Xu, TL (reprint author), Chinese Acad Sci, Inst Neurosci, 320 Yang Rd, Shanghai 200031, Peoples R China,email@example.com
Neural inhibition in the brain is mainly mediated by ionotropic GABA type A receptors. Apart from the GABA type A receptors, both K+-Cl- cotransporter isoform 2 and the GABA-synthesizing enzyme, glutamic acid decarboxylase, are essential determinants for GABA type A receptor-mediated inhibition. By using immunofluorescent staining, we observed that K+-Cl- cotransporter isoform 2, GABA type A receptor beta 2/3 subunits and a presynaptically localized glutamic acid decarboxylase isoform, glutamic acid decarboxylase 65, were all absent in adult Sprague-Dawley rat medial habenular nucleus, while immunopositive staining for glutamic acid decarboxylase 67, GABA and GABA type B receptor type 2 subunit were present in the medial habenular nucleus. Consistent with the lack of GABA type A signaling as detected by immunohistochemistry, GABA (100 ILM) evoked no measurable currents in the medial habenular nucleus but induced bicuculline-sensitive currents in the lateral habenular nucleus and in the CA1 area of hippocampus. We also failed to record miniature inhibitory postsynaptic currents in medial habenular nucleus neurons. These results support the idea that GABAergic transmission in medial habenular nucleus is probably not mediated by any of the most common GABA type A receptor subtypes. Our data suggest that GABA type B receptor-mediated inhibition may play a role in balancing neuronal excitation in this special region. Further exploration for factors determining medial habenular nucleus neural inhibition will lead to a more complete understanding of control of synaptic balance in the CNS. (c) 2006 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.