Lynch JW. Native glycine receptor subtypes and their physiological roles. Neuropharmacology 56: 303-309

Queensland Brain Institute and School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Queensland, Brisbane QLD 4072, Australia.
Neuropharmacology (Impact Factor: 5.11). 09/2008; 56(1):303-9. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2008.07.034
Source: PubMed


The glycine receptor chloride channel (GlyR), a member of the pentameric Cys-loop ion channel receptor family, mediates inhibitory neurotransmission in the spinal cord, brainstem and retina. They are also found presynaptically, where they modulate neurotransmitter release. Functional GlyRs are formed from a total of five subunits (alpha1-alpha4, beta). Although alpha subunits efficiently form homomeric GlyRs in recombinant expression systems, homomeric alpha1, alpha3 and alpha4 GlyRs are weakly expressed in adult neurons. In contrast, alpha2 homomeric GlyRs are abundantly expressed in embryonic neurons, although their numbers decline sharply by adulthood. Numerous lines of biochemical, biophysical, pharmacological and genetic evidence suggest the majority of glycinergic neurotransmission in adults is mediated by heteromeric alpha1beta GlyRs. Immunocytochemical co-localisation experiments suggest the presence of alpha2beta, alpha3beta and alpha4beta GlyRs at synapses in the adult mouse retina. Immunocytochemical and electrophysiological evidence also implicates alpha3beta GlyRs as important mediators of glycinergic inhibitory neurotransmission in nociceptive sensory neuronal circuits in peripheral laminae of the spinal cord dorsal horn. It is yet to be determined why multiple GlyR synaptic subtypes are differentially distributed in these and possibly other locations. The development of pharmacological agents that can discriminate strongly between different beta subunit-containing GlyR isoforms will help to address this issue, and thereby provide important insights into a variety of central nervous system functions including retinal signal processing and spinal pain mechanisms. Finally, agents that selectively potentiate different GlyR isoforms may be useful as therapeutic lead compounds for peripheral inflammatory pain and movement disorders such as spasticity.

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    • "Frequency distributions of IPSC amplitudes , 10 – 90% rise times and decay time constants all exhibit monotonic distributions suggesting a single functional population of synapses ( Figure 2C ) . In adult hypoglossal motor neurons , where the α1β GlyR isoform predominates ( Lynch , 2009 ) , the 10 – 90% rise times and decay time constants range between 0 . 6 – 1 . "
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    ABSTRACT: Fast inhibitory neurotransmission in the brain is mediated by wide range of GABAA receptor (GABAAR) and glycine receptor (GlyR) isoforms, each with different physiological and pharmacological properties. Because multiple isoforms are expressed simultaneously in most neurons, it is difficult to define the properties of inhibitory postsynaptic currents mediated by individual isoforms in vivo. Although recombinant expression systems permit the expression of individual isoforms in isolation, they require exogenous agonist application which cannot mimic the dynamic neurotransmitter profile characteristic of native synapses. We describe a neuron-HEK293 cell co-culture technique for generating inhibitory synapses incorporating defined combinations of GABAAR or GlyR subunits. Primary neuronal cultures, prepared from embryonic rat cerebral cortex or spinal cord, are used to provide presynaptic GABAergic and glycinergic terminals, respectively. When the cultures are mature, HEK293 cells expressing the subunits of interest plus neuroligin 2A are plated onto the neurons, which rapidly form synapses onto HEK293 cells. Patch clamp electrophysiology is then used to analyze the physiological and pharmacological properties of the inhibitory postsynaptic currents mediated by the recombinant receptors. The method is suitable for investigating the kinetic properties or the effects of drugs on inhibitory postsynaptic currents mediated by defined GABAAR or GlyR isoforms of interest, the effects of hereditary disease mutations on the formation and function of both types of synapses, and synaptogenesis and synaptic clustering mechanisms. The entire cell preparation procedure takes 2 – 5 weeks.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience
    • "Pharmacological and RNA-seq analysis of GlyRs, indicates that the GlyR composition is principally α2/β-containing (James et al., 2014). Transcript levels indicate a level of maturity equal to that of GABA A Rs, however it is thought that the early mammalian embryonic GlyR composition consists of homomeric α2 GlyRs and matures to α1/β- containing GlyRs (Lynch, 2009). Interestingly, a transient GlyR population of α2/β-containing This article is protected by copyright. "
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    ABSTRACT: The in vitro derivation of regionally defined human neuron types from patient-derived stem cells is now established as a resource to investigate human development and disease. Characterisation of such neurons initially focused on the expression of developmentally regulated transcription factors and neural markers, in conjunction with the development of protocols to direct and chart the fate of differentiated neurons. However, crucial to the understanding and exploitation of this technology is to determine the degree to which neurons recapitulate the key functional features exhibited by their native counterparts, essential for determining their usefulness in modelling human physiology and disease in vitro. Here, we review the emerging data concerning functional properties of human pluripotent stem cell-derived excitatory cortical neurons, both in the context of maturation and regional specificity. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · The Journal of Physiology
    • "Glycine receptors are heteropentameric ligand-gated chloride ion channels that facilitate fast inhibitory neurotransmission in the human central nervous system (Lynch, 2009). Glycinergic synapses have a well-established role in the regulation of locomotor behavior. "
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    ABSTRACT: The Spontaneously Hypertensive Rat (SHR) strain is a classical animal model for the study of essential hypertension. Recently, our group suggested that this strain could be a useful animal model for schizophrenia, which is a severe mental illness with involvement of glutamatergic system. The aim of this study is to investigate glutamatergic receptors (Gria1 and Grin1) and glycine transporter (Glyt1) gene expression in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and nucleus accumbens (NAcc) of SHR animals. The effects in gene expression of a chronic treatment with antipsychotic drugs (risperidone, haloperidol and clozapine) were also analyzed. Animals were treated daily for 30 days, and euthanized for brain tissue collection. The expression pattern was evaluated by Real Time Reverse-Transcriptase (RT) PCR technique. In comparison to control rats, SHR animals present a lower expression of both NMDA (Grin1) and AMPA (Gria1) gene receptors in the NAcc. Antipsychotic treatments were not able to change gene expressions in any of the regions evaluated. These findings provide evidence for the role of glutamatergic changes in schizophrenia-like phenotype of the SHR strain. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2015
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