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Neuroscience. 2001;106(3):447-67.

Comparative immunohistochemical localisation of GABA(B1a), GABA(B1b) and GABA(B2) subunits in rat brain, spinal cord and dorsal root ganglion.

Author information

1
Neurology CEDD, GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals, New Frontiers Science Park, Harlow, Essex, UK.

Abstract

GABA(B) receptors are G-protein-coupled receptors mediating the slow onset and prolonged synaptic actions of GABA in the CNS. The recent cloning of two genes, GABA(B1) and GABA(B2), has revealed a novel requirement for GABA(B) receptor signalling. Studies have demonstrated that the two receptor subunits associate as a GABA(B1)/GABA(B2) heterodimer to form a functional GABA(B) receptor. In this study we have developed polyclonal antisera specific to two splice variants of the GABA(B1) subunit, GABA(B1a) and GABA(B1b), as well as an antiserum to the GABA(B2) subunit. Using affinity-purified antibodies derived from these antisera we have mapped out the distribution profile of each subunit in rat brain, spinal cord and dorsal root ganglion. In brain the highest areas of GABA(B1a), GABA(B1b) and GABA(B2) subunit expression were found in neocortex, hippocampus, thalamus, cerebellum and habenula. In spinal cord, GABA(B1) and GABA(B2) subunits were expressed in the superficial layers of the dorsal horn, as well as in motor neurones in the deeper layers of the ventral horn. GABA(B) receptor subunit immunoreactivity in dorsal root ganglion suggested that expression of GABA(B1b) was restricted to the large diameter neurones, in contrast to GABA(B1a) and GABA(B2) subunits which were expressed in both large and small diameter neurones. Although expression levels of GABA(B1) and GABA(B2) subunits varied we found no areas in which GABA(B1) was expressed in the absence of GABA(B2). This suggests that most, if not all, GABA(B1) immunoreactivity may represent functional GABA(B) receptors. Although our data are in general agreement with functional studies, some discrepancies in GABA(B1) subunit expression occurred with respect to other immunohistochemical studies. Overall our data suggest that GABA(B) receptors are widely expressed throughout the brain and spinal cord, and that GABA(B1a) and GABA(B1b) subunits can associate with GABA(B2) to form both pre- and post-synaptic receptors.

PMID:
11591450
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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