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J Neurosci. 2002 May 15;22(10):RC223. Epub 2002 May 10.

Receptors with different affinities mediate phasic and tonic GABA(A) conductances in hippocampal neurons.

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Department of Neurology, University of California Los Angeles School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California 90095, USA.


A tonic inhibitory conductance mediated by GABA(A) receptors that supplements the phasic inhibition produced by IPSCs has been identified in the hippocampus and cerebellum. It is presently unknown whether tonic and phasic inhibitions are mediated by GABA(A) receptors with different subunit assemblies. Here we demonstrate that a low concentration (200 nm) of the highly specific competitive GABA(A) antagonist SR95531 (gabazine) reduces phasic inhibition in hippocampal granule cells by 71% but has no effect on tonic inhibition, whereas a high concentration (10 microm) of the antagonist blocked both conductances. These findings are consistent with tonic and phasic conductances being mediated by different GABA(A) receptor subtypes with different affinities for GABA.

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