The Role of Protein Kinase A in the Ethanol-Induced Increase in Spontaneous GABA Release Onto Cerebellar Purkinje Neurons
ABSTRACT Ethanol increases miniature inhibitory postsynaptic current frequency and decreases the paired-pulse ratio, which suggests that ethanol increases both spontaneous and evoked GABA release, respectively. We have shown previously that ethanol increases GABA release at the rat interneuron-Purkinje cell synapse and that this ethanol effect involves calcium release from internal stores; however, further exploration of the mechanism responsible for ethanol-enhanced GABA release was needed. We found that a cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) agonist, WIN-55212, and a GABA(B) receptor agonist, baclofen, decreased baseline spontaneous GABA release and prevented ethanol from increasing spontaneous GABA release. The CB1 receptor and GABA(B) receptor are Galpha i-linked G protein-coupled receptors with common downstream messengers that include adenylate cyclase and protein kinase A (PKA). Adenylate cyclase and PKA antagonists blocked ethanol from increasing spontaneous GABA release, whereas a PKA antagonist limited to the postsynaptic neuron did not block ethanol from increasing spontaneous GABA release. These results suggest that presynaptic PKA plays an essential role in ethanol-enhanced spontaneous GABA release. Similar to ethanol, we found that the mechanism of the cannabinoid-mediated decrease in spontaneous GABA release involves internal calcium stores and PKA. A PKA antagonist decreased baseline spontaneous GABA release. This effect was reduced after incubating the slice with a calcium chelator, BAPTA-AM, but was unaffected when BAPTA was limited to the postsynaptic neuron. This suggests that the PKA antagonist is acting through a presynaptic, calcium-dependent mechanism to decrease spontaneous GABA release. Overall, these results suggest that PKA activation is necessary for ethanol to increase spontaneous GABA release.
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ABSTRACT: Studies from several laboratories have shown that ethanol impairs cerebellar function, in part, by altering GABAergic transmission. Here, we discuss recent advances in our understanding of the acute effects of ethanol on GABAA receptor-mediated neurotransmission at cerebellar cortical circuits, mainly focusing on electrophysiological studies with slices from laboratory animals. These studies have shown that acute ethanol exposure increases GABA release at molecular layer interneuron-to-Purkinje cell synapses and also at reciprocal synapses between molecular layer interneurons. In granule cells, studies with rat cerebellar slices have consistently shown that acute ethanol exposure both potentiates tonic currents mediated by extrasynaptic GABAA receptors and also increases the frequency of spontaneous inhibitory postsynaptic currents mediated by synaptic GABAA receptors. These effects have been also documented in some granule cells from mice and nonhuman primates. Currently, there are two distinct models on how ethanol produces these effects. In one model, ethanol primarily acts by directly potentiating extrasynaptic GABAA receptors, including a population that excites granule cell axons and stimulates glutamate release onto Golgi cells. In the other model, ethanol acts indirectly by increasing spontaneous Golgi cell firing via inhibition of the Na+/K+ATPase, a quinidine-sensitive K+ channel, and neuronal nitric oxide synthase. It was also demonstrated that a direct inhibitory effect of ethanol on tonic currents can be unmasked under conditions of low protein kinase C activity. In the last section, we briefly discuss studies on the chronic effect of ethanol on cerebellar GABAA receptor-mediated transmission and highlight potential areas where future research is needed.The Cerebellum 01/2015; DOI:10.1007/s12311-014-0639-3 · 2.86 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The endogenous cannabinoids (eCBs) influence the acute response to ethanol and the development of tolerance, dependence and relapse. Chronic alcohol exposure alters eCB levels and Type 1 cannabinoid receptor (CB1 ) expression and function in brain regions associated with addiction. CB1 inhibits GABA release, and GABAergic dysregulation in the central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA) is critical in the transition to alcohol dependence. We investigated possible disruptions in CB1 signaling of rat CeA GABAergic transmission following intermittent ethanol exposure. In the CeA of alcohol-naive rats, CB1 agonist WIN 55,212-2 (WIN) decreased the frequency of spontaneous and miniature GABAA receptor-mediated inhibitory postsynaptic currents (s/mIPSCs). This effect was prevented by CB1 antagonism, but not Type 2 cannabinoid receptor (CB2 ) antagonism. After 2-3 weeks of intermittent ethanol exposure, these WIN inhibitory effects were attenuated, suggesting ethanol-induced impairments in CB1 function. The CB1 antagonist AM251 revealed a tonic eCB/CB1 control of GABAergic transmission in the alcohol-naive CeA that was occluded by calcium chelation in the postsynaptic cell. Chronic ethanol exposure abolished this tonic CB1 influence on mIPSC, but not sIPSC, frequency. Finally, acute ethanol increased CeA GABA release in both naive and ethanol-exposed rats. Although CB1 activation prevented this effect, the AM251- and ethanol-induced GABA release were additive, ruling out a direct participation of CB1 signaling in the ethanol effect. Collectively, these observations demonstrate an important CB1 influence on CeA GABAergic transmission and indicate that the CeA is particularly sensitive to alcohol-induced disruptions of CB1 signaling. © 2015 Society for the Study of Addiction.Addiction Biology 05/2015; DOI:10.1111/adb.12256 · 5.91 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Prenatal ethanol exposure can cause extensive apoptotic neurodegeneration throughout the developing central nervous system (CNS), which results in cognitive deficits and memory decline. However, the underlying mechanisms need further study. Single-minded 2 (Sim2), a transcriptional repressor, is reportedly involved in diseases that impair learning and memory, such as Down syndrome (DS) and Alzheimer's disease. It is still unknown whether Sim2 is involved in regulating ethanol-mediated neuronal injury that might ultimately lead to neuronal dysfunction and subsequent learning and memory deficits. To study the effects of ethanol on Sim2 expression and neuronal injury, we used animal models and cell culture experiments. Our results indicated that in SH-SY5Y cells, ethanol exposure increased Sim2 expression and levels of cleaved caspase 3, which is a marker for cells undergoing apoptosis. Silencing Sim2 expression attenuated caspase 3 activation and cellular apoptosis. We also found that protein kinase A (PKA) activation induced Sim2 expression, as did ethanol. Inhibiting the PKA signaling pathway with H-89 decreased Sim2 expression and cleavage of caspase 3 that was induced by ethanol in vivo and in vitro. We further found that PKA regulated Sim2 expression at the transcriptional level. These results demonstrate that ethanol leads to increased Sim2 expression via the PKA pathway, ultimately resulting in apoptotic cell death.Molecular Neurobiology 10/2014; DOI:10.1007/s12035-014-8924-1 · 5.29 Impact Factor