Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Neurosci. 2003 Sep 10;23(23):8237-46.

Cell type-specific differences in chloride-regulatory mechanisms and GABA(A) receptor-mediated inhibition in rat substantia nigra.

Author information

  • 1Institute of Experimental Medicine, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, H-1083 Hungary.


The regulation of intracellular chloride has important roles in neuronal function, especially by setting the magnitude and direction of the Cl- flux gated by GABA(A) receptors. Previous studies have shown that GABA(A)-mediated inhibition is less effective in dopaminergic than in GABAergic neurons in substantia nigra. We studied whether this phenomenon may be related to a difference in Cl-regulatory mechanisms. Light-microscopic immunocytochemistry revealed that the potassium-chloride cotransporter 2 (KCC2) was localized only in the dendrites of nondopaminergic (primarily GABAergic) neurons in the substantia nigra, whereas the voltage-sensitive chloride channel 2 (ClC-2) was observed only in the dopaminergic neurons of the pars compacta. Electron-microscopic immunogold labeling confirmed that KCC2 is localized in the dendritic plasma membrane of GABAergic neurons close to inhibitory synapses. Confocal microscopy showed that ClC-2 was selectively expressed in the somatic and dendritic cell membranes of the dopaminergic neurons. Gramicidin-perforated-patch recordings revealed that the GABA(A) IPSP reversal potential was significantly less negative and had a much smaller hyperpolarizing driving force in dopaminergic than in GABAergic neurons. The GABA(A) reversal potential was significantly less negative in bicarbonate-free buffer in dopaminergic but not in GABAergic neurons. The present study suggests that KCC2 is responsible for maintaining the low intracellular Cl- concentration in nigral GABAergic neurons, whereas a sodium-dependent anion (Cl--HCO3-) exchanger and ClC-2 are likely to serve this role in dopaminergic neurons. The relatively low efficacy of GABAA-mediated inhibition in nigral dopaminergic neurons compared with nigral GABAergic neurons may be related to their lack of KCC2.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk