3 years ago

Axonal GABAA receptors depolarize presynaptic terminals and facilitate transmitter release in cerebellar Purkinje cells.

Federico F Trigo, Javier Zorrilla de San Martin, Shin-Ya Kawaguchi
In neurons of the adult brain, somatodendritic GABAA Rs mediate fast synaptic inhibition and play a crucial role in synaptic integration. GABAA Rs are not only present in the somatodendritic compartment, but also in the axonal compartment where they modulate action potential (AP) propagation and transmitter release. Although presynaptic GABAA Rs have been reported in various brain regions, their mechanisms of action and physiological roles remain obscure, particularly at GABAergic boutons. Here, using a combination of direct whole-bouton or perforated patch-clamp recordings and local GABA photolysis in single axonal varicosities of cerebellar Purkinje cells, we investigate the subcellular localization and functional role of axonal GABAA Rs both in primary cultures and acute slices. Our results indicate that presynaptic terminals of PCs carry GABAA Rs that behave as auto-receptors; their activation leads to a depolarization of the terminal membrane after an AP due to the relatively high cytoplasmic Cl(-) concentration in the axon, but do not modulate the AP itself. Paired recordings from different terminals of the same axon show that the GABAA R-mediated local depolarizations propagate substantially to neighboring varicosities. Finally, the depolarization mediated by presynaptic GABAA R activation augmented Ca(2+) influx and transmitter release, resulting in a marked effect on short-term plasticity. Altogether, our results reveal a mechanism by which presynaptic GABAA Rs influence neuronal computation. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Publisher URL: http://doi.org/10.1113/JP275369

DOI: 10.1113/JP275369

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