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Glutamate transporter EAAT4 in Purkinje cells controls intersynaptic diffusion of climbing fiber transmitter mediating inhibition of GABA release from interneurons

Authors

  • Shin’Ichiro Satake,

    1. Department of Information Physiology, National Institute for Physiological Sciences (NIPS), 5-1 Higashiyama, Myodaiji-cho, Okazaki 444-8787, Japan
    2. School of Life Science, The Graduate University for Advanced Studies (SOKENDAI), 5-1 Higashiyama, Myodaiji-cho, Okazaki 444-8787, Japan
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  • Si-Young Song,

    1. Institute of Neuroscience, Tokushima Bunri University, 1314-1 Shido, Sanuki 769-2193, Japan
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  • Shiro Konishi,

    1. Institute of Neuroscience, Tokushima Bunri University, 1314-1 Shido, Sanuki 769-2193, Japan
    2. Department of Neurophysiology, Kagawa School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Tokushima Bunri University, 1314-1 Shido, Sanuki 769-2193, Japan
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  • Keiji Imoto

    1. Department of Information Physiology, National Institute for Physiological Sciences (NIPS), 5-1 Higashiyama, Myodaiji-cho, Okazaki 444-8787, Japan
    2. School of Life Science, The Graduate University for Advanced Studies (SOKENDAI), 5-1 Higashiyama, Myodaiji-cho, Okazaki 444-8787, Japan
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Dr S. Konishi, 4Department of Neurophysiology, as above.
E-mail: skonishi@kph.bunri-u.ac.jp
Dr K. Imoto, 1Department of Information Physiology, as above.
E-mail: keiji@nips.ac.jp

Abstract

Neurotransmitters diffuse out of the synaptic cleft and act on adjacent synapses to exert concerted control of the synaptic strength within neural pathways that converge on single target neurons. The excitatory transmitter released from climbing fibers (CFs), presumably glutamate, is shown to inhibit γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) release at basket cell (BC)–Purkinje cell (PC) synapses in the rat cerebellar cortex through its extrasynaptic diffusion and activation of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) receptors on BC axon terminals. This study aimed at examining how the CF transmitter-diffusion-mediated presynaptic inhibition is controlled by glutamate transporters. Pharmacological blockade of the PC-selective neuronal transporter EAAT4 markedly enhanced CF-induced inhibition of GABAergic transmission. Tetanic CF-stimulation elicited long-term potentiation of glutamate transporters in PCs, and thereby attenuated the CF-induced inhibition. Combined use of electrophysiology and immunohistochemistry revealed a significant inverse relationship between the level of EAAT4 expression and the inhibitory action of CF-stimulation on the GABA release at different cerebellar lobules – the CF-induced inhibition was profound in lobule III, where the EAAT4 expression level was low, whereas it was minimal in lobule X, where EAAT4 was abundant. The findings clearly demonstrate that the neuronal glutamate transporter EAAT4 in PCs plays a critical role in the extrasynaptic diffusion of CF transmitter – it appears not only to retrogradely determine the degree of CF-mediated inhibition of GABAergic inputs to the PC by controlling the glutamate concentration for intersynaptic diffusion, but also regulate synaptic information processing in the cerebellar cortex depending on its differential regional distribution as well as use-dependent plasticity of uptake efficacy.

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