Regulator of G Protein Signaling Protein Suppression of G alpha(o) Protein-Mediated alpha(2A) Adrenergic Receptor Inhibition of Mouse Hippocampal CA3 Epileptiform Activity

Department of Pharmacology, Physiology and Therapeutics, School of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND 58202-9037, USA.
Molecular pharmacology (Impact Factor: 4.12). 02/2009; 75(5):1222-30. DOI: 10.1124/mol.108.054296
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Activation of G protein-coupled alpha(2) adrenergic receptors (ARs) inhibits epileptiform activity in the hippocampal CA3 region. The specific mechanism underlying this action is unclear. This study investigated which subtype(s) of alpha(2)ARs and G proteins (Galpha(o) or Galpha(i)) are involved in this response using recordings of mouse hippocampal CA3 epileptiform bursts. Application of epinephrine (EPI) or norepinephrine (NE) reduced the frequency of bursts in a concentration-dependent manner: (-)EPI > (-)NE > (+)NE. To identify the alpha(2)AR subtype involved, equilibrium dissociation constants (pK(b)) were determined for the selective alphaAR antagonists atipamezole (8.79), rauwolscine (7.75), 2-(2,6-dimethoxyphenoxyethyl)aminomethyl-1,4-benzodioxane hydrochloride (WB-4101; 6.87), and prazosin (5.71). Calculated pK(b) values correlated best with affinities determined previously for the mouse alpha(2A)AR subtype (r = 0.98, slope = 1.07). Furthermore, the inhibitory effects of EPI were lost in hippocampal slices from alpha(2A)AR-but not alpha(2C)AR-knockout mice. Pretreatment with pertussis toxin also reduced the EPI-mediated inhibition of epileptiform bursts. Finally, using knock-in mice with point mutations that disrupt regulator of G protein signaling (RGS) binding to Galpha subunits to enhance signaling by that G protein, the EPI-mediated inhibition of bursts was significantly more potent in slices from RGS-insensitive Galpha(o)(G184S) heterozygous (Galpha(o)+/GS) mice compared with either Galpha(i2)(G184S) heterozygous (Galpha(i2)+/GS) or control mice (EC(50) = 2.5 versus 19 and 23 nM, respectively). Together, these findings indicate that the inhibitory effect of EPI on hippocampal CA3 epileptiform activity uses an alpha(2A)AR/Galpha(o) protein-mediated pathway under strong inhibitory control by RGS proteins. This suggests a possible role for RGS inhibitors or selective alpha(2A)AR agonists as a novel antiepileptic drug therapy.

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