Pharmacologically novel GABA receptor in human dorsal root ganglion neurons
Neurophysiology Laboratory, Veteran's Administration Medical Center, Miami, Florida, USA.Journal of Neurophysiology (Impact Factor: 2.89). 12/1996; 76(5):3555-8.
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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- "For example, voltage-gated sodium channels produce a unique tetrodotoxin-resistant current in hDRG neurons not previously identified in rodents . Additionally , GABA A receptor–evoked currents in rodent DRG are effectively blocked by picrotoxin and bicuculline, but neither antagonist blocked GABAR currents from hDRG neurons, suggesting fundamental functional differences in human sensory neurons . Genetic differences of homologous receptors between human and model organisms have also been identified. "
ABSTRACT: Biological differences in sensory processing between human and model organisms may present significant obstacles to translational approaches in treating chronic pain. To better understand the physiology of human sensory neurons, we performed whole-cell patch-clamp recordings from 141 human dorsal root ganglion (hDRG) neurons from five young adult donors without chronic pain. Nearly all small diameter hDRG neurons (<50 μm) displayed an inflection on the descending slope of the action potential, a defining feature of rodent nociceptive neurons. A high proportion of hDRG neurons were responsive to the algogens allyl isothiocyanate (AITC) and ATP, as well as the pruritogens histamine and chloroquine. We show that a subset of hDRG neurons responded to the inflammatory compounds bradykinin and prostaglandin E2 with action potential discharge and show evidence of sensitization including lower rheobase. Compared to electrically-evoked action potentials, chemically-induced action potentials were triggered from less depolarized thresholds and showed distinct after-hyperpolarization kinetics. These data indicate that most small/medium hDRG neurons can be classified as nociceptors, that they respond directly to compounds that produce pain and itch, and can be activated and sensitized by inflammatory mediators. The use of hDRG neurons as preclinical vehicles for target validation is discussed.
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- "Adult primary afferent sensory neurons provide an interesting example in this respect. The cell bodies of dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurones, which are devoid of synaptic contact, express functional GABAA receptors (human: , , rat: , , cat: , rabbit: , chick: ). Functional GABAA receptor mediated responses in the somata of DRG neurones is also evident in their unmyelinated axons (rat: ) where application of GABA results in depolarization (for review see , ). "
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.
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- "In the rat main olfactory bulb, Belluzzi et al.  demonstrate that Tau fails to activate GlyRs but activates GABA A Rs in mitral and tufted cells. In the mammalian dorsal root ganglion, Tau cannot activate GABA A Rs   . Electrophysiological experiments show that glycinergic inhibition and GABAergic inhibition converge in the same cells in the IC   and that at least a subpopulation of IC neurons expresses both GlyRs and GABA A Rs . "
ABSTRACT: Taurine (Tau) is one of the most abundant free amino acids in the mammalian central nervous system. Whether the neurotransmission of the central auditory system is regulated or modulated by Tau is not clear. In the present study, we investigated the electrophysiological and pharmacological properties of Tau-activated currents in acutely dissociated neurons of the rat inferior colliculus (IC) using whole cell patch clamp recordings. At a holding potential of -60 mV and under a condition of chloride equilibrium potential near 0 mV, Tau activated an inward current and its half-maximal activation concentration was equal to 0.37 mM. The measured reversal potential of Tau-activated currents was close to theoretical chloride equilibrium potential. The currents evoked by Tau at both low (1 mM) and high (10 mM) concentrations were almost completely inhibited by strychnine, a glycine receptor antagonist. The Tau-activated current, however, was not affected by bicuculline, a GABA(A) receptor antagonist. Tau at increased concentrations progressively reduced the current response to subsequent glycine application. At saturated concentrations, Tau-activated current and glycine-activated current were mutually cross-desensitized by each other. These findings indicate that Tau activates glycine receptors in neurons of the rat IC and thus may have a functional role in regulating or modulating the neurotransmission of the central auditory system in mammals.
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