The amount of astrocytic GABA positively correlates with the degree of tonic inhibition in hippocampal CA1 and cerebellum

Bo Eun Yoon, Seonmi Jo, Junsung Woo, Jae Hoon Lee, Taekeun Kim, Daesoo Kim, Changjoon Lee

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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.

Original languageEnglish
Article number42
JournalMolecular Brain
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Nov 23
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Molecular Biology

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