Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology

, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp 353–371 | Cite as

Role of uptake inγ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-mediated responses in guinea pig hippocampal neurons

  • John J. Hablitz
  • Frank J. Lebeda


  1. 1.

    Intracellular recordings were obtained from hippocampal pyramidal neurons maintainedin vitro. Measurements were made of the conductance change induced by iontophoretically appliedγ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and, using voltage-clamp techniques, of inhibitory postsynaptic currents resulting from activation of inhibitory pathways.

  2. 2.

    Analysis of GABA iontophoretic charge-response curves indicated that there was considerable variation among neurons with respect to the slope of this relation.

  3. 3.

    The placement of the GABA-containing pipette did not appear to be responsible for the observed variation, since vertical repositioning of the pipette did not alter the slope of the charge-response relationship.

  4. 4.

    Steady iontophoresis of GABA from one barrel of a double-barreled pipette markedly affected the charge-response relation obtained when short pulses were applied to the other barrel. The curve was shifted to the left, and the slope was decreased. Concomitantly, the enhanced GABA-induced responses were prolonged.

  5. 5.

    Similar alterations in GABA responsiveness were observed when the uptake blocker, nipecotic acid, was iontophoretically applied. Furthermore, bath application of saline containing a reduced sodium concentration (25% of control) also produced a prolongation of GABA-mediated responses.

  6. 6.

    Under voltage clamp, inhibitory postsynaptic currents were observed to have biphasic decays. The initial, fast decay was prolonged by an average of 18% by nipecotic acid, whereas the later, slow phase was prolonged by 23%.

  7. 7.

    The results of these studies support the hypothesis that a saturable GABA uptake system is responsible for the observed variation in the charge-response curves and, in turn, underlies the apparent sensitizing effect of excess GABA application. The results also suggest that a reduction of transmitter uptake affects the time course of inhibitory postsynaptic currents in the hippocampus.


Key words

hippocampus γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) uptake inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs) 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • John J. Hablitz
    • 1
  • Frank J. Lebeda
    • 1
  1. 1.Section of Neurophysiology, Department of NeurologyBaylor College of MedicineHoustonUSA

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