Pharmacologically novel GABA receptor in human dorsal root ganglion neurons.
ABSTRACT 1. Whole cell voltage-clamp studies of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors were performed on large (> 80 microns) cultured human dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons. 2. GABA and pentobarbital sodium when applied in micromolar concentrations evoked inward Cl- currents in DRG neurons voltage clamped at negative membrane potentials. 3. Diazepam (10 microM) and pentobarbital (10 microM) upmodulated the GABA current by approximately 149 and 168%, respectively. 4. The GABA currents in human DRG cells were unaffected by the classical GABA antagonists picrotoxin and bicuclline (100 microM). In contrast, the GABA responses evoked in adult rat DRG cells cultured in an identical manner were inhibited by both antagonists. The glycine receptor antagonist strychnine (100 microM) did not alter GABA currents in human DRG cells. 5. Human DRG cells did not respond to glycine (10-100 microM) or taurine (10-100 microM). The GABAB agonist baclofen had no effect on the holding current when patch pipettes were filled with 130 mM KCl. The GABAB antagonists saclofen applied either alone or with GABA was without effect. 6. The differences between the GABA receptors described here and GABA receptors in other species may reflect the presence of receptor subunits unique to human DRG cells.
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ABSTRACT: Although neuron transplantation to repair the nervous system has shown promise in animal models, there are few practical sources of viable neurons for clinical application and insufficient approaches to bridge extensive nerve damage in patients. Therefore, the authors sought a clinically relevant source of neurons that could be engineered into transplantable nervous tissue constructs. The authors chose to evaluate human dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons due to their robustness in culture. Cervical DRGs were harvested from 16 live patients following elective ganglionectomies, and thoracic DRGs were harvested from 4 organ donor patients. Following harvest, the DRGs were digested in a dispase-collagenase treatment to dissociate neurons for culture. In addition, dissociated human DRG neurons were placed in a specially designed axon expansion chamber that induces continuous mechanical tension on axon fascicles spanning 2 populations of neurons originally plated approximately 100 microm apart. The adult human DRG neurons, positively identified by neuronal markers, survived at least 3 months in culture while maintaining the ability to generate action potentials. Stretch-growth of axon fascicles in the expansion chamber occurred at the rate of 1 mm/day to a length of 1 cm, creating the first engineered living human nervous tissue constructs. These data demonstrate the promise of adult human DRG neurons as an alternative transplant material due to their availability, viability, and capacity to be engineered. Also, these data show the feasibility of harvesting DRGs from living patients as a source of neurons for autologous transplant as well as from organ donors to serve as an allograft source of neurons.Journal of Neurosurgery 03/2008; 108(2):343-7. · 3.15 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: A proportion of small diameter primary sensory neurones innervating human skin are chemosensitive. They respond in a receptor dependent manner to chemical mediators of inflammation as well as naturally occurring algogens, thermogens and pruritogens. The neurotransmitter GABA is interesting in this respect because in animal models of neuropathic pain GABA pre-synaptically regulates nociceptive input to the spinal cord. However, the effect of GABA on human peripheral unmyelinated axons has not been established. Electrical stimulation was used to assess the effect of GABA on the electrical excitability of unmyelinated axons in isolated fascicles of human sural nerve. GABA (0.1-100 microM) increased electrical excitability in a subset (ca. 40%) of C-fibres in human sural nerve fascicles suggesting that axonal GABA sensitivity is selectively restricted to a sub-population of human unmyelinated axons. The effects of GABA were mediated by GABA(A) receptors, being mimicked by bath application of the GABA(A) agonist muscimol (0.1-30 microM) while the GABA(B) agonist baclofen (10-30 microM) was without effect. Increases in excitability produced by GABA (10-30 microM) were blocked by the GABA(A) antagonists gabazine (10-20 microM), bicuculline (10-20 microM) and picrotoxin (10-20 microM). Functional GABA(A) receptors are present on a subset of unmyelinated primary afferents in humans and their activation depolarizes these axons, an effect likely due to an elevated intra-axonal chloride concentration. GABA(A) receptor modulation may therefore regulate segmental and peripheral components of nociception.PLoS ONE 01/2010; 5(1):e8780. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs) are proton-gated cation channels activated when extracellular pH declines. In rodents, the Accn2 gene encodes transcript variants ASIC1a and ASIC1b, which differ in the first third of the protein and display distinct channel properties. In humans, ACCN2 transcript variant 2 (hVariant 2) is homologous to mouse ASIC1a. In this article, we study two other human ACCN2 transcript variants. Human ACCN2 transcript variant 1 (hVariant 1) is not present in rodents and contains an additional 46 amino acids directly preceding the proposed channel gate. We report that hVariant 1 does not produce proton-gated currents under normal conditions when expressed in heterologous systems. We also describe a third human ACCN2 transcript variant (hVariant 3) that is similar to rodent ASIC1b. hVariant 3 is more abundantly expressed in dorsal root ganglion compared with brain and shows basic channel properties analogous to rodent ASIC1b. Yet, proton-gated currents from hVariant 3 are significantly more permeable to calcium than either hVariant 2 or rodent ASIC1b, which shows negligible calcium permeability. hVariant 3 also displays a small acid-dependent sustained current. Such a sustained current is particularly intriguing as ASIC1b is thought to play a role in sensory transduction in rodents. In human DRG neurons, hVariant 3 could induce sustained calcium influx in response to acidic pH and make a major contribution to acid-dependent sensations, such as pain.Journal of Biological Chemistry 10/2010; 285(53):41852-62. · 4.65 Impact Factor