The α6 subunit of the GABAA receptor is concentrated in both inhibitory and excitatory synapses on cerebellar granule cells

Z. Nusser, Werner Sieghart, F. Anne Stephenson, Peter Somogyi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Although three distinct subunits seem to be sufficient to form a functional pentameric GABAA receptor channel, cerebellar granule cells express mRNA for nine subunits. They receive GABAergic input from a relatively homogeneous population of Golgi cells. It is not known whether all subunits are distributed similarly on the surface of granule cells or whether some of them have differential subcellular distribution resulting in distinct types of synaptic and/or extrasynaptic channels. Antibodies to different parts of the α6 and α1 subunits of the GABAA receptor and electron microscopic immunogold localization were used to determine the precise subcellular distribution of these subunits in relation to specific synaptic inputs. Both subunits were present in the extrasynaptic dendritic and somatic membranes at lower densities than in synaptic junctions. The α6 and α1 subunits were colocalized in many GABAergic Golgi synapses, demonstrating that both subunits are involved in synaptic transmission in the same synapse. Synapses immunopositive for only one of the a subunits were also found. The α6, but not the α1, subunit was also concentrated in glutamatergic mossy fiber synapses, indicating that the α6 subunit may have several roles depending on its different locations. The results demonstrate a partially differential synaptic targeting of two distinct GABAA receptor subunits on the surface of the same type of neuron.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-114
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Volume16
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1996

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GABA-A Receptors
Synapses
Synaptic Transmission
Electrons
Neurons
Messenger RNA
Membranes
Antibodies
Population

Keywords

  • Cerebellum
  • Immunocytochemistry
  • Inhibition
  • Ion channel
  • Neurotransmission
  • Synapse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

The α6 subunit of the GABAA receptor is concentrated in both inhibitory and excitatory synapses on cerebellar granule cells. / Nusser, Z.; Sieghart, Werner; Stephenson, F. Anne; Somogyi, Peter.

In: Journal of Neuroscience, Vol. 16, No. 1, 01.01.1996, p. 103-114.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Nusser, Z. ; Sieghart, Werner ; Stephenson, F. Anne ; Somogyi, Peter. / The α6 subunit of the GABAA receptor is concentrated in both inhibitory and excitatory synapses on cerebellar granule cells. In: Journal of Neuroscience. 1996 ; Vol. 16, No. 1. pp. 103-114.
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