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PLoS One. 2012;7(8):e43417. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0043417. Epub 2012 Aug 22.

Golgi cell-mediated activation of postsynaptic GABA(B) receptors induces disinhibition of the Golgi cell-granule cell synapse in rat cerebellum.

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  • 1Dipartimento di Biologia e Biotecnologie L Spallanzani, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy.


In the cerebellar glomerulus, GABAergic synapses formed by Golgi cells regulate excitatory transmission from mossy fibers to granule cells through feed-forward and feedback mechanisms. In acute cerebellar slices, we found that stimulating Golgi cell axons with a train of 10 impulses at 100 Hz transiently inhibited both the phasic and the tonic components of inhibitory responses recorded in granule cells. This effect was blocked by the GABA(B) receptor blocker CGP35348, and could be mimicked by bath-application of baclofen (30 µM). This depression of IPSCs was prevented when granule cells were dialyzed with GDPβS. Furthermore, when synaptic transmission was blocked, GABA(A) currents induced in granule cells by localized muscimol application were inhibited by the GABA(B) receptor agonist baclofen. These findings indicate that postsynaptic GABA(B) receptors are primarily responsible for the depression of IPSCs. This inhibition of inhibitory events results in an unexpected excitatory action by Golgi cells on granule cell targets. The reduction of Golgi cell-mediated inhibition in the cerebellar glomerulus may represent a regulatory mechanism to shift the balance between excitation and inhibition in the glomerulus during cerebellar information processing.

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