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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1999 Oct 26;96(22):12911-6.

The role of the synthetic enzyme GAD65 in the control of neuronal gamma-aminobutyric acid release.

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Department of Ophthalmology, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA.


We have studied GABAergic synaptic transmission in retinal ganglion cells and hippocampal pyramidal cells to determine, at a cellular level, what is the effect of the targeted disruption of the gene encoding the synthetic enzyme GAD65 on the synaptic release of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Neither the size nor the frequency of GABA-mediated spontaneous inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs) were reduced in retina or hippocampus in GAD65-/- mice. However, the release of GABA during sustained synaptic activation was substantially reduced. In the retina both electrical- and K(+)-induced increases in IPSC frequency were depressed without a change in IPSC amplitude. In the hippocampus the transient increase in the probability of inhibitory transmitter release associated with posttetanic potentiation was absent in the GAD65-/- mice. These results indicate that during and immediately after sustained stimulation the increase in the probability of transmitter release is not maintained in GAD65-/- mice. Such a finding suggests a decrease in the size or refilling kinetics of the releasable pool of vesicles, and various mechanisms are discussed that could account for such a defect.

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