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Exp Neurol. 2002 Sep;177(1):276-83.

The expression of GABA in mossy fiber synaptosomes coincides with the seizure-induced expression of GABAergic transmission in the mossy fiber synapse.

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  • 1Departamento de Fisiología, Biofísica y Neurociencias, Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados del IPN, Apartado Postal 14-740, México, DF 07000, México.


Although the granule cells of the dentate gyrus are glutamatergic, they contain the machinery for the synthesis and vesiculation of GABA. Furthermore, glutamic acid decarboxylase and the vesicular GABA transporter mRNA are expressed in the granule cells and mossy fibers in an activity-dependent manner, suggesting that these cells release GABA in addition to glutamate. Supporting this hypothesis, we found that seizures induce simultaneous glutamatergic and GABAergic transmission in the mossy fiber projection. To further explore this expression of inhibition, we looked for the presence and expression of endogenous GABA in a synaptosomal preparation enriched with mossy fiber nerve endings of kindled rats. We also studied the capacity of this preparation to capture and release [(3)H]GABA under control conditions and after kindling epilepsy. In accordance with our hypothesis we show that the mossy fiber synaptosomal preparation of the kindled rats has a significantly higher content of endogenous GABA than controls. We also found that the protein content in the mossy fiber synaptosomal preparation of kindled rats was significantly augmented, which is consistent with mossy fiber sprouting. Due to this, the total [(3)H]GABA incorporated in the synaptosomal preparation was also augmented. However, [(3)H]GABA uptake (expressed in % radioactivity/mg protein) and its evoked release were similar in both groups. With the present results, we provide further support for the hypothesis of the emergence of GABAergic transmission in the mossy fiber synapse that can constitute a protective mechanism in response to seizures.

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