area/hypothalamus that control the onset of puberty and the expression of reproductive behaviours. One of the hallmarks of illicit use of anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS) is disruption of behaviours under neuroendocrine control. GnRH neurons are among a limited population of cells that express high levels of the ɛ-subunit of the GABAA receptor. To better understand the actions of AAS on neuroendocrine mechanisms, we have characterized modulation of GABAA receptor-mediated currents in mouse native GnRH neurons and in heterologous cells expressing recombinant α2β3ɛ-receptors. GnRH neurons exhibited robust currents in response to millimolar concentrations of GABA and a picrotoxin (PTX)-sensitive, bicuculline-insensitive current that probably arises from spontaneous openings of GABAA receptors. The AAS 17α-methyltestosterone (17α-MeT) inhibited spontaneous and GABA-evoked currents in GnRH neurons. For recombinant α2β3ɛ-receptors, 17α-MeT inhibited phasic and tonic GABA-elicited responses, accelerated desensitization and slowed paired pulse response recovery. Single channel analysis indicated that GABA-evoked events could be described by three open dwell components and that 17α-MeT enhanced residence in the intermediate dwell state. This AAS also inhibited a PTX-sensitive, spontaneous current (open probability, ∼0.15–0.2) in a concentration-dependent fashion (IC50 ≈ 9 μm). Kinetic modelling indicated that the inhibition induced by 17α-MeT occurs by an allosteric block in which the AAS interacts preferentially with a closed state and promotes accumulation in that state. Finally, studies with a G302S mutant ɛ-subunit suggest that this residue within the transmembrane domain TM2 plays a role in mediating AAS binding and modulation. In sum, our results indicate that inclusion of the ɛ-subunit significantly alters the profile of AAS

  5. GABAA Receptors Containing ρ1 Subunits Contribute to In Vivo Effects of Ethanol in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Blednov, Yuri A.; Benavidez, Jillian M.; Black, Mendy; Leiter, Courtney R.; Osterndorff-Kahanek, Elizabeth; Johnson, David; Borghese, Cecilia M.; Hanrahan, Jane R.; Johnston, Graham A. R.; Chebib, Mary; Harris, R. Adron

    2014-01-01

    GABAA receptors consisting of ρ1, ρ2, or ρ3 subunits in homo- or hetero-pentamers have been studied mainly in retina but are detected in many brain regions. Receptors formed from ρ1 are inhibited by low ethanol concentrations, and family-based association analyses have linked ρ subunit genes with alcohol dependence. We determined if genetic deletion of ρ1 in mice altered in vivo ethanol effects. Null mutant male mice showed reduced ethanol consumption and preference in a two-bottle choice test with no differences in preference for saccharin or quinine. Null mutant mice of both sexes demonstrated longer duration of ethanol-induced loss of righting reflex (LORR), and males were more sensitive to ethanol-induced motor sedation. In contrast, ρ1 null mice showed faster recovery from acute motor incoordination produced by ethanol. Null mutant females were less sensitive to ethanol-induced development of conditioned taste aversion. Measurement of mRNA levels in cerebellum showed that deletion of ρ1 did not change expression of ρ2, α2, or α6 GABAA receptor subunits. (S)-4-amino-cyclopent-1-enyl butylphosphinic acid (“ρ1” antagonist), when administered to wild type mice, mimicked the changes that ethanol induced in ρ1 null mice (LORR and rotarod tests), but the ρ1 antagonist did not produce these effects in ρ1 null mice. In contrast, (R)-4-amino-cyclopent-1-enyl butylphosphinic acid (“ρ2” antagonist) did not change ethanol actions in wild type but produced effects in mice lacking ρ1 that were opposite of the effects of deleting (or inhibiting) ρ1. These results suggest that ρ1 has a predominant role in two in vivo effects of ethanol, and a role for ρ2 may be revealed when ρ1 is deleted. We also found that ethanol produces similar inhibition of function of recombinant ρ1 and ρ2 receptors. These data indicate that ethanol action on GABAA receptors containing ρ1/ρ2 subunits may be important for specific effects of ethanol in vivo. PMID:24454882

  6. GABAA and GABAB receptors are functionally active in the regulation of catecholamine secretion by bovine chromaffin cells.

    PubMed

    Castro, E; Oset-Gasque, M J; González, M P

    1989-07-01

    GABA stimulates the basal catecholamine release from adrenal bovine chromaffin cells in a calcium-dependent manner. This release represents about 70% of that obtained by similar doses of nicotine under similar experimental conditions. This effect is mediated by GABAA receptor sites present in chromaffin cells, since it was mimicked by muscimol and reversed by bicuculline. In addition, GABA, through its GABAA receptors, increases the catecholamine release evoked by submaximal doses of nicotine, but it has no effect on nicotine-evoked secretion of catecholamines when nicotine was given at maximal doses. These results seem to indicate that both nicotine and GABA release catecholamines from the same intracellular pool. In contrast, baclofen, a GABAB receptor agonist, depressed both basal and nicotine-evoked catecholamine release; this result indicates that in addition to GABAA control of catecholamine secretion by chromaffin cells, there is a GABAB control of this function. These results support the existence of a dual regulation of catecholamine secretion by both the GABAA and GABAB receptors in a similar way as that proposed for muscarinic and nicotinic cholinergic receptors.

  7. Rapid Antidepressant Action and Restoration of Excitatory Synaptic Strength After Chronic Stress by Negative Modulators of Alpha5-Containing GABAA Receptors.

    PubMed

    Fischell, Jonathan; Van Dyke, Adam M; Kvarta, Mark D; LeGates, Tara A; Thompson, Scott M

    2015-10-01

    Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the primary pharmacological treatment for depression, but SSRIs are effective in only half of the patients and typically take several weeks to relieve symptoms. The NMDA receptor antagonist ketamine exerts a rapid antidepressant action, but has troubling side effects. We hypothesized that negative allosteric modulators of GABAA receptors would exert similar effects on brain activity as ketamine, but would not exert as many side effects if targeted only to GABAA receptors containing α5 subunits, which are enriched in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex. Here, we show that the α5-selective negative modulator L-655,708 reversed the alterations in hedonic behavior in the sucrose preference and social interaction tests produced by two different chronic stress paradigms in rats within 24 h of systemic administration. Similar effects were observed with another α5-selective negative modulator, MRK-016. L-655,708 had no effect on hedonic or open-field behavior in unstressed animals. Within 24 h, L-655,708 injection also restored the strength of pathologically weakened excitatory synaptic transmission at the stress-sensitive temporoammonic-CA1 synapse, measured electrophysiologically, and increased levels of the GluA1 subunit of the AMPA receptor, measured with western blotting. We suggest that the ability of L-655,708 to restore excitatory synaptic strength rapidly may underlie its ability to restore stress-induced behavioral alterations rapidly, supporting evidence that dysfunction of multiple excitatory synapses in cortico-mesolimbic reward pathways contributes, in part, to the genesis of depression. Negative allosteric modulators of α5 subunit-containing GABAA receptors represent a promising novel class of fast-acting and clinically viable antidepressant compounds.

  8. Allosteric modulation of GABA(A) receptor subtypes:effects on visual recognition and visuospatial working memory in rhesus monkeys [corrected].

    PubMed

    Soto, Paul L; Ator, Nancy A; Rallapalli, Sundari K; Biawat, Poonam; Clayton, Terry; Cook, James M; Weed, Michael R

    2013-10-01

    Non-selective positive allosteric modulators (PAMs) of GABAA receptors (GABAARs) are known to impair anterograde memory. The role of the various GABAAR subtypes in the memory-impairing effects of non-selective GABAAR PAMs has not been fully elucidated. The current study assessed, in rhesus monkeys, effects of modulation of α1, α2/3, and α5GABAARs on visual recognition and spatial working memory using delayed matching-to-sample (DMTS) and self-ordered spatial search (SOSS) procedures, respectively. The DMTS procedure (n=8) involved selecting a previously presented 'sample' image from a set of multiple images presented after a delay. The SOSS procedure (n=6) involved touching a number of boxes without repeats. The non-selective GABAAR PAM triazolam and the α1GABAA preferential PAMS zolpidem and zaleplon reduced accuracy in both procedures, whereas the α5GABAA preferential PAMs SH-053-2'F-R-CH3 and SH-053-2'F-S-CH3, and the α2/3GABAA preferential PAM TPA023B were without effects on accuracy or trial completion. The low-efficacy α5GABAAR negative allosteric modulator (NAM) PWZ-029 slightly increased only DMTS accuracy, whereas the high-efficacy α5GABAAR NAMs RY-23 and RY-24 did not affect accuracy under either procedure. Finally, the slopes of the accuracy dose-effect curves for triazolam, zolpidem, and zaleplon increased with box number in the SOSS procedure, but were equivalent across DMTS delays. The present results suggest that (1) α1GABAARs, compared with α2/3 and α5GABAARs, are primarily involved in the impairment, by non-selective GABAAR PAMs, of visual recognition and visuospatial working memory in nonhuman primates; and (2) relative cognitive impairment produced by positive modulation of GABAARs increases with number of locations to be remembered, but not with the delay for remembering.

  9. GABA withdrawal syndrome: GABAA receptor, synapse, neurobiological implications and analogies with other abstinences.

    PubMed

    Calixto, E

    2016-01-28

    The sudden interruption of the increase of the concentration of the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), determines an increase in neuronal activity. GABA withdrawal (GW) is a heuristic analogy, with withdrawal symptoms developed by other GABA receptor-agonists such as alcohol, benzodiazepines, and neurosteroids. GW comprises a model of neuronal excitability validated by electroencephalogram (EEG) in which high-frequency and high-amplitude spike-wave complexes appear. In brain slices, GW was identified by increased firing synchronization of pyramidal neurons and by changes in the active properties of the neuronal membrane. GW induces pre- and postsynaptic changes: a decrease in GABA synthesis/release, and the decrease in the expression and composition of GABAA receptors associated with increased calcium entry into the cell. GW is an excellent bioassay for studying partial epilepsy, epilepsy refractory to drug treatment, and a model to reverse or prevent the generation of abstinences from different drugs.

  10. Low nanomolar GABA effects at extrasynaptic α4β1/β3δ GABA(A) receptor subtypes indicate a different binding mode for GABA at these receptors.

    PubMed

    Karim, Nasiara; Wellendorph, Petrine; Absalom, Nathan; Bang, Line Haunstrup; Jensen, Marianne Lerbech; Hansen, Maja Michelle; Lee, Ho Joon; Johnston, Graham A R; Hanrahan, Jane R; Chebib, Mary

    2012-08-15

    Ionotropic GABA(A) receptors are a highly heterogenous population of receptors assembled from a combination of multiple subunits. The aims of this study were to characterize the potency of GABA at human recombinant δ-containing extrasynaptic GABA(A) receptors expressed in Xenopus oocytes using the two-electrode voltage clamp technique, and to investigate, using site-directed mutagenesis, the molecular determinants for GABA potency at α4β3δ GABA(A) receptors. α4/δ-Containing GABA(A) receptors displayed high sensitivity to GABA, with mid-nanomolar concentrations activating α4β1δ (EC₅₀=24 nM) and α4β3δ (EC₅₀=12 nM) receptors. In the majority of oocytes expressing α4β3δ subtypes, GABA produced a biphasic concentration-response curve, and activated the receptor with low and high concentrations (EC₅₀(1)=16 nM; EC₅₀(2)=1.2 μM). At α4β2δ, GABA had low micromolar activity (EC₅₀=1 μM). An analysis of 10 N-terminal singly mutated α4β3δ receptors shows that GABA interacts with amino acids different to those reported for α1β2γ2 GABA(A) receptors. Residues Y205 and R207 of the β3-subunit significantly affected GABA potency, while the residue F71 of the α4- and the residue Y97 of the β3-subunit did not significantly affect GABA potency. Mutating the residue R218 of the δ-subunit, equivalent to the GABA binding residue R207 of the β2-subunit, reduced the potency of GABA by 670-fold, suggesting a novel GABA binding site at the δ-subunit interface. Taken together, GABA may have different binding modes for extrasynaptic δ-containing GABA(A) receptors compared to their synaptic counterparts.

  11. GABAA receptor deficits cause HPA axis hyperactivity and antidepressant drug sensitivity reminiscent of melancholic forms of depression

    PubMed Central

    Shen, Qiuying; Lal, Rachnanjali; Luellen, Beth A.; Earnheart, John C.; Andrews, Anne Milasincic; Luscher, Bernhard

    2010-01-01

    BACKGROUND: GABAA receptor deficits that are induced by global or forebrain-specific heterozygous inactivation of the γ2 subunit gene in mouse embryos result in behavior indicative of trait anxiety and depressive states. By contrast, a comparable deficit that is delayed to adolescence is without these behavioral consequences. Here we characterized γ2-deficient mice with respect to HPA axis abnormalities and antidepressant drug responses. METHODS: We analyzed the behavioral responses of γ2+/− mice to desipramine and fluoxetine in Novelty Suppressed Feeding (NSFT), Forced Swim (FST), Tail Suspension (TST) and Sucrose Consumption (SCT) tests, as well as GABAA receptor deficit- and antidepressant drug treatment-induced alterations in serum corticosterone. RESULTS: Baseline corticosterone concentrations of adult γ2-deficient mice were elevated independent of whether the genetic lesion was induced during embryogenesis or delayed to adolescence. However, the manifestation of anxious-depressive behavior in different γ2-deficient mouse lines was correlated with early onset HPA axis hyperactivity during postnatal development. Chronic but not subchronic treatment of γ2+/− mice with fluoxetine or desipramine normalized the anxiety-like behavior in the NSFT. Moreover, desipramine had antidepressant-like effects in that it normalized HPA axis function and depression-related behavior of γ2+/− mice in the FST, TST and SCT. By contrast, fluoxetine was ineffective as an antidepressant and failed to normalize HPA axis function. CONCLUSIONS: Developmental deficits in GABAergic inhibition in the forebrain cause behavioral and endocrine abnormalities and selective antidepressant drug responsiveness indicative of anxious-depressive disorders such as melancholic depression, which are frequently characterized by HPA axis hyperactivity and greater efficacy of desipramine vs. fluoxetine. PMID:20579975

  12. Sex-Dependent Anti-Stress Effect of an α5 Subunit Containing GABAA Receptor Positive Allosteric Modulator

    PubMed Central

    Piantadosi, Sean C.; French, Beverly J.; Poe, Michael M.; Timić, Tamara; Marković, Bojan D.; Pabba, Mohan; Seney, Marianne L.; Oh, Hyunjung; Orser, Beverley A.; Savić, Miroslav M.; Cook, James M.; Sibille, Etienne

    2016-01-01

    Rationale: Current first-line treatments for stress-related disorders such as major depressive disorder (MDD) act on monoaminergic systems and take weeks to achieve a therapeutic effect with poor response and low remission rates. Recent research has implicated the GABAergic system in the pathophysiology of depression, including deficits in interneurons targeting the dendritic compartment of cortical pyramidal cells. Objectives: The present study evaluates whether SH-053-2’F-R-CH3 (denoted “α5-PAM”), a positive allosteric modulator selective for α5-subunit containing GABAA receptors found predominantly on cortical pyramidal cell dendrites, has anti-stress effects. Methods: Female and male C57BL6/J mice were exposed to unpredictable chronic mild stress (UCMS) and treated with α5-PAM acutely (30 min prior to assessing behavior) or chronically before being assessed behaviorally. Results: Acute and chronic α5-PAM treatments produce a pattern of decreased stress-induced behaviors (denoted as “behavioral emotionality”) across various tests in female, but not in male mice. Behavioral Z-scores calculated across a panel of tests designed to best model the range and heterogeneity of human symptomatology confirmed that acute and chronic α5-PAM treatments consistently produce significant decreases in behavioral emotionality in several independent cohorts of females. The behavioral responses to α5-PAM could not be completely accounted for by differences in drug brain disposition between female and male mice. In mice exposed to UCMS, expression of the Gabra5 gene was increased in the frontal cortex after acute treatment and in the hippocampus after chronic treatment with α5-PAM in females only, and these expression changes correlated with behavioral emotionality. Conclusion: We showed that acute and chronic positive modulation of α5 subunit-containing GABAA receptors elicit anti-stress effects in a sex-dependent manner, suggesting novel therapeutic modalities

  13. Sex-Dependent Anti-Stress Effect of an α5 Subunit Containing GABAA Receptor Positive Allosteric Modulator.

    PubMed

    Piantadosi, Sean C; French, Beverly J; Poe, Michael M; Timić, Tamara; Marković, Bojan D; Pabba, Mohan; Seney, Marianne L; Oh, Hyunjung; Orser, Beverley A; Savić, Miroslav M; Cook, James M; Sibille, Etienne

    2016-01-01

    Rationale: Current first-line treatments for stress-related disorders such as major depressive disorder (MDD) act on monoaminergic systems and take weeks to achieve a therapeutic effect with poor response and low remission rates. Recent research has implicated the GABAergic system in the pathophysiology of depression, including deficits in interneurons targeting the dendritic compartment of cortical pyramidal cells. Objectives: The present study evaluates whether SH-053-2'F-R-CH3 (denoted "α5-PAM"), a positive allosteric modulator selective for α5-subunit containing GABAA receptors found predominantly on cortical pyramidal cell dendrites, has anti-stress effects. Methods: Female and male C57BL6/J mice were exposed to unpredictable chronic mild stress (UCMS) and treated with α5-PAM acutely (30 min prior to assessing behavior) or chronically before being assessed behaviorally. Results: Acute and chronic α5-PAM treatments produce a pattern of decreased stress-induced behaviors (denoted as "behavioral emotionality") across various tests in female, but not in male mice. Behavioral Z-scores calculated across a panel of tests designed to best model the range and heterogeneity of human symptomatology confirmed that acute and chronic α5-PAM treatments consistently produce significant decreases in behavioral emotionality in several independent cohorts of females. The behavioral responses to α5-PAM could not be completely accounted for by differences in drug brain disposition between female and male mice. In mice exposed to UCMS, expression of the Gabra5 gene was increased in the frontal cortex after acute treatment and in the hippocampus after chronic treatment with α5-PAM in females only, and these expression changes correlated with behavioral emotionality. Conclusion: We showed that acute and chronic positive modulation of α5 subunit-containing GABAA receptors elicit anti-stress effects in a sex-dependent manner, suggesting novel therapeutic modalities.

  14. Stereoselective interaction of thiopentone enantiomers with the GABA(A) receptor.

    PubMed

    Cordato, D J; Chebib, M; Mather, L E; Herkes, G K; Johnston, G A

    1999-09-01

    1. As pharmacokinetic differences between the thiopentone enantiomers seem insufficient to explain the approximately 2 fold greater potency for CNS effects of (-)-S- over (+)-R-thiopentone, this study was performed to determine any enantioselectivity of thiopentone at the GABA(A) receptor, the primary receptor for barbiturate hypnotic effects. 2. Two electrode voltage clamp recording was performed on Xenopus laevis oocytes expressing human GABA(A) receptor subtype alpha1beta2gamma2 to determine relative differences in potentiation of the GABA response by rac-, (+)-R- and (-)-S-thiopentone, and rac-pentobarbitone. Changes in the cellular environment pH and in GABA concentrations were also evaluated. 3. With 3 microM GABA, the EC50 values were (-)-S-thiopentone (mean 26.0+/-s.e.mean 3.2 microM, n=9 cells) >rac-thiopentone (35.9+/-4.2 microM, n=6, P=0.1) >(+)-R-thiopentone (52.5+/-5.0 microM, n=8, P<0.02) >rac-pentobarbitone (97.0+/-11.2 microM, n=11, P<0.01). Adjustment of environment pH to 7.0 or 8.0 did not alter the EC50 values for (+)-R- or (-)-S-thiopentone. 4 Uninjected oocytes responded to >100 microM (-)-S- and R-thiopentone. This direct response was abolished by intracellular oocyte injection of 1,2-bis(2-aminophenoxy)ethane-N, N,N1,N1-tetraacetic acid (BAPTA), a Ca2+ chelating agent. With BAPTA, the EC50 values were (-)-S-thiopentone (20.6+/-3.2 microM, n=8) <(+)-R-thiopentone (36.2+/-3.2 microM, n=9, P<0.005). 5 (-)-S-thiopentone was found to be approximately 2 fold more potent than (+)-R-thiopentone in the potentiation of GABA at GABA(A) receptors expressed on Xenopus oocytes. This is consistent with the differences in potency for CNS depressant effects found in vivo.

  15. The role of GABAA receptors in the acute and chronic effects of ethanol: a decade of progress

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Sandeep; Porcu, Patrizia; Werner, David F.; Matthews, Douglas B.; Diaz-Granados, Jaime L.; Helfand, Rebecca S.

    2010-01-01

    The past decade has brought many advances in our understanding of GABAA receptor-mediated ethanol action in the central nervous system. We now know that specific GABAA receptor subtypes are sensitive to ethanol at doses attained during social drinking while other subtypes respond to ethanol at doses attained by severe intoxication. Furthermore, ethanol increases GABAergic neurotransmission through indirect effects, including the elevation of endogenous GABAergic neuroactive steroids, presynaptic release of GABA, and dephosphorylation of GABAA receptors promoting increases in GABA sensitivity. Ethanol’s effects on intracellular signaling also influence GABAergic transmission in multiple ways that vary across brain regions and cell types. The effects of chronic ethanol administration are influenced by adaptations in GABAA receptor function, expression, trafficking, and subcellular localization that contribute to ethanol tolerance, dependence, and withdrawal hyperexcitability. Adolescents exhibit altered sensitivity to ethanol actions, the tendency for higher drinking and longer lasting GABAergic adaptations to chronic ethanol administration. The elucidation of the mechanisms that underlie adaptations to ethanol exposure are leading to a better understanding of the regulation of inhibitory transmission and new targets for therapies to support recovery from ethanol withdrawal and alcoholism. PMID:19455309

  16. Depolarising and hyperpolarising actions of GABAA receptor activation on GnRH neurons: towards an emerging consensus

    PubMed Central

    Herbison, Allan E.; Moenter, Suzanne M.

    2011-01-01

    The gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons represent the final output neurons of a complex neuronal network that controls fertility. It is now appreciated that GABAergic neurons within this network provide an important regulatory influence on GnRH neurons. However, the consequences of direct GABAA receptor activation on adult GnRH neurons have been controversial for nearly a decade now, with both hyperpolarising and depolarising effects reported. This review provides (i) an overview of GABAA receptor function and its investigation using electrophysiological approaches and (ii) re-examines the past and present results relating to GABAergic regulation of the GnRH neuron, with a focus on mouse brain slice data. Although it remains difficult to reconcile the results of the early studies, there is a growing consensus that GABA can act through the GABAA receptor to exert both depolarising and hyperpolarising effects on GnRH neurons. The most recent studies examining the effects of endogenous GABA release on GnRH neurons indicate that the predominant action is that of excitation. However, we are still far from a complete understanding of the effects of GABAA receptor activation upon GnRH neurons. We argue that this will require not only a better understanding of chloride ion homeostasis in individual GnRH neurons, and within subcellular compartments of the GnRH neuron, but also a more integrative view of how multiple neurotransmitters, neuromodulators and intrinsic conductances act together to regulate the activity of these important cells. PMID:21518033

  17. The neurosteroid dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and its metabolites alter 5-HT neuronal activity via modulation of GABAA receptors.

    PubMed

    Gartside, S E; Griffith, N C; Kaura, V; Ingram, C D

    2010-11-01

    Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and its metabolites, DHEA-sulphate (DHEA-S) and androsterone, have neurosteroid activity. In this study, we examined whether DHEA, DHEA-S and androsterone, can influence serotonin (5-HT) neuronal firing activity via modulation of γ-aminobutryic acid (GABA(A)) receptors. The firing of presumed 5-HT neurones in a slice preparation containing rat dorsal raphe nucleus was inhibited by the GABA(A) receptor agonists 4,5,6,7-tetrahydroisoxazolo[5,4-c]pyridinyl-3-ol (THIP) (25 μM) and GABA (100 μM). DHEA (100 and 300 μM) and DHEA-S (1, 10 and 100 μM) caused a rapid and reversible attenuation of the response to THIP. DHEA (100 μM) and DHEA-S (100 μM) also attenuated the effect of GABA. Androsterone (10 and 30 μM) markedly enhanced the inhibitory response to THIP (25 μM). The effect was apparent during androsterone administration but persisted and even increased in magnitude after drug wash-out. The data indicate that GABA(A) receptor-mediated regulation of 5-HT neuronal firing is sensitive to negative modulation by DHEA and its metabolite DHEA-S is sensitive to positive modulation by the metabolite androsterone. The effects of these neurosteroids on GABA(A) receptor-mediated regulation of 5-HT firing may underlie some of the reported behavioural and psychological effects of endogenous and exogenous DHEA.

  18. Kindling alters neurosteroid-induced modulation of phasic and tonic GABAA receptor-mediated currents: role of phosphorylation.

    PubMed

    Kia, Arash; Ribeiro, Fabiola; Nelson, Renee; Gavrilovici, Cezar; Ferguson, Stephen S G; Poulter, Michael O

    2011-03-01

    We have previously shown that after kindling (a model of temporal lobe epilepsy), the neuroactive steroid tetrahydrodeoxycorticosterone (THDOC) was unable to augment GABA type A receptor (GABA(A))-mediated synaptic currents occurring on pyramidal cells of the piriform cortex. Phosphorylation of GABA(A) receptors has been shown previously to alter the activity of THDOC, so we tested the hypothesis that kindling induces changes in the phosphorylation of GABA(A) receptors and this accounts for the loss in efficacy. To assay whether GABA(A) receptors are more phosphorylated after kindling, we examined the phosphorylation state of the β3 subunit and found that it was increased. Incubation of brain slices with the protein kinase C activator phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) (100 nM) also increased phosphorylation in the same assay. In patch clamp, recordings from non-kindled rat brain slices PMA also reduced the activity of THDOC in a manner that was identical to what is observed after kindling. We also found that the tonic current was no longer augmented by THODC after kindling and PMA treatment. The protein kinase C (PKC) antagonist bisindolylmaleimide I blocked the effects PMA on the synaptic but not the tonic currents. However, the broad spectrum PKC antagonist staurosporine blocked the effects of PMA on the tonic currents, implying that different PKC isoforms phosphorylate GABA(A) receptors responsible for phasic and tonic currents. The phosphatase activator Li(+) palmitate restored the 'normal' activity of THDOC on synaptic currents in kindled brain slices but not the tonic currents. These data demonstrate that kindling enhances the phosphorylation state of GABA(A) receptors expressed in pyramidal neurons reducing THDOC efficacy.

  19. The diversity of GABA(A) receptor subunit distribution in the normal and Huntington's disease human brain.

    PubMed

    Waldvogel, H J; Faull, R L M

    2015-01-01

    GABA(A) receptors are assembled into pentameric receptor complexes from a total of 19 different subunits derived from a variety of different subunit classes (α1-6, β1-3, γ1-3, δ, ɛ, θ, and π) which surround a central chloride ion channel. GABA(A) receptor complexes are distributed heterogeneously throughout the brain and spinal cord and are activated by the extensive GABAergic inhibitory system. In this chapter, we describe the heterogeneous distribution of six of the most widely distributed subunits (α1, α2, α3, β2,3, and γ2) throughout the human basal ganglia. This review describes the studies we have carried out on the normal and Huntington's disease human basal ganglia using autoradiographic labeling and immunohistochemistry in the human basal ganglia. GABA(A) receptors are known to react to changing conditions in the brain in neurological disorders, especially in Huntington's disease and display a high degree of plasticity which is thought to compensate for loss of function caused by disease. In Huntington's disease, the variable loss of GABAergic medium spiny striatopallidal projection neurons is associated with a loss of GABA(A) receptor subunits in the striosome and/or the matrix compartments of the striatum. By contrast in the globus pallidus, a loss of the GABAergic striatal projection neurons results in a dramatic upregulation of subunits on the large postsynaptic pallidal neurons; this is thought to be a compensatory plastic mechanism resulting from the loss of striatal GABAergic input. Most interestingly, our studies have revealed that the subventricular zone overlying the caudate nucleus contains a variety of proliferating progenitor stem cells that possess a heterogeneity of GABA(A) receptor subunits which may play a role in human brain repair mechanisms.

  20. GABA(A) receptors in visual and auditory cortex and neural activity changes during basic visual stimulation.

    PubMed

    Qin, Pengmin; Duncan, Niall W; Wiebking, Christine; Gravel, Paul; Lyttelton, Oliver; Hayes, Dave J; Verhaeghe, Jeroen; Kostikov, Alexey; Schirrmacher, Ralf; Reader, Andrew J; Northoff, Georg

    2012-01-01

    Recent imaging studies have demonstrated that levels of resting γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the visual cortex predict the degree of stimulus-induced activity in the same region. These studies have used the presentation of discrete visual stimulus; the change from closed eyes to open also represents a simple visual stimulus, however, and has been shown to induce changes in local brain activity and in functional connectivity between regions. We thus aimed to investigate the role of the GABA system, specifically GABA(A) receptors, in the changes in brain activity between the eyes closed (EC) and eyes open (EO) state in order to provide detail at the receptor level to complement previous studies of GABA concentrations. We conducted an fMRI study involving two different modes of the change from EC to EO: an EO and EC block design, allowing the modeling of the haemodynamic response, followed by longer periods of EC and EO to allow the measuring of functional connectivity. The same subjects also underwent [(18)F]Flumazenil PET to measure GABA(A) receptor binding potentials. It was demonstrated that the local-to-global ratio of GABA(A) receptor binding potential in the visual cortex predicted the degree of changes in neural activity from EC to EO. This same relationship was also shown in the auditory cortex. Furthermore, the local-to-global ratio of GABA(A) receptor binding potential in the visual cortex also predicted the change in functional connectivity between the visual and auditory cortex from EC to EO. These findings contribute to our understanding of the role of GABA(A) receptors in stimulus-induced neural activity in local regions and in inter-regional functional connectivity.

  1. Molecular mechanisms of benzodiazepine-induced down-regulation of GABAA receptor alpha 1 subunit protein in rat cerebellar granule cells.

    PubMed Central

    Brown, M. J.; Bristow, D. R.

    1996-01-01

    1. Chronic benzodiazepine treatment of rat cerebellar granule cells induced a transient down-regulation of the gamma-aminobutyric acidA (GABAA) receptor alpha 1 subunit protein, that was dose-dependent (1 nM-1 microM) and prevented by the benzodiazepine antagonist flumazenil (1 microM). After 2 days of treatment with 1 microM flunitrazepam the alpha 1 subunit protein was reduced by 41% compared to untreated cells, which returned to, and remained at, control cell levels from 4-12 days of treatment. Chronic flunitrazepam treatment did not significantly alter the GABAA receptor alpha 6 subunit protein over the 2-12 day period. 2. GABA treatment for 2 days down-regulates the alpha 1 subunit protein in a dose-dependent (10 microM-1 mM) manner that was prevented by the selective GABAA receptor antagonist bicuculline (10 microM). At 10 microM and 1 mM GABA the reduction in alpha 1 subunit expression compared to controls was 31% and 66%, respectively. 3. The flunitrazepam-induced decrease in alpha 1 subunit protein is independent of GABA, which suggests that it involves a mechanism distinct from the GABA-dependent action of benzodiazepines on GABAA receptor channel activity. 4. Simultaneous treatment with flunitrazepam and GABA did not produce an additive down-regulation of alpha 1 subunit protein, but produced an effect of the same magnitude as that of flunitrazepam alone. This down-regulation induced by the combination of flunitrazepam and GABA was inhibited by flumazenil (78%), but unaffected by bicuculline. 5. The flunitrazepam-induced down-regulation of alpha 1 subunit protein at 2 days was completely reversed by the protein kinase inhibitor staurosporine (0.3 microM). 6. This study has shown that both flunitrazepam and GABA treatment, via their respective binding sites, caused a reduction in the expression of the GABAA receptor alpha 1 subunit protein; an effect mediated through the same neurochemical mechanism. The results also imply that the benzodiazepine effect

  2. Pharmacologically Counteracting a Phenotypic Difference in Cerebellar GABAA Receptor Response to Alcohol Prevents Excessive Alcohol Consumption in a High Alcohol-Consuming Rodent Genotype

    PubMed Central

    Kaplan, Josh Steven; Nipper, Michelle A.; Richardson, Ben D.; Jensen, Jeremiah; Helms, Melinda; Finn, Deborah Ann

    2016-01-01

    Cerebellar granule cell GABAA receptor responses to alcohol vary as a function of alcohol consumption phenotype, representing a potential neural mechanism for genetic predilection for alcohol abuse (Kaplan et al., 2013; Mohr et al., 2013). However, there are numerous molecular targets of alcohol in the cerebellum, and it is not known how they interact to affect cerebellar processing during consumption of socially relevant amounts of alcohol. Importantly, direct evidence for a causative role of the cerebellum in alcohol consumption phenotype is lacking. Here we determined that concentrations of alcohol that would be achieved in the blood after consumption of 1–2 standard units (9 mm) suppresses transmission through the cerebellar cortex in low, but not high, alcohol consuming rodent genotypes (DBA/2J and C57BL/6J mice, respectively). This genotype-selective suppression is mediated exclusively by enhancement of granule cell GABAA receptor currents, which only occurs in DBA/2J mice. Simulating the DBA/2J cellular phenotype in C57BL/6J mice by infusing the GABAA receptor agonist, 4,5,6,7-tetrahydroisoxazolo-[5,4-c]pyridine-3-ol hydrochloride, into cerebellar lobules IV–VI, in vivo, significantly reduced their alcohol consumption and blood alcohol concentrations achieved. 4,5,6,7-Tetrahydroisoxazolo-[5,4-c]pyridine-3-ol hydrochloride infusions also significantly decreased sucrose consumption, but they did not affect consumption of water or general locomotion. Thus, genetic differences in cerebellar response to alcohol contributes to alcohol consumption phenotype, and targeting the cerebellar GABAA receptor system may be a clinically viable therapeutic strategy for reducing excessive alcohol consumption. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Alcohol abuse is a leading cause of preventable death and illness; and although alcohol use disorders are 50%–60% genetically determined, the cellular and molecular mechanisms of such genetic influences are largely unknown. Here we

  3. Thiocolchicoside inhibits the activity of various subtypes of recombinant GABA(A) receptors expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes.

    PubMed

    Mascia, Maria Paola; Bachis, Elisabetta; Obili, Nicola; Maciocco, Elisabetta; Cocco, Giovanni Antonio; Sechi, Gian Pietro; Biggio, Giovanni

    2007-03-08

    Thiocolchicoside is a myorelaxant drug with anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties as well as pronounced convulsant activity. To characterize the mechanisms of action of this drug at the molecular level, we examined its effects on the function of various recombinant neurotransmitter receptors expressed in Xenopus oocytes. Electrophysiological recordings from recombinant human gamma-aminobutyric acid type A (GABA(A)) receptors consisting of alpha1beta1gamma2L, alpha1beta2gamma2L, or alpha2beta2gamma2L subunit combinations revealed that thiocolchicoside inhibited GABA-evoked Cl(-) currents with similar potencies (median inhibitory concentrations of 0.13 to 0.2 microM) and in a competitive manner. Consistent with previous observations, thiocolchicoside also inhibited the binding of GABA to rat cerebral cortical membranes. Thiocolchicoside inhibited the function of recombinant human strychnine-sensitive glycine receptors composed of the alpha1 subunit with a potency (median inhibitory concentration of 47 microM) lower than that apparent with recombinant GABA(A) receptors. It also inhibited the function of human nicotinic acetylcholine receptors composed of the alpha4 and beta2 subunits, but this effect was only partial and apparent at high concentrations. In contrast, thiocolchicoside had no effect on the function of 5-HT(3A) serotonin receptors. Our results thus provide molecular evidence that the epileptogenic activity of thiocolchicoside might be due to inhibition of the function of inhibitory receptors in the central nervous system, especially that of GABA(A) receptors.

  4. Exploring the molecular basis of neurosteroid binding to the β3 homopentameric GABAA receptor.

    PubMed

    Alvarez, Lautaro D; Estrin, Darío A

    2015-11-01

    Neurosteroids are the principal endogenous modulators of GABA(A) receptors (GABA(A)Rs), which are pentameric membrane-bound proteins that regulate the passage of chloride ions from the extracellular to the intracellular compartment. As consequence of their ability to modify inhibitory functions in the brain, neurosteroids have high physiological and clinical importance and may act as anesthetic, anticonvulsant and anxiolytic drugs. Despite their relevance, essential issues regarding neurosteroid action on GABA(A)Rs are still unsettled. In particular, residues taking part of the steroid recognition are not definitely identified. Taking as starting point the first reported crystal structure of a human GABAA receptor (a β3 homopentamer), we have explored through a combination of computational methods (a cavity-detection algorithm, docking and molecular dynamics simulations) the binding mode of two structurally different representative neurosteroids, pregnanolone and allopregnanolone. We have identified a neurosteroid binding site between the TM3 of one subunit and TM1 and TM4 of the adjacent subunit that is consistent with the set of experimental data reported for the action of neurosteroids on β3 homopentamers. These sites are able to properly accommodate both overall torsioned and flat steroidal structures and they specifically recognize the 3-OH group, explaining the requirement of a 3α-configuration for the activity. We believe that this work provides for first time convincing information about the molecular interaction between neurosteroids and a GABA(A)R. This information largely increases our understanding of this fundamental ligand-receptor system. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Effects of halothane on GABA(A) receptor kinetics: evidence for slowed agonist unbinding.

    PubMed

    Li, X; Pearce, R A

    2000-02-01

    Many anesthetics, including the volatile agent halothane, prolong the decay of GABA(A) receptor-mediated IPSCs at central synapses. This effect is thought to be a major factor in the production of anesthesia. A variety of different kinetic mechanisms have been proposed for several intravenous agents, but for volatile agents the kinetic mechanisms underlying this change remain unknown. To address this question, we used rapid solution exchange techniques to apply GABA to recombinant GABA(A) receptors (alpha(1)beta(2)gamma(2s)) expressed in HEK 293 cells, in the absence and presence of halothane. To differentiate between different microscopic kinetic steps that may be altered by the anesthetic, we studied a variety of measures, including peak concentration-response characteristics, macroscopic desensitization, recovery from desensitization, maximal current activation rates, and responses to the low-affinity agonist taurine. Experimentally observed alterations were compared with predictions based on a kinetic scheme that incorporated two agonist binding steps, and open and desensitized states. We found that, in addition to slowing deactivation after a brief pulse of GABA, halothane increased agonist sensitivity and slowed recovery from desensitization but did not alter macroscopic desensitization or maximal activation rate and only slightly slowed rapid deactivation after taurine application. This pattern of responses was found to be consistent with a reduction in the microscopic agonist unbinding rate (k(off)) but not with changes in channel gating steps, such as the channel opening rate (beta), closing rate (alpha), or microscopic desensitization. We conclude that halothane slows IPSC decay by slowing dissociation of agonist from the receptor.

  6. Proton sensitivity of rat cerebellar granule cell GABAA receptors: dependence on neuronal development

    PubMed Central

    Krishek, Belinda J; Smart, Trevor G

    2001-01-01

    The effect of GABAA receptor development in culture on the modulation of GABA-induced currents by external H+ was examined in cerebellar granule cells using whole-cell and single-channel recording. Equilibrium concentration-response curves revealed a lower potency for GABA between 11 and 12 days in vitro (DIV) resulting in a shift of the EC50 from 10.7 to 2.4 μM. For granule cells before 11 DIV, the peak GABA-activated current was inhibited at low external pH and enhanced at high pH with a pKa of 6.65. For the steady-state response, low pH was inhibitory with a pKa of 5.56. After 11 DIV, the peak GABA-activated current was largely pH insensitive; however, the steady-state current was potentiated at low pH with a pKa of 6.84. Single GABA-activated ion channels were recorded from outside-out patches of granule cell bodies. At pH 5.4-9.4, single GABA channels exhibited multiple conductance states occurring at 22-26, 16-17 and 12-14 pS. The conductance levels were not significantly altered over the time period of study, nor by changing the external H+ concentration. Two exponential functions were required to fit the open-time frequency histograms at both early (< 11 DIV) and late (> 11 DIV) development times at each H+ concentration. The short and long open time constants were unaffected either by the extracellular H+ concentration or by neuronal development. The distribution of all shut times was fitted by the sum of three exponentials designated as short, intermediate and long. At acidic pH, the long shut time constant decreased with development as did the relative contribution of these components to the overall distribution. This was concurrent with an increase in the mean probability of channel opening. In conclusion, this study demonstrates in cerebellar granule cells that external pH can either reduce, have no effect on, or enhance GABA-activated responses depending on the stage of development, possibly related to the subunit composition of the GABAA receptors

  7. Amnestic Concentrations of Etomidate Modulate GABAA, slow Synaptic Inhibition in Hippocampus

    PubMed Central

    Dai, Shuiping; Perouansky, Misha; Pearce, Robert A.

    2009-01-01

    Background γ-aminobutyric acid type A (GABAA) receptor-mediated inhibition in the central nervous system exists in two forms: phasic (inhibitory postsynaptic currents, IPSCs) and tonic (non-synaptic). Phasic inhibition is further subdivided into fast (GABAA, fast) and slow (GABAA, slow) IPSCs. By virtue of its dendritic location and kinetics, GABAA, slow has been proposed to control synaptic plasticity and memory. Etomidate is a non-barbiturate, intravenous anesthetic that selectively modulates GABAA receptors and produces amnesia at low doses in vivo. Here we have tested whether correspondingly low concentrations of etomidate in vitro alter GABAA, fast and GABAA, slow phasic inhibition. Methods Electrophysiological recordings were obtained from hippocampal slices prepared from postnatal day 3–8 mice and maintained in organotypic culture for 10–14 days. Etomidate was applied at concentrations corresponding to one-half to four times the half maximal effective concentration that impairs hippocampus-dependent learning and memory – i.e. 0.125 to 1 μM. Results Etomidate 0.25 μM (the half maximal effective concentration) doubled the time constant of decay of GABAA, slow IPSCs but had no detectable effect on GABAA, fast IPSCs. Higher concentrations of etomidate had stronger effects on both types of phasic inhibition: 0.5 and 1 μM etomidate prolonged the time constant of decay by 310% and 410% for GABAA, slow and by 25% and 78% for GABAA, fast. Concentrations of etomidate up to 1 μM had no significant effects on the amplitudes of either GABAA, fast or GABAA, slow IPSCs. Conclusions At concentrations that impair hippocampus-dependent memory, etomidate modulates GABAA, slow more strongly than GABAA, fast IPSCs. Effects of etomidate on GABAA, slow IPSCs may contribute to etomidate-induced amnesia. PMID:19741493

  8. Differential Regulation of the Postsynaptic Clustering of γ-Aminobutyric Acid Type A (GABAA) Receptors by Collybistin Isoforms*

    PubMed Central

    Chiou, Tzu-Ting; Bonhomme, Bevan; Jin, Hongbing; Miralles, Celia P.; Xiao, Haiyan; Fu, Zhanyan; Harvey, Robert J.; Harvey, Kirsten; Vicini, Stefano; De Blas, Angel L.

    2011-01-01

    Collybistin promotes submembrane clustering of gephyrin and is essential for the postsynaptic localization of gephyrin and γ-aminobutyric acid type A (GABAA) receptors at GABAergic synapses in hippocampus and amygdala. Four collybistin isoforms are expressed in brain neurons; CB2 and CB3 differ in the C terminus and occur with and without the Src homology 3 (SH3) domain. We have found that in transfected hippocampal neurons, all collybistin isoforms (CB2SH3+, CB2SH3−, CB3SH3+, and CB3SH3−) target to and concentrate at GABAergic postsynapses. Moreover, in non-transfected neurons, collybistin concentrates at GABAergic synapses. Hippocampal neurons co-transfected with CB2SH3− and gephyrin developed very large postsynaptic gephyrin and GABAA receptor clusters (superclusters). This effect was accompanied by a significant increase in the amplitude of miniature inhibitory postsynaptic currents. Co-transfection with CB2SH3+ and gephyrin induced the formation of many (supernumerary) non-synaptic clusters. Transfection with gephyrin alone did not affect cluster number or size, but gephyrin potentiated the clustering effect of CB2SH3− or CB2SH3+. Co-transfection with CB2SH3− or CB2SH3+ and gephyrin did not affect the density of presynaptic GABAergic terminals contacting the transfected cells, indicating that collybistin is not synaptogenic. Nevertheless, the synaptic superclusters induced by CB2SH3− and gephyrin were accompanied by enlarged presynaptic GABAergic terminals. The enhanced clustering of gephyrin and GABAA receptors induced by collybistin isoforms was not accompanied by enhanced clustering of neuroligin 2. Moreover, during the development of GABAergic synapses, the clustering of gephyrin and GABAA receptors preceded the clustering of neuroligin 2. We propose a model in which the SH3− isoforms play a major role in the postsynaptic accumulation of GABAA receptors and in GABAergic synaptic strength. PMID:21540179

  9. Protracted Developmental Trajectories of GABAA Receptor α1 and α2 Subunit Expression in Primate Prefrontal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Hashimoto, Takanori; Nguyen, Quyen L.; Rotaru, Diana; Keenan, Tanya; Arion, Dominique; Beneyto, Monica; Gonzalez-Burgos, Guillermo; Lewis, David A.

    2010-01-01

    Background In schizophrenia, working memory dysfunction is associated with altered expression of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)A receptor α1 and α2 subunits in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). In rodents, cortical α subunit expression shifts from low α1 and high α2 to high α1 and low α2 during early postnatal development. Because these two α subunits confer different functional properties to the GABAA receptors containing them, we determined whether this shift in α1 and α2 subunit expression continues through adolescence in the primate DLPFC, potentially contributing to the maturation of working memory during this developmental period. Methods Levels of GABAA receptor α1 and α2 subunit mRNAs were determined in the DLPFC of monkeys aged 1 week, 4 weeks, 3 months, 15–17 months (prepubertal), and 43–47 months (postpubertal) and in adult monkeys using in situ hybridization, followed by the quantification of α1 subunit protein by western blotting. We also performed whole-cell patch clamp recording of miniature inhibitory postsynaptic potentials (mIPSPs) in DLPFC slices prepared from pre- and postpubertal monkeys. Results The mRNA and protein levels of α1 and α2 subunits progressively increased and decreased, respectively, throughout postnatal development including adolescence. Furthermore, as predicted by the different functional properties of α1-containing versus α2-containing GABAA receptors, the mIPSP duration was significantly shorter in postpubertal than in prepubertal animals. Conclusions In contrast to rodents, the developmental shift in GABAA receptor α subunit expression continues through adolescence in primate DLPFC, inducing a marked change in the kinetics of GABA neurotransmission. Disturbances in this shift might underlie impaired working memory in schizophrenia. PMID:19249749

  10. Taurine activates GABA(A) but not GABA(B) receptors in rat hippocampal CA1 area.

    PubMed

    del Olmo, N; Bustamante, J; del Río, R M; Solís, J M

    2000-05-12

    We investigated if taurine, an endogenous GABA analog, could mimic both hyperpolarizing and depolarizing GABA(A)-mediated responses as well as pre- and postsynaptic GABA(B)-mediated actions in the CA1 region of rat hippocampal slices. Taurine (10 mM) perfusion induced changes in membrane potential and input resistance that are compatible with GABA(A) receptor activation. Local pressure application of taurine and GABA from a double barrel pipette positioned along the dendritic shaft of pyramidal cells revealed that taurine evoked a very small change of membrane potential and resistance compared with the large changes induced by GABA in these parameters. Moreover, in the presence of GABA(A) antagonists, local application of GABA on the dendrites evoked a GABA(B)-mediated hyperpolarization while taurine did not induce any change. Taurine neither mimicked baclofen inhibitory actions on presynaptic release of glutamate and GABA as judging by the lack of taurine effect on paired-pulse facilitation ratio and slow inhibitory postsynaptic potentials, respectively. These results show that taurine mainly activates GABA(A) receptors located on the cell body, indicating therefore that if taurine has any action on the dendrites it will not be mediated by either GABA(A) or GABA(B) receptors activation.

  11. GABA-A and GABA-B receptors in the cuneate nucleus of the rat in vivo.

    PubMed

    Orviz, P; Cecchini, B G; Andrés-Trelles, F

    1986-09-01

    Electric stimulation of the rat forepaw evokes a negative potential (N-wave) at the ipsilateral cuneate nucleus. The responses of the N-wave to microiontophoretically applied GABA agonists and antagonists have been studied. Applications of GABA-A agonists (3-amino-propanesulfonic acid and muscimol) reduce the amplitude of the N-wave. This effect decreases during prolonged application, suggesting a desensitization of GABA-A receptors. In addition the effect of muscimol is reduced by (-)-bicuculline methiodide. Baclofen (a GABA-B agonist) also depresses the N-wave but its action lasts longer, is less reversible, shows no desensitization and is not blocked by (-)-bicuculline methiodide. The different responses of the N-wave to GABA-A and GABA-B agonists are compatible with the existence of different types of functional receptors for them in the cuneate nucleus of the rat. The receptors activated by muscimol (GABA-A) are clearly not the same as the ones activated by baclofen (conceivably GABA-B).

  12. Role of gamma-aminobutyric acid type A (GABAA) receptor subtypes in acute benzodiazepine physical dependence-like effects: evidence from squirrel monkeys responding under a schedule of food presentation

    PubMed Central

    Fischer, Bradford D.; Teixeira, Laura P.; van Linn, Michael L.; Namjoshi, Ojas A.; Cook, James M.; Rowlett, James K.

    2013-01-01

    Rationale Assays of schedule-controlled responding can be used to characterize the pharmacology of benzodiazepines and other GABAA receptor modulators, and are sensitive to changes in drug effects that are related to physical dependence. Objective The present study used this approach to investigate the role of GABAA receptor subtypes in mediating dependence-like effects following benzodiazepine administration. Methods Squirrel monkeys (n=6) were trained on a fixed-ratio schedule of food reinforcement. Initially, the response rate-decreasing effects of chlordiazepoxide (0.1–10 mg/kg; nonselective GABAA receptor agonist), zolpidem (0.032–1.0 mg/kg; α1 subunit-containing GABAA subtype-preferring agonist) and HZ-166 (0.1–10 mg/kg; functionally selective α2 and α3 subunit-containing GABAA receptor agonist) were assessed. Next, acute dependence-like effects following single injections of chlordiazepoxide, zolpidem and HZ-166 were assessed with flumazenil (0.1–3.2 mg/kg; nonselective GABAA receptor antagonist). Finally, acute dependence-like effects following zolpidem administration were assessed with βCCt and 3-PBC (0.1–3.2 mg/kg and 0.32–10 mg/kg, respectively; α1 subunit-containing GABAA receptor antagonists). Results Chlordiazepoxide, zolpidem and HZ-166 produced dose- and time-dependent decreases in response rates, whereas flumazenil, βCCt and 3-PBC were ineffective. After the drug effects waned, flumazenil produced dose-dependent decreases in response rates following administration of 10 mg/kg chlordiazepoxide and 1.0 mg/kg zolpidem, but not following any dose of HZ-166. Further, both βCCt and 3-PBC produced dose-dependent decreases in response rates when administered after 1.0 mg/kg zolpidem. Conclusions These data raise the possibility that α1 subunit-containing GABAA receptors play a major role in physical dependence-related behaviors following a single injection of a benzodiazepine. PMID:23354533

  13. Effects of central histamine receptors blockade on GABA(A) agonist-induced food intake in broiler cockerels.

    PubMed

    Morteza, Zendehdel; Vahhab, Babapour; Hossein, Jonaidi

    2008-02-01

    In this study, the effect of intracerebroventricular (i.c.v) injection of H1, H2 and H3 antagonists on feed intake induced by GABA(A) agonist was evaluated. In Experiment 1, the animals received chloropheniramine, a H1 antagonist and then muscimol, a GABA(A) agonist. In Experiment 2, chickens received famotidine, a H2 receptor antagonist, prior to injection of muscimol. Finally in Experiment 3, the birds were injected with thioperamide, a H3 receptor antagonist and muscimol. Cumulative food intake was measured 15, 30, 45, 60, 90, 120, 150 and 180 min after injections. The results of this study indicated that effects of muscimol on food intake inhibited by pretreatment with chloropheneramine maleate (p < or = 0.05), significantly, while the famotidine and thioperamide were ineffective. These results suggest the existence of H1-receptor mediated histamine-GABA(A) receptor interaction on food intake in broiler cockerels.

  14. Synthesis and GABA(A) receptor activity of 2,19-sulfamoyl analogues of allopregnanolone.

    PubMed

    Durán, Fernando J; Edelsztein, Valeria C; Ghini, Alberto A; Rey, Mariana; Coirini, Héctor; Dauban, Philippe; Dodd, Robert H; Burton, Gerardo

    2009-09-15

    The synthesis of new analogues of allopregnanolone with a bridged sulfamidate ring over the beta-face of ring A has been achieved from easily available precursors, using an intramolecular aziridination strategy. The methodology also allows the synthesis of 3alpha-substituted analogues such as the 3alpha-fluoro derivative. GABA(A) receptor activity of the synthetic analogues was evaluated by assaying their effect on the binding of [(3)H]flunitrazepam and [(3)H]muscimol. The 3alpha-hydroxy-2,19-sulfamoyl analogue and its N-benzyl derivative were more active than allopregnanolone for stimulating binding of [(3)H]flunitrazepam. For the binding of [(3)H]muscimol, both synthetic analogues and allopregnanolone stimulated binding to a similar extent, with the N-benzyl derivative exhibiting a higher EC(50). The 3alpha-fluoro derivative was inactive in both assays.

  15. Influence of age, body temperature, GABAA receptor inhibition and caffeine on the Hering-Breuer inflation reflex in unanesthetized rat pups.

    PubMed

    Arnal, Ashley V; Gore, Julie L; Rudkin, Alison; Bartlett, Donald; Leiter, J C

    2013-03-01

    We measured the duration of apnea induced by sustained end-inspiratory lung inflation (the Hering Breuer Reflex, HBR) in unanesthetized infant rat pups aged 4 days (P4) to P20 at body temperatures of 32°C and 36°C. The expiratory prolongation elicited by the HBR lasted longer in the younger pups and lasted longer at the higher body temperature. Blockade of adenosine receptors by caffeine following injection into the cisterna magna (ICM) significantly blunted the thermal prolongation of the HBR. Blockade of gama-amino-butyric acid A (GABAA) receptors by pre-treatment with ICM bicuculline had no effect on the HBR duration at either body temperature. To test the hypothesis that developmental maturation of GABAergic inhibition of breathing was modifying the response to bicuculline, we pretreated rat pups with systemically administered bumetanide to lower the intracellular chloride concentration, and repeated the bicuculline studies. Bicuculline still did not alter the HBR at either temperature after bumetanide treatment. We administered PSB-36, a selective adenosine A1 receptor antagonist, and this drug treatment did not modify the HBR. We conclude that caffeine blunts the thermal prolongation of the HBR, probably by blocking adenosine A2a receptors. The thermally sensitive adenosinergic prolongation of the HBR in these intact animals does not seem to depend on GABAA receptors.

  16. Influence of age, body temperature, GABAA receptor inhibition and caffeine on the Hering-Breuer inflation reflex in unanesthetized rat pups

    PubMed Central

    Arnal, Ashley V.; Gore, Julie L.; Rudkin, Alison; Bartlett, Donald; Leiter, J.C.

    2013-01-01

    We measured the duration of apnea induced by sustained end-inspiratory lung inflation (the Hering Breuer Reflex; HBR) in unanesthetized infant rat pups aged 4 days (P4) to P20 at body temperatures of 32°C and 36°C. The expiratory prolongation elicited by the HBR lasted longer in the younger pups and lasted longer at the higher body temperature. Blockade of adenosine receptors by caffeine following injection into the cisterna magna (ICM) significantly blunted the thermal prolongation of the HBR. Blockade of gama-amino-butyric acid A (GABAA) receptors by pre-treatment with ICM bicuculline had no effect on the HBR duration at either body temperature. To test the hypothesis that developmental maturation of GABAergic inhibition of breathing was modifying the response to bicuculline, we pretreated rat pups with systemically administered bumetanide to lower the intracellular chloride concentration, and repeated the bicuculline studies. Bicuculline still did not alter the HBR at either temperature after bumetanide treatment. We administered PSB-36, a selective adenosine A1 receptor antagonist, and this drug treatment did not modify the HBR. We conclude that caffeine blunts the thermal prolongation of the HBR, probably by blocking adenosine A2a receptors. The thermally-sensitive adenosinergic prolongation of the HBR in these intact animals does not seem to depend on GABAA receptors PMID:23318703

  17. Receptor subtype-dependent positive and negative modulation of GABA(A) receptor function by niflumic acid, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug.

    PubMed

    Sinkkonen, Saku T; Mansikkamäki, Salla; Möykkynen, Tommi; Lüddens, Hartmut; Uusi-Oukari, Mikko; Korpi, Esa R

    2003-09-01

    In addition to blocking cyclooxygenases, members of the fenamate group of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs have been proposed to affect brain GABAA receptors. Using quantitative autoradiography with GABAA receptor-associated ionophore ligand [35S]t-butylbicyclophosphorothionate (TBPS) on rat brain sections, one of the fenamates, niflumate, at micromolar concentration was found to potentiate GABA actions in most brain areas, whereas being in the cerebellar granule cell layer an efficient antagonist similar to furosemide. With recombinant GABAA receptors expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes, we found that niflumate potentiated 3 microM GABA responses up to 160% and shifted the GABA concentration-response curve to the left in alpha1beta2gamma2 receptors, the predominant GABAA receptor subtype in the brain. This effect needed the gamma2 subunit, because on alpha1beta2 receptors, niflumate exhibited solely an antagonistic effect at high concentrations. The potentiation was not abolished by the specific benzodiazepine site antagonist flumazenil. Niflumate acted as a potent antagonist of alpha6beta2 receptors (with or without gamma2 subunit) and of alphaXbeta2gamma2 receptors containing a chimeric alpha1 to alpha6 subunit, which suggests that niflumate antagonism is dependent on the same transmembrane domain 1- and 2-including fragment of the alpha6 subunit as furosemide antagonism. This antagonism was noncompetitive because the maximal GABA response, but not the potency, was reduced by niflumate. These data show receptor subtype-dependent positive and negative modulatory actions of niflumate on GABAA receptors at clinically relevant concentrations, and they suggest the existence of a novel positive modulatory site on alpha1beta2gamma2 receptors that is dependent on the gamma2 subunit but not associated with the benzodiazepine binding site.

  18. Nitrogenated honokiol derivatives allosterically modulate GABAA receptors and act as strong partial agonists.

    PubMed

    Bernaskova, Marketa; Schoeffmann, Angela; Schuehly, Wolfgang; Hufner, Antje; Baburin, Igor; Hering, Steffen

    2015-10-15

    In traditional Asian medicinal systems, preparations of the root and stem bark of Magnolia species are widely used to treat anxiety and other nervous disturbances. The biphenyl-type neolignan honokiol together with its isomer magnolol are the main constituents of Magnolia bark extracts. We have previously identified a nitrogen-containing honokiol derivative (3-acetylamino-4'-O-methylhonokiol, AMH) as a high efficient modulator of GABAA receptors. Here we further elucidate the structure-activity relation of a series of nitrogenated biphenyl-neolignan derivatives by analysing allosteric modulation and agonistic effects on α1β2γ2S GABAA receptors. The strongest IGABA enhancement was induced by compound 5 (3-acetamido-4'-ethoxy-3',5-dipropylbiphenyl-2-ol, Emax: 123.4±9.4% of IGABA-max) and 6 (5'-amino-2-ethoxy-3',5-dipropylbiphenyl-4'-ol, Emax: 117.7±13.5% of IGABA-max). Compound 5 displayed, however, a significantly higher potency (EC50=1.8±1.1 μM) than compound 6 (EC50=20.4±4.3 μM). Honokiol, AMH and four of the derivatives induced significant inward currents in the absence of GABA. Strong partial agonists were honokiol (inducing 78±6% of IGABA-max), AMH (63±6%), 5'-amino-2-O-methylhonokiol (1) (59±1%) and 2-methoxy-5'-nitro-3',5-dipropylbiphenyl-4'-ol (3) (52±1%). 3-N-Acetylamino-4'-ethoxy-3',5-dipropyl-biphenyl-4'-ol (5) and 3-amino-4'-ethoxy-3',5-dipropyl-biphenyl-4'-ol (7) were less efficacious but even more potent (5: EC50=6.9±1.0 μM; 7: EC50=33.2±5.1 μM) than the full agonist GABA. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Tonic inhibition of accumbal spiny neurons by extrasynaptic α4βδ GABAA receptors modulates the actions of psychostimulants.

    PubMed

    Maguire, Edward P; Macpherson, Tom; Swinny, Jerome D; Dixon, Claire I; Herd, Murray B; Belelli, Delia; Stephens, David N; King, Sarah L; Lambert, Jeremy J

    2014-01-15

    Within the nucleus accumbens (NAc), synaptic GABAA receptors (GABAARs) mediate phasic inhibition of medium spiny neurons (MSNs) and influence behavioral responses to cocaine. We demonstrate that both dopamine D1- and D2-receptor-expressing MSNs (D-MSNs) additionally harbor extrasynaptic GABAARs incorporating α4, β, and δ subunits that mediate tonic inhibition, thereby influencing neuronal excitability. Both the selective δ-GABAAR agonist THIP and DS2, a selective positive allosteric modulator, greatly increased the tonic current of all MSNs from wild-type (WT), but not from δ(-/-) or α4(-/-) mice. Coupling dopamine and tonic inhibition, the acute activation of D1 receptors (by a selective agonist or indirectly by amphetamine) greatly enhanced tonic inhibition in D1-MSNs but not D2-MSNs. In contrast, prolonged D2 receptor activation modestly reduced the tonic conductance of D2-MSNs. Behaviorally, WT and constitutive α4(-/-) mice did not differ in their expression of cocaine-conditioned place preference (CPP). Importantly, however, mice with the α4 deletion specific to D1-expressing neurons (α4(D1-/-)) showed increased CPP. Furthermore, THIP administered systemically or directly into the NAc of WT, but not α4(-/-) or α4(D1-/-) mice, blocked cocaine enhancement of CPP. In comparison, α4(D2-/-) mice exhibited normal CPP, but no cocaine enhancement. In conclusion, dopamine modulation of GABAergic tonic inhibition of D1- and D2-MSNs provides an intrinsic mechanism to differentially affect their excitability in response to psychostimulants and thereby influence their ability to potentiate conditioned reward. Therefore, α4βδ GABAARs may represent a viable target for the development of novel therapeutics to better understand and influence addictive behaviors.

  20. Tonic Inhibition of Accumbal Spiny Neurons by Extrasynaptic α4βδ GABAA Receptors Modulates the Actions of Psychostimulants

    PubMed Central

    Maguire, Edward P.; Macpherson, Tom; Swinny, Jerome D.; Dixon, Claire I.; Herd, Murray B.; Belelli, Delia; Stephens, David N.

    2014-01-01

    Within the nucleus accumbens (NAc), synaptic GABAA receptors (GABAARs) mediate phasic inhibition of medium spiny neurons (MSNs) and influence behavioral responses to cocaine. We demonstrate that both dopamine D1- and D2-receptor-expressing MSNs (D-MSNs) additionally harbor extrasynaptic GABAARs incorporating α4, β, and δ subunits that mediate tonic inhibition, thereby influencing neuronal excitability. Both the selective δ-GABAAR agonist THIP and DS2, a selective positive allosteric modulator, greatly increased the tonic current of all MSNs from wild-type (WT), but not from δ−/− or α4−/− mice. Coupling dopamine and tonic inhibition, the acute activation of D1 receptors (by a selective agonist or indirectly by amphetamine) greatly enhanced tonic inhibition in D1-MSNs but not D2-MSNs. In contrast, prolonged D2 receptor activation modestly reduced the tonic conductance of D2-MSNs. Behaviorally, WT and constitutive α4−/− mice did not differ in their expression of cocaine-conditioned place preference (CPP). Importantly, however, mice with the α4 deletion specific to D1-expressing neurons (α4D1−/−) showed increased CPP. Furthermore, THIP administered systemically or directly into the NAc of WT, but not α4−/− or α4D1−/− mice, blocked cocaine enhancement of CPP. In comparison, α4D2−/− mice exhibited normal CPP, but no cocaine enhancement. In conclusion, dopamine modulation of GABAergic tonic inhibition of D1- and D2-MSNs provides an intrinsic mechanism to differentially affect their excitability in response to psychostimulants and thereby influence their ability to potentiate conditioned reward. Therefore, α4βδ GABAARs may represent a viable target for the development of novel therapeutics to better understand and influence addictive behaviors. PMID:24431441

  1. Wnt-5a modulates recycling of functional GABAA receptors on hippocampal neurons.

    PubMed

    Cuitino, Loreto; Godoy, Juan A; Farías, Ginny G; Couve, Andrés; Bonansco, Christian; Fuenzalida, Marco; Inestrosa, Nibaldo C

    2010-06-23

    GABA(A) receptors (GABA(A)-Rs) play a significant role in mediating fast synaptic inhibition and it is the main inhibitory receptor in the CNS. The role of Wnt signaling in coordinating synapse structure and function in the mature CNS is poorly understood. In previous studies we found that Wnt ligands can modulate excitatory synapses through remodeling both presynaptic and postsynaptic regions. In this current study we provide evidence for the effect of Wnt-5a on postsynaptic GABA(A)-Rs. We observed that Wnt-5a induces surface expression and maintenance of this receptor in the neuronal membrane. The evoked IPSC recordings in rat hippocampal slice indicate that Wnt-5a can regulates postsynaptically the hippocampal inhibitory synapses. We found also that Wnt-5a: (a) induces the insertion and clustering of GABA(A)-Rs in the membrane; (b) increases the amplitude of GABA-currents due exclusively to postsynaptic mechanisms; (c) does not affect the endocytic process, but increases the receptor recycling. Finally, all these effects on the GABA(A)-Rs are mediated by the activation of calcium/calmodulin-dependent kinase II (CaMKII). Therefore, we postulate that Wnt-5a, by activation of CaMKII, induces the recycling of functional GABA(A)-Rs on the mature hippocampal neurons.

  2. The essential role of hippocampal alpha6 subunit-containing GABAA receptors in maternal separation stress-induced adolescent depressive behaviors.

    PubMed

    Yang, Linjie; Xu, Ting; Zhang, Ke; Wei, Zhisheng; Li, Xuran; Huang, Mingfa; Rose, Gregory M; Cai, Xiang

    2016-10-15

    Exposure to early stressful adverse life events such as maternal separation severely impacts the development of the nervous system. Using immunohistochemistry, quantitative PCR and Western blot approaches, we found that alpha6 subunit-containing GABAA receptors (Gabra6-containing GABAA Rs) were expressed on hippocampal interneurons of adolescent rats. Maternal separation stress (MS) from postnatal day 2 to15 significantly reduced Gabra6 expression and provoked depressive behaviors such as anhedonia. Furosemide, the selective antagonist of Gabra6-containing GABAARs, strongly increased peak amplitude of evoked IPSCs at CA3-CA1 synapses and the frequency of miniature IPSPs recorded from CA1 pyramidal cells in naive control animals, and this effect was occluded in MS animals. Knockdown of Gabra6 expression in hippocampus mimicked furosemide's effect and was sufficient to produce similar depressive symptoms that were observed in MS animals. These results indicate that the Gabra6-containing GABAA R is a key modulator of hippocampal synaptic transmission and likely plays a crucial role in the pathophysiology of maternal separation-induced depression.

  3. Neurosteroid Binding Sites on the GABAA Receptor Complex as Novel Targets for Therapeutics to Reduce Alcohol Abuse and Dependence

    PubMed Central

    Hulin, Mary W.; Amato, Russell J.; Porter, Johnny R.; Filipeanu, Catalin M.; Winsauer, Peter J.

    2011-01-01

    Despite the prevalence of alcohol abuse and dependence in the US and Europe, there are only five approved pharmacotherapies for alcohol dependence. Moreover, these pharmacotherapeutic options have limited clinical utility. The purpose of this paper is to present pertinent literature suggesting that both alcohol and the neurosteroids interact at the GABAA receptor complex and that the neurosteroid sites on this receptor complex could serve as new targets for the development of novel therapeutics for alcohol abuse. This paper will also present data collected by our laboratory showing that one neurosteroid in particular, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), decreases ethanol intake in rats under a variety of conditions. In the process, we will also mention relevant studies from the literature suggesting that both particular subtypes and subunits of the GABAA receptor play an important role in mediating the interaction of neurosteroids and ethanol. PMID:22110489

  4. Development of a Robust Mammalian Cell-based Assay for Studying Recombinant α4 β1/3 δ GABAA Receptor Subtypes.

    PubMed

    Falk-Petersen, Christina B; Søgaard, Rikke; Madsen, Kenneth L; Klein, Anders B; Frølund, Bente; Wellendorph, Petrine

    2017-03-16

    δ-Containing GABAA receptors are located extrasynaptically and mediate tonic inhibition. Their involvement in brain physiology positions them as interesting drug targets. There is thus a continued interest in establishing reliable recombinant expression systems for δ-containing GABAA receptors. Inconveniently, the recombinant expression of especially α4 β1/3 δ receptors has been found to be notoriously difficult, due to mixed receptor populations and/or stoichiometries and differential pharmacology depending on the expression system used. With the aim of developing a facile and robust 96-well format cell-based assay for extrasynaptic α4 β1/3 δ receptors, we have engineered and validated a HEK293 Flp-In(™) cell line stably expressing the human δ-subunit. Upon co-transfection of α4 and β1/3 subunits, at optimized ratios, we have established a well-defined system for expressing α4 β1/3 δ receptors and used the fluorescence-based FLIPR Membrane Potential (FMP) assay to evaluate their pharmacology. Using the known reference compounds GABA and THIP, ternary α4 β1/3 δ and binary α4 β1/3 receptors could be distinguished based on potency and kinetic profiles but not efficacy. As expected, DS2 was able to potentiate only δ-containing receptors, whereas Zn(2+) had an inhibitory effect only at binary receptors. By contrast, the hitherto reported δ-selective compounds, AA29504 and 3-OH-2'MeO6MF were non-selective. The expression system was further validated using patch clamp electrophysiology, in which the superagonism of THIP was confirmed. The established FMP assay setup, based on transient expression of human α4 and β1/3 subunits into a δ-subunit stable HEK293 Flp-In(™) cell line, portrays a simple 96-well format assay as a useful supplement to electrophysiological recordings on δ-containing GABAA receptors. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  5. The insecticide fipronil and its metabolite fipronil sulphone inhibit the rat α1β2γ2L GABAA receptor

    PubMed Central

    Li, P; Akk, G

    2008-01-01

    Background and purpose: Fipronil is the active ingredient in a number of widely used insecticides. Human exposure to fipronil leads to symptoms (headache, nausea and seizures) typically associated with the antagonism of GABAA receptors in the brain. In this study, we have examined the modulation of the common brain GABAA receptor subtype by fipronil and its major metabolite, fipronil sulphone. Experimental approach: Whole-cell and single-channel recordings were made from HEK 293 cells transiently expressing rat α1β2γ2L GABAA receptors. Key results: The major effect of fipronil was to increase the rate of current decay in macroscopic recordings. In single-channel recordings, the presence of fipronil resulted in shorter cluster durations without affecting the intracluster open and closed time distributions or the single-channel conductance. The α1V256S mutation, previously shown alleviate channel inhibition by inhibitory steroids and several insecticides, had a relatively small effect on channel block by fipronil. The mode of action of fipronil sulphone was similar to that of its parent compound but the metabolite was less potent at inhibiting the α1β2γ2L receptor. Conclusions and implications: We conclude that exposure to fipronil induces accumulation of receptors in a novel, long-lived blocked state. This process proceeds in parallel with and independently of, channel desensitization. The lower potency of fipronil sulphone indicates that the conversion serves as a detoxifying process in mammalian brain. PMID:18660823

  6. The effect of BLA GABA(A) receptors in anxiolytic-like effect and aversive memory deficit induced by ACPA

    PubMed Central

    Kangarlu-Haghighi, Katayoon; Oryan, Shahrbanoo; Nasehi, Mohammad; Zarrindast, Mohammad-Reza

    2015-01-01

    The roles of GABAergic receptors of the Basolateral amygdala (BLA) in the cannabinoid CB1 receptor agonist (arachydonilcyclopropylamide; ACPA)-induced anxiolytic-like effect and aversive memory deficit in adult male mice were examined in elevated plus-maze task. Results showed that pre-test intra-peritoneal injection of ACPA induced anxiolytic-like effect (at dose of 0.05 mg/kg) and aversive memory deficit (at doses of 0.025 and 0.05 mg/kg). The results revealed that Pre-test intra-BLA infusion of muscimol (GABAA receptor agonist; at doses of 0.1 and 0.2 µg/mouse) or bicuculline (GABAA receptor antagonist; at all doses) impaired and did not alter aversive memory, respectively. All previous GABA agents did not have any effects on anxiety-like behaviors. Interestingly, pretreatment with a sub-threshold dose of muscimol (0.025 µg/mouse) and bicuculline (0.025 µg/mouse) did not alter anxiolytic-like behaviors induced by ACPA, while both drugs restored ACPA-induced amnesia. Moreover, muscimol or bicuculline increased and decreased ACPA-induced locomotor activity, respectively. Finally the data may indicate that BLA GABAA receptors have critical and different roles in anxiolytic-like effect, aversive memory deficit and locomotor activity induced by ACPA. PMID:26648818

  7. GABAA receptors in the dorsal raphé nucleus of mice: escalation of aggression after alcohol consumption

    PubMed Central

    Takahashi, Aki; Kwa, Carolyn; DeBold, Joseph F.

    2010-01-01

    Rationale The dorsal raphé nucleus (DRN), the origin for serotonin (5-HT) in forebrain areas, has been implicated in the neural control of escalated aggression. Gamma aminobutyric acid type-A (GABAA) and type-B (GABAB) receptors are expressed in the DRN and modulate 5-HT neuronal activity, and both play a role in the behavioral effect of alcohol. Objective The purpose of this study is to examine the interaction between drugs acting on GABA receptors in the DRN and alcohol in their effects on aggressive behaviors. Method Male CFW mice, housed with a female, were trained to self-administer ethanol (1.0 g/kg) or water via an operant conditioning panel in their home cage. Immediately after they drank either ethanol or water, the animals were microinfused with a GABAergic drug into the DRN, and their aggressive behaviors were assessed 10 min later. Muscimol (0.006 nmol), a GABAA receptor agonist, escalated alcohol-heightened aggression but had no effect in the absence of ethanol. This effect of muscimol was prominent in the animals that showed alcohol-heightened aggression, but not the animals that reduced or did not change aggressive behavior after ethanol infusion compared to water. On the other hand, the GABAB agonist baclofen (0.06 nmol) increased aggressive behavior similarly in both water and ethanol conditions. Antagonists of the GABAA and GABAB receptors, bicuculline (0.006 nmol) and phaclofen (0.3 nmol) respectively, did not suppress heightened-aggressive behavior induced by ethanol self-administration. Conclusion GABAA receptors in the DRN are one of the neurobiological targets of alcohol-heightened aggression. Activation of the GABAB receptors in the DRN also produced escalated aggression, but that is independent of the effect of alcohol. PMID:20589493

  8. α4βδ GABA(A) receptors are high-affinity targets for γ-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB).

    PubMed

    Absalom, Nathan; Eghorn, Laura F; Villumsen, Inge S; Karim, Nasiara; Bay, Tina; Olsen, Jesper V; Knudsen, Gitte M; Bräuner-Osborne, Hans; Frølund, Bente; Clausen, Rasmus P; Chebib, Mary; Wellendorph, Petrine

    2012-08-14

    γ-Hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) binding to brain-specific high-affinity sites is well-established and proposed to explain both physiological and pharmacological actions. However, the mechanistic links between these lines of data are unknown. To identify molecular targets for specific GHB high-affinity binding, we undertook photolinking studies combined with proteomic analyses and identified several GABA(A) receptor subunits as possible candidates. A subsequent functional screening of various recombinant GABA(A) receptors in Xenopus laevis oocytes using the two-electrode voltage clamp technique showed GHB to be a partial agonist at αβδ- but not αβγ-receptors, proving that the δ-subunit is essential for potency and efficacy. GHB showed preference for α4 over α(1,2,6)-subunits and preferably activated α4β1δ (EC(50) = 140 nM) over α4β(2/3)δ (EC(50) = 8.41/1.03 mM). Introduction of a mutation, α4F71L, in α4β1(δ)-receptors completely abolished GHB but not GABA function, indicating nonidentical binding sites. Radioligand binding studies using the specific GHB radioligand [(3)H](E,RS)-(6,7,8,9-tetrahydro-5-hydroxy-5H-benzocyclohept-6-ylidene)acetic acid showed a 39% reduction (P = 0.0056) in the number of binding sites in α4 KO brain tissue compared with WT controls, corroborating the direct involvement of the α4-subunit in high-affinity GHB binding. Our data link specific GHB forebrain binding sites with α4-containing GABA(A) receptors and postulate a role for extrasynaptic α4δ-containing GABA(A) receptors in GHB pharmacology and physiology. This finding will aid in elucidating the molecular mechanisms behind the proposed function of GHB as a neurotransmitter and its unique therapeutic effects in narcolepsy and alcoholism.

  9. Transient Directed Motions of GABAA Receptors in Growth Cones Detected by a Speed Correlation Index

    PubMed Central

    Bouzigues, Cédric; Dahan, Maxime

    2007-01-01

    Single-molecule tracking of membrane proteins has become an important tool for investigating dynamic processes in live cells, such as cell signaling, membrane compartmentation or trafficking. The extraction of relevant parameters, such as interaction times between molecular partners or confinement-zone sizes, from the trajectories of single molecules requires appropriate statistical methods. Here we report a new tool, the speed correlation index, designed to detect transient periods of directed motion within trajectories of diffusing molecules. The ability to detect such events in a wide range of biologically relevant parameter values (speed, diffusion coefficient, and durations of the directed period) was first established on simulated data. The method was next applied to analyze the trajectories of quantum-dot-labeled GABAA receptors in nerve growth cones. The use of the speed correlation index revealed that the receptors had a “conveyor belt” type of motion due to temporary interactions (∼4.0 s) between the receptors and the microtubules, leading to an average directed motion (velocity ∼0.3 μm s−1) in the growth-cone membrane. Our observations point to the possibility of a cytoskeleton-dependent redistribution of the sensing molecules in the membrane, which could play a role in the modulation of the cell response to external signals. PMID:17071660

  10. Neurosteroidogenesis is required for the physiological response to stress: role of neurosteroid-sensitive GABAA receptors

    PubMed Central

    Sarkar, Jhimly; Wakefield, Seth; MacKenzie, Georgina; Moss, Stephen J.; Maguire, Jamie

    2012-01-01

    The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, which mediates the body's response to stress, is largely under GABAergic control. Here we demonstrate that corticotropin releasing hormone (CRH) neurons are modulated by the stress-derived neurosteroid, THDOC, acting on δ subunit-containing GABAA receptors (GABAARs). Under normal conditions, THDOC potentiates the inhibitory effects of GABA on CRH neurons, decreasing the activity of the HPA axis. Counter-intuitively, following stress, THDOC activates the HPA axis due to dephosphorylation of KCC2 residue Ser940, resulting in a collapse of the chloride gradient and excitatory GABAergic transmission. The effects of THDOC on CRH neurons are mediated by actions on GABAAR δ subunit-containing receptors since these effects are abolished in Gabrd−/− mice under both control and stress conditions. Interestingly, blocking neurosteroidogenesis with finasteride is sufficient to block the stress-induced elevations in corticosterone and prevent stress-induced anxiety-like behaviors in mice. These data demonstrate that positive feedback of neurosteroids onto CRH neurons is required to mount the physiological response to stress. Further, GABAAR δ subunit-containing receptors and phosphorylation of KCC2 residue Ser940 may be novel targets for control of the stress response, which has therapeutic potential for numerous disorders associated with hyperexcitability of the HPA axis, including Cushing's syndrome, epilepsy, and major depression. PMID:22171026

  11. Estrous cycle variations in GABAA receptor phosphorylation enable rapid modulation by anabolic androgenic steroids in the medial preoptic area

    PubMed Central

    Oberlander, JG; Porter, DM; Onakomaiya, MM; Penatti, CAA; Vithlani, M; Moss, SJ; Clark, AS; Henderson, LP

    2012-01-01

    Anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS), synthetic testosterone derivatives that are used for ergogenic purposes, alter neurotransmission and behaviors mediated by GABAA receptors. Some of these effects may reflect direct and rapid action of these synthetic steroids at the receptor. The ability of other natural allosteric steroid modulators to alter GABAA receptor-mediated currents is dependent upon the phosphorylation state of the receptor complex. Here we show that phosphorylation of the GABAA receptor complex immunoprecipitated by β2/β3 subunit-specific antibodies from the medial preoptic area (mPOA) of the mouse varies across the estrous cycle; with levels being significantly lower in estrus. Acute exposure to the AAS, 17α-testosterone (17α-MeT), had no effect on the amplitude or kinetics of inhibitory postsynaptic currents in the mPOA of estrous mice when phosphorylation was low, but increased the amplitude of these currents from mice in diestrus, when it was high. Inclusion of the protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitor, calphostin, in the recording pipette eliminated the ability of 17α-MeT to enhance currents from diestrous animals, suggesting that PKC-receptor phosphorylation is critical for the allosteric modulation elicited by AAS during this phase. In addition, a single injection of 17α-MeT was found to impair an mPOA-mediated behavior (nest-building) in diestrus, but not in estrus. PKC is known to target specific serine residues in the β3 subunit of the GABAA receptor. Although phosphorylation of these β3 serine residues showed a similar profile across the cycle, as did phosphoserine in mPOA lysates immunoprecipitated with β2/β3 antibody (lower in estrus than in diestrus or proestrus), the differences were not significant. These data suggest that the phosphorylation state of the receptor complex regulates both the ability of AAS to modulate receptor function in the mPOA and the expression of a simple mPOA-dependent behavior through PKC-dependent mechanism

  12. An intracellular motif of P2X(3) receptors is required for functional cross-talk with GABA(A) receptors in nociceptive DRG neurons.

    PubMed

    Toulmé, Estelle; Blais, Dominique; Léger, Claire; Landry, Marc; Garret, Maurice; Séguéla, Philippe; Boué-Grabot, Eric

    2007-08-01

    Functional cross-talk between structurally unrelated P2X ATP receptors and members of the 'cys-loop' receptor-channel superfamily represents a recently-discovered mechanism for rapid modulation of information processing. The extent and the mechanism of the inhibitory cross-talks between these two classes of ionotropic receptors remain poorly understood, however. Both ionic and molecular coupling were proposed to explain cross-inhibition between P2X subtypes and GABA(A) receptors, suggesting a P2X subunit-dependent mechanism. We show here that cross-inhibition between neuronal P2X(3) or P2X(2+3) and GABA(A) receptors does not depend on chloride and calcium ions. We identified an intracellular QST(386-388) motif in P2X(3) subunits which is required for the functional coupling with GABA(A) receptors. Moreover the cross-inhibition between native P2X(3) and GABA receptors in cultured rat dorsal root ganglia (DRG) neurons is abolished by infusion of a peptide containing the QST motif as well as by viral expression of the main intracellular loop of GABA(A)beta3 subunits. We provide evidence that P2X(3) and GABA(A) receptors are colocalized in the soma and central processes of nociceptive DRG neurons, suggesting that specific intracellular P2X(3)-GABA(A) subunit interactions underlie a pre-synaptic cross-talk that might contribute to the regulation of sensory synaptic transmission in the spinal cord.

  13. GABAA receptor antagonism at the hypoglossal motor nucleus increases genioglossus muscle activity in NREM but not REM sleep

    PubMed Central

    Morrison, Janna L; Sood, Sandeep; Liu, Hattie; Park, Eileen; Nolan, Philip; Horner, Richard L

    2003-01-01

    The pharyngeal muscles, such as the genioglossus (GG) muscle of the tongue, are important for effective lung ventilation since they maintain an open airspace. Rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep, however, recruits powerful neural mechanisms that can abolish GG activity, even during strong reflex respiratory stimulation by elevated CO2. In vitro studies have demonstrated the presence of GABAA receptors on hypoglossal motoneurons, and these and other data have led to the speculation that GABAA mechanisms may contribute to the suppression of hypoglossal motor outflow to the GG muscle in REM sleep. We have developed an animal model that allows us to chronically manipulate neurotransmission at the hypoglossal motor nucleus using microdialysis across natural sleep-wake states in rats. The present study tests the hypothesis that microdialysis perfusion of the GABAA receptor antagonist bicuculline into the hypoglossal motor nucleus will prevent the suppression of GG muscle activity in REM sleep during both room-air and CO2-stimulated breathing. Ten rats were implanted with electroencephalogram and neck muscle electrodes to record sleep-wake states, and GG and diaphragm electrodes for respiratory muscle recording. Microdialysis probes were implanted into the hypoglossal motor nucleus for perfusion of artificial cerebrospinal fluid (ACSF) or 100 μm bicuculline during room-air and CO2-stimulated breathing (7 % inspired CO2). GABAA receptor antagonism at the hypoglossal motor nucleus increased respiratory-related GG activity during both room-air (P = 0.01) and CO2-stimulated breathing (P = 0.007), indicating a background inhibitory GABA tone. However, the effects of bicuculline on GG activity depended on the prevailing sleep-wake state (P < 0.005), with bicuculline increasing GG activity in non-REM (NREM) sleep and wakefulness both in room air and hypercapnia (P < 0.01), but GG activity was effectively abolished in those REM periods without phasic twitches in the GG muscle. This

  14. Quantitative effects produced by modifications of neuronal activity on the size of GABAA receptor clusters in hippocampal slice cultures.

    PubMed

    Marty, Serge; Wehrlé, Rosine; Fritschy, Jean-Marc; Sotelo, Constantino

    2004-07-01

    The number and strength of GABAergic synapses needs to be precisely adjusted for adequate control of excitatory activity. We investigated to what extent the size of GABA(A) receptor clusters at inhibitory synapses is under the regulation of neuronal activity. Slices from P7 rat hippocampus were cultured for 13 days in the presence of bicuculline or 4-aminopyridine (4-AP) to increase neuronal activity, or DNQX to decrease activity. The changes provoked by these treatments on clusters immunoreactive for the alpha1 and alpha2 subunits of the GABA(A) receptor or gephyrin were quantitatively evaluated. While an increase in activity augmented the density of these clusters, a decrease in activity provoked, in contrast, a decrease in their density. An inverse regulation was observed for the size of individual clusters. Bicuculline and 4-AP decreased whilst DNQX increased the mean size of the clusters. When the pharmacological treatments were applied for 2 days instead of 2 weeks, no effects on the size of the clusters were observed. The variations in the mean size of individual clusters were mainly due to changes in the number of small clusters. Finally, a regulation of the size of GABA(A) receptor clusters occurred during development in vivo, with a decrease of the mean size of the clusters between P7 and P21. This physiological change was also the result of an increase in the number of small clusters. These results indicate that neuronal activity regulates the mean size of GABA(A) receptor- and gephyrin-immunoreactive clusters by modifying specifically the number of synapses with small clusters of receptors.

  15. Activation-induced regulation of GABAA receptors: Is there a link with the molecular basis of benzodiazepine tolerance?

    PubMed

    Gravielle, María Clara

    2016-07-01

    Benzodiazepines have been used clinically for more than 50 years to treat disorders such as insomnia, anxiety, and epilepsy, as well as to aid muscle relaxation and anesthesia. The therapeutic index for benzodiazepines if very high and the toxicity is low. However, their usefulness is limited by the development of either or both tolerance to most of their pharmacological actions and dependence. Tolerance develops at different rates depending on the pharmacological action, suggesting the existence of distinct mechanisms for each behavioral parameter. Alternatively, multiple mechanisms could coexist depending on the subtype of GABAA receptor expressed and the brain region involved. Because most of the pharmacological actions of benzodiazepines are mediated through GABAA receptor binding, adaptive alterations in the number, structure, and/or functions of these receptors may play an important role in the development of tolerance. This review is focused on the regulation of GABAA receptors induced by long-term benzodiazepine exposure and its relationship with the development of tolerance. Understanding the mechanisms behind benzodiazepine tolerance is critical for designing drugs that could maintain their efficacy during long-term treatments.

  16. GABAA receptor-mediated stimulation of non-adrenergic non-cholinergic neurones in the dog ileocolonic junction.

    PubMed

    Boeckxstaens, G E; Pelckmans, P A; Rampart, M; Ruytjens, I F; Verbeuren, T J; Herman, A G; Van Maercke, Y M

    1990-10-01

    1. The inhibitory effects of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), the GABAA receptor agonist homotaurine and the GABAB receptor agonist (+/-)-baclofen were investigated on circular muscle strips of the dog terminal ileum and ileocolonic junction. 2. In the presence of atropine, GABA and homotaurine induced concentration-dependent relaxations, similar to the non-adrenergic non-cholinergic (NANC)-mediated relaxations evoked by electrical stimulation or by acetylcholine. The ileocolonic junction was more sensitive to GABA and homotaurine than the ileum. (+/-)-Baclofen had no effect. Cross desensitization only occurred between GABA and homotaurine. 3. The GABAA receptor antagonist bicuculline shifted the concentration-response curves to GABA and homotaurine to the right. The maximal relaxation to GABA remained unaffected. 4. GABA-induced relaxations were not inhibited by timolol, guanethidine, domperidone, hexamethonium and desensitization to ATP, but were abolished by tetrodotoxin. 5. Bicuculline, and pretreatment with GABA or (+/-)-baclofen had no effect on the NANC-evoked relaxations to electrical stimulation and acetylcholine. 6. In conclusion, GABA stimulates GABAA receptors located on inhibitory NANC neurones in the dog ileocolonic junction. Our results suggest that it is unlikely that GABA is the final inhibitory NANC neurotransmitter.

  17. Benzodiazepine-dependent stabilization of GABA(A) receptors at synapses.

    PubMed

    Gouzer, Géraldine; Specht, Christian G; Allain, Laure; Shinoe, Toru; Triller, Antoine

    2014-11-01

    GABA(A) receptors constitutively enter and exit synapses by lateral diffusion in the plane of the neuronal membrane. They are trapped at synapses through their interactions with gephyrin, the main scaffolding protein at inhibitory post-synaptic densities. Previous work has shown that the synaptic accumulation and diffusion dynamics of GABA(A)Rs are controlled via excitatory synaptic activity. However, it remains unknown whether GABA(A)R activity can itself impact the surface trafficking of the receptors. Here we report the effects of GABA(A)R agonists, antagonists and allosteric modulators on the receptor's surface dynamics. Using immunocytochemistry and single particle tracking experiments on mouse hippocampal neurons, we show that the agonist muscimol decreases GABA(A)R and gephyrin levels at synapses and accelerates the receptor's lateral diffusion within 30–120 min of treatment. In contrast, the GABA(A)R antagonist gabazine increased GABA(A)R amounts and slowed down GABA(A)R diffusion at synapses. The response to GABA(A)R activation or inhibition appears to be an adaptative regulation of GABAergic synapses. Surprisingly, the positive allosteric modulator diazepam abolished the regulation induced by muscimol, and this effect was observed on α1, α2, α5 and γ2 GABA(A)R subunits. Altogether these results indicate that diazepam stabilizes synaptic GABA(A)Rs and thus prevents the agonist-induced regulation of GABA(A)R levels at synapses. This occurred independently of neuronal activity and intracellular calcium and involved GABA(A)R–gephyrin interactions, suggesting that the changes in GABA(A)R diffusion depend on conformational changes of the receptor. Our study provides a new molecular mechanism involved in the adaptative response to changes in GABA(A)R activity and benzodiazepine treatments.

  18. GABAA and GABAB receptor-mediated effects in guinea-pig ileum.

    PubMed

    Giotti, A; Luzzi, S; Spagnesi, S; Zilletti, L

    1983-03-01

    -pig ileum: a bicuculline-sensitive GABA(A) receptor, which elicits contraction through an excitatory action on cholinergic post-ganglionic neurones; and a bicuculline-insensitive GABA(B) receptor which causes relaxation through an inhibitory presynaptic action on cholinergic post-ganglionic neurones. We confirm that GABA, homotaurine and muscimol are GABA(A) agonists, while GABA and (-)-baclofen are GABA(B) agonists.

  19. Glycine and GABAA receptors mediate tonic and phasic inhibitory processes that contribute to prepulse inhibition in the goldfish startle network

    PubMed Central

    Curtin, Paul C. P.; Preuss, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    Prepulse inhibition (PPI) is understood as a sensorimotor gating process that attenuates sensory flow to the startle pathway during early stages (20–1000 ms) of information processing. Here, we applied in vivo electrophysiology and pharmacology to determine if PPI is mediated by glycine receptors (GlyRs) and/or GABAA receptors (GABAARs) in the goldfish auditory startle circuit. Specifically, we used selective antagonists to dissect the contributions of target receptors on sound-evoked postsynaptic potentials (PSPs) recorded in the neurons that initiate startle, the Mauthner-cells (M-cell). We found that strychnine, a GlyR antagonist, disrupted a fast-activated (5 ms) and rapidly (<50 ms) decaying (feed-forward) inhibitory process that contributes to PPI at 20 ms prepulse/pulse inter-stimulus intervals (ISI). Additionally we observed increases of the evoked postsynaptic potential (PSP) peak amplitude (+87.43 ± 21.53%, N = 9) and duration (+204 ± 48.91%, N = 9). In contrast, treatment with bicuculline, a GABAAR antagonist, caused a general reduction in PPI across all tested interstimulus intervals (ISIs) (20–500 ms). Bicuculline also increased PSP peak amplitude (+133.8 ± 10.3%, N = 5) and PSP duration (+284.95 ± 65.64%, N = 5). Treatment with either antagonist also tonically increased post-synaptic excitability in the M-cells, reflected by an increase in the magnitude of antidromically-evoked action potentials (APs) by 15.07 ± 3.21%, N = 7 and 16.23 ± 7.08%, N = 5 for strychnine and bicuculline, respectively. These results suggest that GABAARs and GlyRs are functionally segregated to short- and longer-lasting sound-evoked (phasic) inhibitory processes that contribute to PPI, with the mediation of tonic inhibition by both receptor systems being critical for gain control within the M-cell startle circuit. PMID:25852486

  20. Effect of GABA agonists and GABA-A receptor modulators on cocaine- and food-maintained responding and cocaine discrimination in rats.

    PubMed

    Barrett, Andrew C; Negus, S Stevens; Mello, Nancy K; Caine, S Barak

    2005-11-01

    Recent studies indicate that GABAergic ligands modulate abuse-related effects of cocaine. The goal of this study was to evaluate the effects of a mechanistically diverse group of GABAergic ligands on the discriminative stimulus and reinforcing effects of cocaine in rats. One group of rats was trained to discriminate 5.6 mg/kg cocaine from saline in a two-lever, food-reinforced, drug discrimination procedure. In two other groups, responding was maintained by cocaine (0-3.2 mg/kg/injection) or liquid food (0-100%) under a fixed ratio 5 schedule. Six GABA agonists were tested: the GABA-A receptor agonist muscimol, the GABA-B receptor agonist baclofen, the GABA transaminase inhibitor gamma-vinyl-GABA (GVG), and three GABA-A receptor modulators (the barbiturate pentobarbital, the high-efficacy benzodiazepine midazolam, and the low-efficacy benzodiazepine enazenil). When tested alone, none of the compounds substituted fully for the discriminative stimulus effects of cocaine. As acute pretreatments, select doses of midazolam and pentobarbital produced 2.2- to 3.6-fold rightward shifts in the cocaine dose-effect function. In contrast, muscimol, baclofen, GVG, and enazenil failed to alter the discriminative stimulus effects of cocaine. In assays of cocaine- and food-maintained responding, midazolam and pentobarbital decreased cocaine self-administration at doses 9.6- and 3.3-fold lower, respectively, than those that decreased food-maintained responding. In contrast, muscimol, baclofen, and GVG decreased cocaine self-administration at doses that also decreased food-maintained responding. Enazenil failed to alter cocaine self-administration. Together with previous studies, these data suggest that among mechanistically diverse GABA agonists, high-efficacy GABA-A modulators may be the most effective for modifying the abuse-related effects of cocaine.

  1. Ginkgolides, diterpene trilactones of Ginkgo biloba, as antagonists at recombinant alpha1beta2gamma2L GABAA receptors.

    PubMed

    Huang, Shelley H; Duke, Rujee K; Chebib, Mary; Sasaki, Keiko; Wada, Keiji; Johnston, Graham A R

    2004-06-28

    Ginkgolides A, B, and C are diterpene trilactones and active constituents of the 50:1 Ginkgo biloba leaf extract widely used in the symptomatic treatment of mild to moderate dementia. Using the two-electrode voltage clamp methodology, these ginkgolides were found to be moderately potent antagonists at recombinant human alpha(1)beta(2)gamma(2L) GABA(A) receptors expressed in Xenopus oocytes. Ginkgolides A, B, and C inhibited the direct action of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) with K(i) values of 14.5+/-1.0, 12.7+/-1.7, and 16.3+/-2.4 microM respectively. Antagonism by these ginkgolides at alpha(1)beta(2)gamma(2L) GABA(A) receptors appears to be noncompetitive as indicated by the nonparallel right shift and reduced maximal GABA response in their GABA concentration-effect curves.

  2. Screening of plants used in southern Africa for epilepsy and convulsions in the GABAA-benzodiazepine receptor assay.

    PubMed

    Risa, Jofrid; Risa, Anlaug; Adsersen, Anne; Gauguin, Bente; Stafford, Gary I; van Staden, Johannes; Jäger, Anna K

    2004-08-01

    A number of plants are traditionally used to treat mental diseases in South Africa. Aqueous and ethanol extracts of 43 plants that are traditionally used to treat against epilepsy and convulsions, were tested in the GABAA-benzodiazepine receptor binding assay, where the binding of 3H-Ro 15-1788 (flumazenil) to the benzodiazepine site is measured. The GABAA-benzodiazepine receptor complex is involved in epilepsy and convulsions. Out of the 118 extracts tested, one aqueous and 18 ethanol extracts showed activity. The most active extracts were the ethanolic leaf extracts of Rhus tridentata, Rhus rehmanniana and Hoslundia opposita and the ethanolic corm extract of Hypoxis colchicifolia, which all showed good dose-dependent activity.

  3. Identification of amino acids involved in histamine potentiation of GABAA receptors

    PubMed Central

    Thiel, Ulrike; Platt, Sarah J.; Wolf, Steffen; Hatt, Hanns; Gisselmann, Günter

    2015-01-01

    Histamine is a neurotransmitter involved in a number of physiological and neuronal functions. In mammals, such as humans, and rodents, the histaminergic neurons found in the tuberomamillary nucleus project widely throughout the central nervous system. Histamine acts as positive modulator of GABAA receptors (GABAARs) and, in high concentrations (10 mM), as negative modulator of the strychnine-sensitive glycine receptor. However, the exact molecular mechanisms by which histamine acts on GABAARs are unknown. In our study, we aimed to identify amino acids potentially involved in the modulatory effect of histamine on GABAARs. We expressed GABAARs with 12 different point mutations in Xenopus laevis oocytes and characterized the effect of histamine on GABA-induced currents using the two-electrode voltage clamp technique. Our data demonstrate that the amino acid residues β2(N265) and β2(M286), which are important for modulation by propofol, are not involved in the action of histamine. However, we found that histamine modulation is dependent on the amino acid residues α1(R120), β2(Y157), β2(D163), β3(V175), and β3(Q185). We showed that the amino acid residues β2(Y157) and β3(Q185) mediate the positive modulatory effect of histamine on GABA-induced currents, whereas α1(R120) and β2(D163) form a potential histamine interaction site in GABAARs. PMID:26074818

  4. Enhancement of GABA release through endogenous activation of axonal GABA(A) receptors in juvenile cerebellum.

    PubMed

    Trigo, Federico F; Chat, Mireille; Marty, Alain

    2007-11-14

    Recent evidence indicates the presence of presynaptic GABA(A) receptors (GABA(A)Rs) in the axon domain of several classes of central neurons, including cerebellar basket and stellate cells. Here, we investigate the possibility that these receptors could be activated in the absence of electrical or chemical stimulation. We find that low concentrations of GABA increase the frequency of miniature GABAergic synaptic currents. Submaximal concentrations of a GABA(A)R blocker, gabazine, decrease both the miniature current frequency and the probability of evoked GABA release. Zolpidem, an agonist of the benzodiazepine binding site, and NO-711 (1-[2-[[(diphenylmethylene)imino]oxy]ethyl]-1,2,5,6-tetrahydro-3-pyridinecarboxylic acid hydrochloride), a blocker of GABA uptake, both increase the frequency of miniature currents. These effects occur up to postnatal day 14, but not later. Immunohistochemistry indicates the presence of alpha1-containing GABA(A)Rs in interneuron presynaptic terminals with a similar age dependence. We conclude that, under resting conditions, axonal GABA(A)Rs are significantly activated, that this activation results in enhanced GABA release, and that it can be augmented by increasing the affinity of GABA(A)Rs or reducing GABA uptake. Our findings suggest the existence of a positive-feedback mechanism involving presynaptic GABA(A)Rs that maintains a high release rate and a high local GABA concentration in the immature cerebellar network.

  5. Exercise combined with low-level GABAA receptor inhibition up-regulates the expression of neurotrophins in the motor cortex.

    PubMed

    Takahashi, Kazuma; Maejima, Hiroshi; Ikuta, Gaku; Mani, Hiroki; Asaka, Tadayoshi

    2017-01-01

    Neurotrophins play a crucial role in neuroplasticity, neurogenesis, and neuroprotection in the central nervous system. Aerobic exercise is known to increase the expression of BDNF in the cerebral cortex. Several animal studies have evaluated the tonic inhibition of GABAergic synapses to enhance hippocampal plasticity as well as learning and memory, whereas the effects of GABAergic inhibition on plasticity in the cerebral cortex related to motor learning are not well characterized. The objective of the present study was to examine the interactive effect of low-level GABAA receptor inhibition and exercise on the expression of neurotrophins including BDNF in the murine motor cortex. ICR mice were randomly distributed among 4 groups based on two factors of GABAA receptor inhibition and exercise, i.e. control group, an exercise group, a bicuculline group, and an exercise plus bicuculline group. We administered GABAA receptor antagonist, bicuculline intraperitoneally to the mice (bicuculline and exercise plus bicuculline group) at a non-epileptic dose of 0.25mg/kg, whereas the mice (exercise and exercise plus bicuculline group) were exercised on a treadmill for 1h every day. After two week intervention, the expression of mRNA and protein abundance of neurotrophins in the motor cortex was assayed using Real time PCR and ELISA. BDNF gene expression was significantly increased by approximately 3-fold in the bicuculline group relative to the control, exercise, and bicuculline plus exercise groups. Protein abundance of BDNF expression was significantly increased by approximately 3-fold in the bicuculline plus exercise group relative to other groups. Therefore, the present study revealed that combined GABAA receptor inhibition and moderate aerobic exercise up-regulated BDNF protein expression in the motor cortex without producing side effects on motor or cognitive functions. Alterations in BDNF expression could positively contribute to plasticity by regulating the balance

  6. Role of α1- and α2-GABAA receptors in mediating the respiratory changes associated with benzodiazepine sedation

    PubMed Central

    Masneuf, S; Buetler, J; Koester, C; Crestani, F

    2012-01-01

    BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE The molecular substrates underlying the respiratory changes associated with benzodiazepine sedation are unknown. We examined the effects of different doses of diazepam and alprazolam on resting breathing in wild-type (WT) mice and clarified the contribution of α1- and α2-GABAA receptors, which mediate the sedative and muscle relaxant action of diazepam, respectively, to these drug effects using point-mutated mice possessing either α1H101R- or α2H101R-GABAA receptors insensitive to benzodiazepine. EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH Room air breathing was monitored using whole-body plethysmography. Different groups of WT mice were injected i.p. with diazepam (1–100 mg·kg−1), alprazolam (0.3, 1 or 3 mg·kg−1) or vehicle. α1H101R and α2H101R mice received 1 or 10 mg·kg−1 diazepam or 0.3 or 3 mg·kg−1 alprazolam. Respiratory frequency, tidal volume, time of expiration and time of inspiration before and 20 min after drug injection were analysed. KEY RESULTS Diazepam (10 mg·kg−1) decreased the time of expiration, thereby increasing the resting respiratory frequency, in WT and α2H101R mice, but not in α1H101R mice. The time of inspiration was shortened in WT and α1H101R mice, but not in α2H101R mice. Alprazolam (1–3 mg·kg−1) stimulated the respiratory frequency by shortening expiration and inspiration duration in WT mice. This tachypnoeic effect was partially conserved in α1H101R mice while absent in α2H101R mice. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS These results identify a specific role for α1-GABAA receptors and α2-GABAA receptors in mediating the shortening by benzodiazepines of the expiratory and inspiratory phase of resting breathing respectively. PMID:22044283

  7. Depolarising and hyperpolarising actions of GABA(A) receptor activation on gonadotrophin-releasing hormone neurones: towards an emerging consensus.

    PubMed

    Herbison, A E; Moenter, S M

    2011-07-01

    The gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurones represent the final output neurones of a complex neuronal network that controls fertility. It is now appreciated that GABAergic neurones within this network provide an important regulatory influence on GnRH neurones. However, the consequences of direct GABA(A) receptor activation on adult GnRH neurones have been controversial for nearly a decade now, with both hyperpolarising and depolarising effects being reported. This review provides: (i) an overview of GABA(A) receptor function and its investigation using electrophysiological approaches and (ii) re-examines the past and present results relating to GABAergic regulation of the GnRH neurone, with a focus on mouse brain slice data. Although it remains difficult to reconcile the results of the early studies, there is a growing consensus that GABA can act through the GABA(A) receptor to exert both depolarising and hyperpolarising effects on GnRH neurones. The most recent studies examining the effects of endogenous GABA release on GnRH neurones indicate that the predominant action is that of excitation. However, we are still far from a complete understanding of the effects of GABA(A) receptor activation upon GnRH neurones. We argue that this will require not only a better understanding of chloride ion homeostasis in individual GnRH neurones, and within subcellular compartments of the GnRH neurone, but also a more integrative view of how multiple neurotransmitters, neuromodulators and intrinsic conductances act together to regulate the activity of these important cells. © 2011 The Authors. Journal of Neuroendocrinology © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  8. Coexistence of GABAA and GABAB receptors on A delta and C primary afferents.

    PubMed Central

    Désarmenien, M.; Feltz, P.; Occhipinti, G.; Santangelo, F.; Schlichter, R.

    1984-01-01

    Intracellular recordings from adult rat dorsal root ganglion neurones were performed in vitro and the coexistence of two gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors on the membrane of identified A delta and C primary afferents was demonstrated. Transient applications of GABA (10(-6)-10(-2) M) evoked dose-dependent depolarizations and increased membrane conductance. The responses were mimicked by muscimol, isoguvacine, THIP and 3 amino propane sulphonic acid (3 APS); they were blocked by bicuculline and picrotoxin. Pentobarbitone induced an increase of GABA-induced depolarizations. Perfusion of tetraethylammonium (TEA, 7.5 mM) and intracellular injection of Cs+ ions unmasked the Ca2+ component of action potentials, which appeared as long-lasting plateau depolarizations. Such action potentials were shortened in the presence of methoxyverapamil (D600, 5 X 10(-6)-10(-5) M) and in a medium without Ca+ ions. Prolonged (5-10 min) perfusion of GABA (10(-9)-10(-5) M) shortened the Ca2+ component of action potentials. This effect was mimicked by baclofen (10(-7)-5 X 10(-6) M) and muscimol (5 X 10(-7)-10(-5) M) and was not affected by bicuculline perfusion (5 X 10(-6)-10(-5) M). Isoguvacine (2.5 X 10(-5) M) did not affect action potential duration. It is concluded that two GABA receptors coexist on the membrane of slow conducting primary afferents: the bicuculline-sensitive GABAA receptor mediates depolarizations and the bicuculline-insensitive GABAB receptor shortens the calcium component of action potentials. PMID:6322896

  9. Adolescent Alcohol Exposure Alters GABAA Receptor Subunit Expression in Adult Hippocampus

    PubMed Central

    Centanni, Samuel W.; Teppen, Tara; Risher, Mary-Louise; Fleming, Rebekah L.; Moss, Julia L.; Acheson, Shawn K.; Mulholland, Patrick J.; Pandey, Subhash C.; Chandler, L. Judson; Swartzwelder, H. Scott

    2014-01-01

    Background The long-term consequences of adolescent alcohol abuse that persist into adulthood are poorly understood and have not been widely investigated. We have shown that intermittent exposure to alcohol during adolescence decreased the amplitude of GABAA receptor-mediated tonic currents in hippocampal dentate granule cells in adulthood. The aim of the present study was to investigate the enduring effects of chronic intermittent alcohol exposure during adolescence or adulthood on the expression of hippocampal GABAA receptors (GABAARs). Methods We used a previously characterized tissue fractionation method to isolate detergent resistant membranes and soluble fractions, followed by western blots to measure GABAAR protein expression. We also measured mRNA levels of GABAAR subunits using quantitative real-time PCR. Results Although the protein levels of α1-, α4- and δ-GABAAR subunits remained stable between postnatal day (PD) 30 (early adolescence) and PD71 (adulthood), the α5-GABAAR subunit was reduced across that period. In rats that were subjected to adolescent intermittent ethanol (AIE) exposure between PD30–46, there was a significant reduction in the protein levels of the δ-GABAAR, in the absence of any changes in mRNA levels, at 48 hours and 26 days after the last ethanol exposure. Protein levels of the α4-GABAAR subunit were significantly reduced, but mRNA levels were increased, 26 days (but not 48 hours) after the last AIE exposure. Protein levels of α5-GABAAR were not changed by AIE, but mRNA levels were reduced at 48hrs but normalized 26 days after AIE. In contrast to the effects of AIE, chronic intermittent exposure to ethanol during adulthood (CIE) had no effect on expression of any of the GABAAR subunits examined. Conclusions AIE produced both short- and long-term alterations of GABAAR subunits mRNA and protein expression in the hippocampus, whereas CIE produced no long lasting effects on those measures. The observed reduction of protein

  10. GABA-A Receptor Modulation and Anticonvulsant, Anxiolytic, and Antidepressant Activities of Constituents from Artemisia indica Linn

    PubMed Central

    Khan, Imran; Karim, Nasiara; Ahmad, Waqar; Abdelhalim, Abeer; Chebib, Mary

    2016-01-01

    Artemisia indica, also known as “Mugwort,” has been widely used in traditional medicines. However, few studies have investigated the effects of nonvolatile components of Artemisia indica on central nervous system's function. Fractionation of Artemisia indica led to the isolation of carnosol, ursolic acid, and oleanolic acid which were evaluated for their effects on GABA-A receptors in electrophysiological studies in Xenopus oocytes and were subsequently investigated in mouse models of acute toxicity, convulsions (pentylenetetrazole induced seizures), depression (tail suspension and forced swim tests), and anxiety (elevated plus maze and light/dark box paradigms). Carnosol, ursolic acid, and oleanolic acid were found to be positive modulators of α1β2γ2L GABA-A receptors and the modulation was antagonized by flumazenil. Carnosol, ursolic acid, and oleanolic acid were found to be devoid of any signs of acute toxicity (50–200 mg/kg) but elicited anticonvulsant, antidepressant, and anxiolytic activities. Thus carnosol, ursolic acid, and oleanolic acid demonstrated CNS activity in mouse models of anticonvulsant, antidepressant, and anxiolysis. The anxiolytic activity of all three compounds was ameliorated by flumazenil suggesting a mode of action via the benzodiazepine binding site of GABA-A receptors. PMID:27143980

  11. Blockade of prostaglandin E2-induced thermogenesis by unilateral microinjection of GABAA receptor antagonist into the preoptic area.

    PubMed

    Osaka, Toshimasa

    2008-09-16

    Previous studies have demonstrated that pretreatment of rats with a GABA(A) receptor antagonist microinjected bilaterally into the preoptic area (POA) blocked cold- or lipopolysaccharide-induced thermogenesis. Here, the involvement of GABA(A) receptors in prostaglandin (PG)E2-induced fever was examined. Thermogenic, tachycardic, vasoconstrictive, and hyperthermic responses were elicited by the unilateral microinjection of 0.57-1.1 pmol PGE2 into the region adjacent to the organum vasculosum of the lamina terminalis in urethane-chloralose-anesthetized rats. All these responses were blocked 10 min after pretreatment of the rats with a GABA(A) receptor antagonist, bicuculline methiodide or gabazine (50-500 pmol), microinjected unilaterally into the POA; and recovery occurred at approximately 70 min. Though the antagonist treatment alone had no effect on the O2 consumption rate or colonic temperature, it did elicit a bradycardic response. Pretreatment with the vehicle, saline, had no effect on the PGE2-induced responses. However, the blocking action of bicuculline/gabazine was efficacious when the agent was administered unilaterally, but not necessarily bilaterally, into the POA either contralateral or ipsilateral to the PGE2 injection site. These results suggest that the PGE2-induced responses are not simply mediated by the GABAergic transmission from the PGE2-sensitive site to the thermoefferent structure in the POA, although a tonic inhibitory input to POA neurons has a permissive role for the full expression of PGE2-induced fever.

  12. Mechanism of the cardiovascular effects of the GABAA receptors of the ventral tegmental area of the rat brain.

    PubMed

    Yeganeh, Fahimeh; Ranjbar, Afsaneh; Hatam, Masoumeh; Nasimi, Ali

    2015-07-23

    The ventral tegmental area (VTA) contains GABA terminals involved in the regulation of the cardiovascular system. Previously, we demonstrated that blocking GABAA but not GABAB receptors produced a pressor response accompanied by marked bradycardia. This study was performed to find the possible mechanisms involved in these responses by blocking ganglionic nicotinic receptors, peripheral muscarinic receptors or peripheral V1 vasopressin receptors. Experiments were performed on urethane anesthetized male Wistar rats. Drugs were microinjected unilaterally into the VTA (100 nl). The average changes in mean arterial pressure (MAP) and heart rate (HR) were compared between pre- and post-treatment using paired t-test. Injection of bicuculline methiodide (BMI), a GABAA antagonist, into the VTA caused a significant increase in MAP and a decrease in HR. Administration (i.v.) of the nicotinic receptor blocker, hexamethonium, enhanced the pressor response but abolished the bradycardic response to BMI, which ruled out involvement of the sympathetic nervous system. Blockade of the peripheral muscarinic receptors by homatropine (i.v.) abolished the bradycardic effect of BMI, but had no effect on the pressor response, indicating that bradycardia was produced by the parasympathetic outflow to the heart. Both the pressor and bradycardic responses to BMI were blocked by V1 receptor antagonist (i.v.), indicating that administration of BMI in the VTA disinhibited the release of vasopressin into the circulation. In conclusion, we demonstrated that GABAergic mechanism of the VTA exerts a tonic inhibition on vasopressin release through activation of GABAA receptors. The sympathetic system is not involved in the decrease of blood pressure by GABA of the VTA. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Reduction of α1GABAA receptor mediated by tyrosine kinase C (PKC) phosphorylation in a mouse model of fragile X syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Weidong; Wang, Jiaqin; Song, Shunyi; Li, Fang; Yuan, Fangfang

    2015-01-01

    Fragile X syndrome (FXS) caused by lack of fragile X mental retardation protein (Fmr1) is the most common cause of inherited intellectual disability and characterized by many cognitive disturbances like attention deficit, autistic behavior, and audiogenic seizure and have region-specific altered expression of some gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABAA) receptor subunits. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction and western blot experiments were performed in the cultured cortical neurons and forebrain obtained from wild-type (WT) and Fmr1 KO mice demonstrate the reduction in the expression of α1 gamma-aminobutyric acid (α1GABAA) receptor, phospho-α1GABAA receptor, PKC and phosphor-PKC in Fmr1 KO mice comparing with WT mice, both in vivo and in vitro. Furthermore, we found that the phosphorylation of the α1GABAA receptor was mediated by PKC. Our results elucidate that the lower phosphorylation of the α1GABAA receptor mediated by PKC neutralizes the seizure-promoting effects in Fmr1 KO mice and point to the potential therapeutic targets of α1GABAA agonists for the treatment of fragile X syndrome. PMID:26550246

  14. Autoradiographic analysis of GABAA receptor binding in the neural anxiety network of postpartum and non-postpartum laboratory rats

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Stephanie M.; Lonstein, Joseph S.

    2011-01-01

    Postpartum female rats exhibit a suppression of anxiety-related behaviors when compared to diestrous virgin females, pregnant females, and males. This blunted anxiety promotes optimal maternal care and involves elevated GABA neurotransmission, possibly including greater density of GABAA and benzodiazepine receptors in the postpartum brain. We here examined autoradiographic binding of [3H]muscimol to measure the total population of GABAA receptors and [3H]flunitrazepam to assess density of benzodiazepine sites in the medial prefrontal cortex, bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, amygdala, hippocampus, and periaqueductal gray of female rats sacrificed on day 7 postpartum, day 10 of pregnancy, or as diestrous virgins. A group of sexually naïve male rats was also included. We found that [3H]muscimol binding did not differ among groups in any site but that diestrous virgin females had greater [3H]flunitrazepam binding in the CA1 and dentate gyrus of the hippocampus compared to mid-pregnant females and males. Notably, postpartum and diestrous virgin females did not significantly differ in binding of either ligand in any site examined. This is the first study to evaluate the densities of GABAA and benzodiazepine binding sites simultaneously across three female reproductive states and sex with a focus on brain sites influencing anxiety-related behaviors. The results suggest that changes other GABAA receptor characteristics, such as subunit composition or increased presynaptic GABA release during interactions with offspring, must instead play a greater role in the postpartum suppression of anxiety in laboratory rats. PMID:21664440

  15. Plasticity of GABAA Receptors after Ethanol Pre-Exposure in Cultured Hippocampal Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Shen, Yi; Lindemeyer, A. Kerstin; Spigelman, Igor; Sieghart, Werner; Liang, Jing

    2011-01-01

    Alcohol use causes many physiological changes in brain with behavioral sequelae. We previously observed (J Neurosci 27:12367–12377, 2007) plastic changes in hippocampal slice recordings paralleling behavioral changes in rats treated with a single intoxicating dose of ethanol (EtOH). Here, we were able to reproduce in primary cultured hippocampal neurons many of the effects of in vivo EtOH exposure on GABAA receptors (GABAARs). Cells grown 11 to 15 days in vitro demonstrated GABAAR δ subunit expression and sensitivity to enhancement by short-term exposure to EtOH (60 mM) of GABAAR-mediated tonic current (Itonic) using whole-cell patch-clamp techniques. EtOH gave virtually no enhancement of mIPSCs. Cells pre-exposed to EtOH (60 mM) for 30 min showed, 1 h after EtOH withdrawal, a 50% decrease in basal Itonic magnitude and tolerance to short-term EtOH enhancement of Itonic, followed by reduced basal mIPSC area at 4 h. At 24 h, we saw considerable recovery in mIPSC area and significant potentiation by short-term EtOH; in addition, GABAAR currents exhibited reduced enhancement by benzodiazepines. These changes paralleled significant decreases in cell-surface expression of normally extrasynaptic δ and α4 GABAAR subunits as early as 20 min after EtOH exposure and reduced α5-containing GABAARs at 1 h, followed by a larger reduction of normally synaptic α1 subunit at 4 h, and then by increases in α4γ2-containing cell-surface receptors by 24 h. Measuring internalization of biotinylated GABAARs, we showed for the first time that the EtOH-induced loss of Itonic and cell-surface δ/α4 20 min after withdrawal results from increased receptor endocytosis rather than decreased exocytosis. PMID:21163967

  16. Protein kinase C regulates tonic GABAA receptor-mediated inhibition in the hippocampus and thalamus

    PubMed Central

    Bright, Damian P; Smart, Trevor G

    2013-01-01

    Tonic inhibition mediated by extrasynaptic GABAA receptors (GABAARs) is an important regulator of neuronal excitability. Phosphorylation by protein kinase C (PKC) provides a key mode of regulation for synaptic GABAARs underlying phasic inhibition; however, less attention has been focused on the plasticity of tonic inhibition and whether this can also be modulated by receptor phosphorylation. To address this issue, we used whole-cell patch clamp recording in acute murine brain slices at both room and physiological temperatures to examine the effects of PKC-mediated phosphorylation on tonic inhibition. Recordings from dentate gyrus granule cells in the hippocampus and dorsal lateral geniculate relay neurons in the thalamus demonstrated that PKC activation caused downregulation of tonic GABAAR-mediated inhibition. Conversely, inhibition of PKC resulted in an increase in tonic GABAAR activity. These findings were corroborated by experiments on human embryonic kidney 293 cells expressing recombinant α4β2δ GABAARs, which represent a key extrasynaptic GABAAR isoform in the hippocampus and thalamus. Using bath application of low GABA concentrations to mimic activation by ambient neurotransmitter, we demonstrated a similar inhibition of receptor function following PKC activation at physiological temperature. Live cell imaging revealed that this was correlated with a loss of cell surface GABAARs. The inhibitory effects of PKC activation on α4β2δ GABAAR activity appeared to be mediated by direct phosphorylation at a previously identified site on the β2 subunit, serine 410. These results indicate that PKC-mediated phosphorylation can be an important physiological regulator of tonic GABAAR-mediated inhibition. PMID:24102973

  17. Taurine is a potent activator of extrasynaptic GABA(A) receptors in the thalamus.

    PubMed

    Jia, Fan; Yue, Minerva; Chandra, Dev; Keramidas, Angelo; Goldstein, Peter A; Homanics, Gregg E; Harrison, Neil L

    2008-01-02

    Taurine is one of the most abundant free amino acids in the brain. In a number of studies, taurine has been reported to activate glycine receptors (Gly-Rs) at moderate concentrations (> or = 100 microM), and to be a weak agonist at GABA(A) receptors (GABA(A)-Rs), which are usually activated at high concentrations (> or = 1 mM). In this study, we show that taurine reduced the excitability of thalamocortical relay neurons and activated both extrasynaptic GABA(A)-Rs and Gly-Rs in neurons in the mouse ventrobasal (VB) thalamus. Low concentrations of taurine (10-100 microM) decreased neuronal input resistance and firing frequency, and elicited a steady outward current under voltage clamp, but had no effects on fast inhibitory synaptic currents. Currents elicited by 50 microM taurine were abolished by gabazine, insensitive to midazolam, and partially blocked by 20 microM Zn2+, consistent with the pharmacological properties of extrasynaptic GABA(A)-Rs (alpha4beta2delta subtype) involved in tonic inhibition in the thalamus. Tonic inhibition was enhanced by an inhibitor of taurine transport, suggesting that taurine can act as an endogenous activator of these receptors. Taurine-evoked currents were absent in relay neurons from GABA(A)-R alpha4 subunit knock-out mice. The amplitude of the taurine current was larger in neurons from adult mice than juvenile mice. Taurine was a more potent agonist at recombinant alpha4beta2delta GABA(A)-Rs than at alpha1beta2gamma2 GABA(A)-Rs. We conclude that physiological concentrations of taurine can inhibit VB neurons via activation of extrasynaptic GABA(A)-Rs and that taurine may function as an endogenous regulator of excitability and network activity in the thalamus.

  18. Activin Controls Ethanol Potentiation of Inhibitory Synaptic Transmission Through GABAA Receptors and Concomitant Behavioral Sedation

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Fang; Puppel, Anne; Huber, Sabine E; Link, Andrea S; Eulenburg, Volker; van Brederode, Johannes F; Müller, Christian P; Alzheimer, Christian

    2016-01-01

    Activin, a member of the transforming growth factor-β family, exerts multiple functions in the nervous system. Originally identified as a neurotrophic and -protective agent, increasing evidence implicates activin also in the regulation of glutamatergic and GABAergic neurotransmission in brain regions associated with cognitive and affective functions. To explore how activin impacts on ethanol potentiation of GABA synapses and related behavioral paradigms, we used an established transgenic model of disrupted activin receptor signaling, in which mice express a dominant-negative activin receptor IB mutant (dnActRIB) under the control of the CaMKIIα promoter. Comparison of GABAA receptor currents in hippocampal neurons from dnActRIB mice and wild-type mice showed that all concentrations of ethanol tested (30–150 mM) produced much stronger potentiation of phasic inhibition in the mutant preparation. In dentate granule cells of dnActRIB mice, tonic GABA inhibition was more pronounced than in wild-type neurons, but remained insensitive to low ethanol (30 mM) in both p