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J Physiol. 2006 Apr 15;572(Pt 2):425-42. Epub 2006 Feb 2.

Bidirectional modulation of GABAergic transmission by cholecystokinin in hippocampal dentate gyrus granule cells of juvenile rats.

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Department of Pharmacology, Physiology and Therapeutics, School of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, 58203, USA.


Cholecystokinin (CCK) interacts with two types of G protein-coupled receptors in the brain: CCK-A and CCK-B receptors. Both CCK and CCK-B receptors are widely distributed in the hippocampal formation, but the functions of CCK there have been poorly understood. In the present study, we initially examined the effects of CCK on GABA(A) receptor-mediated synaptic transmission in the hippocampal formation and then explored the underlying cellular mechanisms by focusing on the dentate gyrus region, where the highest levels of CCK-binding sites have been detected. Our results indicate that activation of CCK-B receptors initially and transiently increased spontaneous IPSC (sIPSC) frequency, followed by a persistent reduction. The effects of CCK were more evident in juvenile rats, suggesting that they are developmentally regulated. Cholecystokinin failed to modulate the miniature IPSCs recorded in the presence of TTX and the amplitude of the evoked IPSCs, but produced a transient increase followed by a reduction in action potential firing frequency recorded from GABAergic interneurons, suggesting that CCK acts by modulating the excitability of the interneurons to regulate GABA release. Cholecystokinin reduced the amplitude of the after-hyperpolarization of the action potentials, and application of paxilline or charybdotoxin considerably reduced CCK-mediated modulation of sIPSC frequency, suggesting that the effects of CCK are related to the inhibition of Ca(2+)-activated K(+) currents (I(K(Ca))). The effects of CCK were independent of the functions of phospholipase C, intracellular Ca(2+) release, protein kinase C or phospholipase A(2), suggesting a direct coupling between the G proteins of CCK-B receptors and I(K(Ca)). Our results provide a novel mechanism underlying CCK-mediated modulation of GABA release.

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