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Neuroscience. 2000;100(1):155-70.

The expression of GABA(B1) and GABA(B2) receptor subunits in the cNS differs from that in peripheral tissues.

Author information

1
Department of Neuroscience Research, SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals, New Frontiers Science Park, Third Avenue, Essex CM19 5AW, Harlow, UK. Andrew_R_Calver@sbphrd.com

Abstract

GABA(B) receptors are G-protein-coupled receptors that mediate the slow and prolonged synaptic actions of GABA in the CNS via the modulation of ion channels. Unusually, GABA(B) receptors form functional heterodimers composed of GABA(B1) and GABA(B2) subunits. The GABA(B1) subunit is essential for ligand binding, whereas the GABA(B2) subunit is essential for functional expression of the receptor dimer at the cell surface. We have used real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction to analyse expression levels of these subunits, and their associated splice variants, in the CNS and peripheral tissues of human and rat. GABA(B1) subunit splice variants were expressed throughout the CNS and peripheral tissues, whereas surprisingly GABA(B2) subunit splice variants were neural specific. Using novel antisera specific to individual GABA(B) receptor subunits, we have confirmed these findings at the protein level. Analysis by immunoblotting demonstrated the presence of the GABA(B1) subunit, but not the GABA(B2) subunit, in uterus and spleen. Furthermore, we have shown the first immunocytochemical analysis of the GABA(B2) subunit in the brain and spinal cord using a GABA(B2)-specific antibody. We have, therefore, identified areas of non-overlap between GABA(B1) and GABA(B2) subunit expression in tissues known to contain functional GABA(B) receptors. Such areas are of interest as they may well contain novel GABA(B) receptor subunit isoforms, expression of which would enable the GABA(B1) subunit to reach the cell surface and form functional GABA(B) receptors.

PMID:
10996466
DOI:
10.1016/s0306-4522(00)00262-1
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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