Xu, TL (reprint author), Chinese Acad Sci, Inst Neurosci, Shanghai Inst Biol Sci, Shanghai 200031, Peoples R China,email@example.com
The potassium-chloride cotransporter 2 (KCC2)-dependent intracellular chloride level determines whether neurons respond to GABA and/or glycine by depolarization or hyperpolarization. However, still unknown is the role of KCC2-dependent chloride homeostasis in regulating the spontaneous activity of neuronal circuits via GABA(A) receptor (GABA(A)R) and the glycine receptor (GlyR). In this study, patch-clamp recordings were performed to measure the change of spontaneous neuronal activity in cultured hippocampal neurons. Our results showed that inhibition of KCC2 with furosemide, as well as blockade of GABA(A)R with bicuculline, significantly enhanced circuit activity. Perfusion with bicuculline further enhanced the effects of furosemide on spontaneous circuit activity, while furosemide did not alter the effects of bicuculline. Surprisingly, blockade of GlyR not only induced obvious tonic currents, but also significantly decreased spontaneous synaptic activity. Moreover, inhibition of KCC2 did not change the depressive effect of strychnine on neuronal circuits. Our findings suggest that KCC2-dependent chloride homeostasis is mainly involved in GABA(A)R-mediated synaptic inhibition whereas GlyR-mediated tonic action plays a totally different role in regulating hippocampal circuit activity. (c) 2006 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.