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A new function for glycine GlyT2 transporters: Stimulation of γ-aminobutyric acid release from cerebellar nerve terminals through GAT1 transporter reversal and Ca2+-dependent anion channels

Authors

  • Marco Milanese,

    1. Department of Pharmacy, Pharmacology and Toxicology Section, University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy
    2. Center of Excellence for Biomedical Research, University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy
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    • M. Milanese and C. Romei contributed equally to this work.

  • Cristina Romei,

    1. Department of Pharmacy, Pharmacology and Toxicology Section, University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy
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    • M. Milanese and C. Romei contributed equally to this work.

  • Cesare Usai,

    1. Institute of Biophysics, National Research Council, Genoa, Italy
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  • Martina Oliveri,

    1. Department of Pharmacy, Pharmacology and Toxicology Section, University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy
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  • Luca Raiteri

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Pharmacy, Pharmacology and Toxicology Section, University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy
    2. Center of Excellence for Biomedical Research, University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy
    3. National Institute of Neuroscience, Genoa, Italy
    • Correspondence to: Luca Raiteri, PhD, Department of Pharmacy, Pharmacology and Toxicology Section, University of Genoa, Viale Cembrano 4, 16148 Genoa, Italy. E-mail: lraiter@pharmatox.unige.it

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Abstract

Glycine GlyT2 transporters are localized on glycine-storing nerve endings. Their main function is to accumulate glycine to replenish synaptic vesicles. Glycine was reported to be costored with γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in cerebellar interneurons that may coexpress glycine and GABA transporters, and this is confirmed here by confocal microscopy analysis showing coexpression of GAT1 and GlyT2 transporters on microtubule-associated protein-2-positive synaptosomes. It was found that GABA uptake elicited glycine release from cerebellar nerve endings by various mechanisms. We investigated whether and by what mechanisms activation of glycine transporters could mediate release of GABA. Nerve endings purified from cerebellum were prelabeled with [3H]GABA and exposed to glycine. Glycine stimulated [3H]GABA release in a concentration-dependent manner. The glycine effect was insensitive to strychnine or to 5,7-dichlorokynurenate but it was abolished when GlyT2 transporters were blocked. About 20% of the evoked release was dependent on external Ca2+ entered by reversal of plasmalemmal Na+/Ca2+exchangers. A significant portion of the GlyT2-mediated release of [3H]GABA (about 50% of the external Ca2+-independent release) occurred by reversal of GABA GAT1 transporters. Na+ ions, reaching the cytosol during glycine uptake through GlyT2, activated mitochondrial Na+/Ca2+ exchangers, causing an increase in cytosolic Ca2+, which in turn triggered a Ca2+-induced Ca2+ release process at inositoltrisphosphate receptors. Finally, the increased availability of Ca2+ in the cytosol allowed the opening of anion channels permeable to GABA. In conclusion, GlyT2 transporters not only take up glycine to replenish synaptic vesicles but can also mediate release of GABA by reversal of GAT1 and permeation through anion channels. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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