Oct 1, 1989

GABA-activated Cl- channels in astrocytes of hippocampal slices

The Journal of Neuroscience : the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
B A MacVicarH Kettenmann


We used kainic acid-lesioned hippocampal slices to examine glial responses to the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA in a neuron-free environment. Slices were prepared from rats which received intracerebroventricular injections of kainic acid 1 month prior to experiments. Astrocytes (membrane potential averaged 81.4 +/- 5.5 mV; n = 46; mean +/- SD) were impaled in the CA3 region of the slice, which was completely depleted of neurons. GABA (1 mM) application by bath perfusion depolarized membrane potential from 1 to 5 mV. The GABA-induced depolarization was not affected by a tetrodotoxin (1 microM)/high-Mg2+/low-Ca2+ solution. Changing the Cl- equilibrium potential by reducing extracellular Cl- greatly increased the GABA-induced depolarization. Muscimol mimicked the GABA response, while picrotoxin (0.1 mM), an antagonist of the GABA-activated Cl- channel, resulted in a 60% blockade. The barbiturate, pentobarbital (0.1 mM), and the benzodiazepine agonist, flunitrazepam (1 mM), enhanced the depolarization by 60 and 40%, respectively. A blocker of glial GABA uptake, beta-alanine (1 mM), did not affect the GABA-induced membrane depolarization, indicating that the depolarization is not caused by electrogenic uptake of the amino acid. T...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Chloride Ion Level
August Rats
Antagonist Muscle Action
Kainic Acid

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