A tonic form of synaptic inhibition occurs in discrete regions of the central nervous system and has an important role in controlling neuronal excitability. Recently, we reported that GABA present in astrocyte is the major source of tonic inhibition in cerebellum and that GABA is released through Bestrophin-1 channel by direct permeation. In this study, we screened for the presence of astrocytic GABA in various brain regions such as hippocampus, thalamus, hypothalamus and cerebellum using immunohistochemistry. We found that astrocytic GABA was present in the regions that were reported to show tonic inhibition. Because the existence of tonic inhibition in hippocampal CA1 is somewhat controversial, we compared the amount of astrocytic GABA and tonic inhibition between the hippocampal CA1 pyramidal cell layer and the cerebellar granule cell layer. Unlike cerebellar glial cells, hippocampal astrocytes did not contain GABA. The tonic inhibition was also much lower in the pyramidal neurons of hippocampal CA1 compared to the granule cells of cerebellum. Nevertheless, most of the hippocampal astrocytes expressed Bestrophin-1 channel. These data indicate that the absence of astrocytic GABA results in a low level of tonic inhibition in hippocampal CA1 region.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
- Molecular Biology