Brain Structure and Function

, Volume 222, Issue 1, pp 651–659 | Cite as

Unitary GABAergic volume transmission from individual interneurons to astrocytes in the cerebral cortex

  • Márton Rózsa
  • Judith Baka
  • Sándor Bordé
  • Balázs Rózsa
  • Gergely Katona
  • Gábor Tamás
Short Communication


Communication between individual GABAergic cells and their target neurons is mediated by synapses and, in the case of neurogliaform cells (NGFCs), by unitary volume transmission. Effects of non-synaptic volume transmission might involve non-neuronal targets, and astrocytes not receiving GABAergic synapses but expressing GABA receptors are suitable for evaluating this hypothesis. Testing several cortical interneuron types in slices of the rat cerebral cortex, we show selective unitary transmission from NGFCs to astrocytes with an early, GABAA receptor and GABA transporter-mediated component and a late component that results from the activation of GABA transporters and neuronal GABAB receptors. We could not detect Ca2+ influx in astrocytes associated with unitary GABAergic responses. Our experiments identify a presynaptic cell-type-specific, GABA-mediated communication pathway from individual neurons to astrocytes, assigning a role for unitary volume transmission in the control of ionic and neurotransmitter homeostasis.


Interneuron GABAA GABAB Neocortex 



This work was supported by the ERC INTERIMPACT project and the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (G.T.).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Márton Rózsa
    • 1
  • Judith Baka
    • 1
  • Sándor Bordé
    • 1
  • Balázs Rózsa
    • 2
  • Gergely Katona
    • 2
  • Gábor Tamás
    • 1
  1. 1.MTA-SZTE Research Group for Cortical Microcircuits, Department of Anatomy, Physiology and NeuroscienceUniversity of SzegedSzegedHungary
  2. 2.Two-Photon Imaging Center, Institute of Experimental MedicineHungarian Academy of SciencesBudapestHungary

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