GABAB receptors in neocortical and hippocampal pyramidal neurons are coupled to different potassium channels

Jean Didier Breton, Greg J. Stuart*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    7 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Classically, GABAB receptors are thought to regulate neuronal excitability via G-protein-coupled inwardly rectifying potassium (GIRK) channels. Recent data, however, indicate that GABAB receptors can also activate two-pore domain potassium channels. Here, we investigate which potassium channels are coupled to GABAB receptors in rat neocortical layer 5 and hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons. Bath application of the non-specific GIRK channel blocker barium (200 μm) abolished outward currents evoked by GABAB receptors in CA1 pyramidal, but only partially blocked GABAB responses in layer 5 neurons. Layer 5 and CA1 pyramidal neurons also showed differential sensitivity to tertiapin-Q, a specific GIRK channel blocker. Tertiapin-Q partially blocked GABAB responses in CA1 pyramidal neurons, but was ineffective in blocking GABAB responses in neocortical layer 5 neurons. Consistent with the idea that GABAB receptors are coupled to two-pore domain potassium channels, the non-specific blockers quinidine and bupivacaine partially blocked GABAB responses in both layer 5 and CA1 neurons. Finally, we show that lowering external pH, as occurs in hypoxia, blocks the component of GABAB responses mediated by two-pore domain potassium channels in neocortical layer 5 pyramidal neurons, while at the same time revealing a GIRK channel component. These data indicate that GABAB receptors in neocortical layer 5 and hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons are coupled to different channels, with this coupling pH dependent on neocortical layer 5 pyramidal neurons. This pH dependency may act to maintain constant levels of GABAB inhibition during hypoxia by enhancing GIRK channel function following a reduction in two-pore domain potassium channel activity.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2859-2866
    Number of pages8
    JournalEuropean Journal of Neuroscience
    Volume46
    Issue number12
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017

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