(1/1986) Somatic recording of GABAergic autoreceptor current in cerebellar stellate and basket cells.

Patch-clamp recordings were performed from stellate and basket cells in rat cerebellar slices. Under somatic voltage clamp, short depolarizing pulses were applied to elicit action potentials in the axon. After the action potential, a bicuculline- and Cd2+-sensitive current transient was observed. A similar response was obtained when eliciting axonal firing by extracellular stimulation. With an isotonic internal Cl- solution, the peak amplitude of this current varied linearly with the holding potential, yielding an extrapolated reversal potential of -20 to 0 mV. Unlike synaptic or autaptic GABAergic currents obtained in the same preparation, the current transient had a slow rise-time and a low variability between trials. This current was blocked when 10 mM BAPTA was included in the recording solution. In some experiments, the current transient elicited axonal action potentials. The current transient was reliably observed in animals aged 12-15 d, with a mean amplitude of 82 pA at -70 mV, but was small and rare in the age group 29-49 d. Numerical simulations could account for all properties of the current transient by assuming that an action potential activates a distributed GABAergic conductance in the axon. The actual conductance is probably restricted to release sites, with an estimated mean presynaptic current response of 10 pA per site (-70 mV, age 12-15 d). We conclude that in developing rats, stellate and basket cell axons have a high density of GABAergic autoreceptors and that a sizable fraction of the corresponding current can be measured from the soma.  (+info)

(2/1986) GABAergic excitatory synapses and electrical coupling sustain prolonged discharges in the prey capture neural network of Clione limacina.

Afterdischarges represent a prominent characteristic of the neural network that controls prey capture reactions in the carnivorous mollusc Clione limacina. Their main functional implication is transformation of a brief sensory input from a prey into a lasting prey capture response. The present study, which focuses on the neuronal mechanisms of afterdischarges, demonstrates that a single pair of interneurons [cerebral A interneuron (Cr-Aint)] is responsible for afterdischarge generation in the network. Cr-Aint neurons are electrically coupled to all other neurons in the network and produce slow excitatory synaptic inputs to them. This excitatory transmission is found to be GABAergic, which is demonstrated by the use of GABA antagonists, uptake inhibitors, and double-labeling experiments showing that Cr-Aint neurons are GABA-immunoreactive. The Cr-Aint neurons organize three different pathways in the prey capture network, which provide positive feedback necessary for sustaining prolonged spike activity. The first pathway includes electrical coupling and slow chemical transmission from the Cr-Aint neurons to all other neurons in the network. The second feedback is based on excitatory reciprocal connections between contralateral interneurons. Recurrent excitation via the contralateral cell can sustain prolonged interneuron firing, which then drives the activity of all other cells in the network. The third positive feedback is represented by prominent afterdepolarizing potentials after individual spikes in the Cr-Aint neurons. Afterdepolarizations apparently represent recurrent GABAergic excitatory inputs. It is suggested here that these afterdepolarizing potentials are produced by GABAergic excitatory autapses.  (+info)

(3/1986) Source of inappropriate receptive fields in cortical somatotopic maps from rats that sustained neonatal forelimb removal.

Previously this laboratory demonstrated that forelimb removal at birth in rats results in the invasion of the cuneate nucleus by sciatic nerve axons and the development of cuneothalamic cells with receptive fields that include both the forelimb-stump and the hindlimb. However, unit-cluster recordings from primary somatosensory cortex (SI) of these animals revealed few sites in the forelimb-stump representation where responses to hindlimb stimulation also could be recorded. Recently we reported that hindlimb inputs to the SI forelimb-stump representation are suppressed functionally in neonatally amputated rats and that GABAergic inhibition is involved in this process. The present study was undertaken to assess the role that intracortical projections from the SI hindlimb representation may play in the functional reorganization of the SI forelimb-stump field in these animals. The SI forelimb-stump representation was mapped during gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-receptor blockade, both before and after electrolytic destruction of the SI hindlimb representation. Analysis of eight amputated rats showed that 75.8% of 264 stump recording sites possessed hindlimb receptive fields before destruction of the SI hindlimb. After the lesions, significantly fewer sites (13.2% of 197) were responsive to hindlimb stimulation (P < 0.0001). Electrolytic destruction of the SI lower-jaw representation in four additional control rats with neonatal forelimb amputation did not significantly reduce the percentage of hindlimb-responsive sites in the SI stump field during GABA-receptor blockade (P = 0.98). Similar results were obtained from three manipulated rats in which the SI hindlimb representation was silenced temporarily with a local cobalt chloride injection. Analysis of response latencies to sciatic nerve stimulation in the hindlimb and forelimb-stump representations suggested that the intracortical pathway(s) mediating the hindlimb responses in the forelimb-stump field may be polysynaptic. The mean latency to sciatic nerve stimulation at responsive sites in the GABA-receptor blocked SI stump representation of neonatally amputated rats was significantly longer than that for recording sites in the hindlimb representation [26.3 +/- 8.1 (SD) ms vs. 10.8 +/- 2.4 ms, respectively, P < 0.0001]. These results suggest that hindlimb input to the SI forelimb-stump representation detected in GABA-blocked cortices of neonatally forelimb amputated rats originates primarily from the SI hindlimb representation.  (+info)

(4/1986) An intrinsic oscillation in interneurons of the rat lateral geniculate nucleus.

By using the whole cell patch recording technique in vitro, we examined the voltage-dependent firing patterns of 69 interneurons in the rat dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN). When held at a hyperpolarized membrane potential, all interneurons responded with a burst of action potentials. In 48 interneurons, larger current pulses produced a bursting oscillation. When relatively depolarized, some interneurons produced a tonic train of action potentials in response to a depolarizing current pulse. However, most interneurons produced only oscillations, regardless of polarization level. The oscillation was insensitive to the bath application of a combination of blockers to excitatory and inhibitory synaptic transmission, including 30 microM 6,7-dinitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione, 100 microM (+/-)-2-amino-5-phosphonopentanoic acid, 20 microM bicuculline, and 2 mM saclofen, suggesting an intrinsic event. The frequency of the oscillation in interneurons was dependent on the intensity of the injection current. Increasing current intensity increased the oscillation frequency. The maximal frequency of the oscillation was 5-15 Hz for most cells, with some ambiguity caused by the difficulty of precisely defining a transition from oscillatory to regular firing behavior. In contrast, the interneuron oscillation was little affected by preceding depolarizing and hyperpolarizing pulses. In addition to being elicited by depolarizing current injections, the oscillation could also be initiated by electrical stimulation of the optic tract when the interneurons were held at a depolarized membrane potential. This suggests that interneurons may be recruited into thalamic oscillations by synaptic inputs. These results indicate that interneurons may play a larger role in thalamic oscillations than was previously thought.  (+info)

(5/1986) Synaptic activation of GABAA receptors induces neuronal uptake of Ca2+ in adult rat hippocampal slices.

Synaptically evoked transmembrane movements of Ca2+ in the adult CNS have almost exclusively been attributed to activation of glutamate receptor channels and the consequent triggering of voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCCs). Using microelectrodes for measuring free extracellular Ca2+ ([Ca2+]o) and extracellular space (ECS) volume, we show here for the first time that synaptic stimulation of gamma-aminobutyric acid-A (GABAA) receptors can result in a decrease in [Ca2+]o in adult rat hippocampal slices. High-frequency stimulation (100-200 Hz, 0.4-0.5 s) applied in stratum radiatum close (+info)

(6/1986) Retinal input induces three firing patterns in neurons of the superficial superior colliculus of neonatal rats.

By using an in vitro isolated brain stem preparation, we recorded extracellular responses to electrical stimulation of the optic tract (OT) from 71 neurons in the superficial superior colliculus (SC) of neonatal rats (P1-13). At postnatal day 1 (P1), all tested neurons (n = 10) already received excitatory input from the retina. Sixty-nine (97%) superficial SC neurons of neonatal rats showed three response patterns to OT stimulation, which depended on stimulus intensity. A weak stimulus evoked only one spike that was caused by activation of non-N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) glutamate receptors. A moderate stimulus elicited a short train (<250 ms) of spikes, which was induced by activation of both NMDA and non-NMDA receptors. A strong stimulus gave rise to a long train (>300 ms) of spikes, which was associated with additional activation of L-type high-threshold calcium channels. The long train firing pattern could also be induced either by temporal summation of retinal inputs or by blocking gamma-aminobutyric acid-A receptors. Because retinal ganglion cells show synchronous bursting activity before eye opening at P14, the retinotectal inputs appear to be sufficient to activate L-type calcium channels in the absence of pattern vision. Therefore activation of L-type calcium channels is likely to be an important source for calcium influx into SC neurons in neonatal rats.  (+info)

(7/1986) Phase-dependent presynaptic modulation of mechanosensory signals in the locust flight system.

In the locust flight system, afferents of a wing hinge mechanoreceptor, the hindwing tegula, make monosynaptic excitatory connections with motoneurons of the elevator muscles. During flight motor activity, the excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs) produced by these connections changed in amplitude with the phase of the wingbeat cycle. The largest changes occurred around the phase where elevator motoneurons passed through their minimum membrane potential. This phase-dependent modulation was neither due to flight-related oscillations in motoneuron membrane potential nor to changes in motoneuron input resistance. This indicates that modulation of EPSP amplitude is mediated by presynaptic mechanisms that affect the efficacy of afferent synaptic input. Primary afferent depolarizations (PADs) were recorded in the terminal arborizations of tegula afferents, presynaptic to elevator motoneurons in the same hemiganglion. PADs were attributed to presynaptic inhibitory input because they reduced the input resistance of the afferents and were sensitive to the gamma-aminobutyric acid antagonist picrotoxin. PADs occurred either spontaneously or were elicited by spike activity in the tegula afferents. In summary, afferent signaling in the locust flight system appears to be under presynaptic control, a candidate mechanism of which is presynaptic inhibition.  (+info)

(8/1986) Differential blockade of gamma-aminobutyric acid type A receptors by the neuroactive steroid dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate in posterior and intermediate pituitary.

Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS) is a neuroactive steroid with antagonist action at gamma-aminobutyric acid type A (GABAA) receptors. Patch-clamp techniques were used to investigate DHEAS actions at GABAA receptors of the rat pituitary gland at two distinct loci: posterior pituitary nerve terminals and intermediate pituitary endocrine cells. The GABA responses in these two regions were quite different, with posterior pituitary responses having smaller amplitudes and desensitizing more rapidly and more completely. DHEAS blockade of GABAA receptors in the two regions also was different. In posterior pituitary, a site with an apparent dissociation constant of 15 microM accounted for most of the blockade, but a small fraction of blockade may be related to a site with a dissociation constant in the nanomolar range. In the intermediate lobe, DHEAS sensitivities in the nanomolar and micromolar ranges were clearly evident, in proportions that varied widely from cell to cell. Regardless of whether the GABA response of a cell was highly sensitive or weakly sensitive to DHEAS, GABA alone evoked currents that were indistinguishable in terms of amplitude, desensitization kinetics, and GABA sensitivity. Thus, the structural elements responsible for DHEAS blockade have a highly selective impact on receptor function. GABAA receptors with nanomolar sensitivity to DHEAS have not been described previously. This suggests that DHEAS may have an important role in the modulation of neuropeptide secretion, and the diverse properties of GABAA receptors in the rat pituitary provide mechanisms for selective regulation of the different peptidergic systems of this gland.  (+info)