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Keywords:

  • glia;
  • immunocytochemistry;
  • patch-clamp recording;
  • slice electrophysiology;
  • striatopallidal synapse

Abstract

GABA transporter subtype 1 (GAT-1) and GABA transporter subtype 3 (GAT-3) are the main transporters that regulate inhibitory GABAergic transmission in the mammalian brain through GABA reuptake. In this study, we characterized the ultrastructural localizations and determined the respective roles of these transporters in regulating evoked inhibitory postsynaptic currents (eIPSCs) in globus pallidus (GP) neurons after striatal stimulation. In the young and adult rat GP, GAT-1 was preferentially expressed in unmyelinated axons, whereas GAT-3 was almost exclusively found in glial processes. Except for rare instances of GAT-1 localization, neither of the two transporters was significantly expressed in GABAergic terminals in the rat GP. 1-(4,4-Diphenyl-3-butenyl)-3-piperidinecarboxylic acid hydrochloride (SKF 89976A) (10 μm), a GAT-1 inhibitor, significantly prolonged the decay time, but did not affect the amplitude, of eIPSCs induced by striatal stimulation (15–20 V). On the other hand, the semi-selective GAT-3 inhibitor 1-(2-[tris(4-methoxyphenyl)methoxy]ethyl)-(S)-3-piperidinecarboxylic acid (SNAP 5114) (10 μm) increased the amplitude and prolonged the decay time of eIPSCs. The effects of transporter blockade on the decay time and amplitude of eIPSCs were further increased when both inhibitors were applied together. Furthermore, SKF 89976A or SNAP 5114 blockade also increased the amplitude and frequency of spontaneous IPSCs, but did not affect miniature IPSCs. Significant GABAA receptor-mediated tonic currents were induced in the presence of high concentrations of both SKF 89976A (30 μm) and SNAP 5114 (30 μm). In conclusion, these data indicate that GAT-1 and GAT-3 represent different target sites through which GABA reuptake may subserve complementary regulation of GABAergic transmission in the rat GP.