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J Physiol. 1991 Dec;444:25-49.

Development of GABA-mediated, chloride-dependent inhibition in CA1 pyramidal neurones of immature rat hippocampal slices.

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Toronto Western Hospital, Department of Physiology, University of Toronto, Canada.


1. gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA)-mediated, Cl(-)-dependent inhibitory postsynaptic potentials (IPSPs) and GABA currents in immature rat hippocampal CA1 neurones were studied using the whole-cell recording technique in brain slices. 2. IPSPs evoked by electrical stimulation were observed in postnatal 2- to 5- (PN2-5), 8- to 13-(PN8-13) and 15- to 20-(PN15-20)day-old CA1 neurones. In the presence of glutamate receptor blockers 6-cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione (CNQX) and D-2-amino-5-phosphonovaleric acid (APV), the reversal potential for the IPSP (EIPSP) was near the resting membrane potential (RMP) in the PN2-5 neurones, but 13 and 25 mV more negative than the RMP in PN8-13 and PN15-20 neurones respectively. IPSPs and GABA currents were blocked by the GABAA-receptor antagonists bicuculline or picrotoxin. 3. The reversal potential for somatic GABA currents (EGABA) was examined in the presence of tetrodotoxin (TTX). There was a strong dependence of the EGABA upon the patch pipette [Cl-] ([Cl-]p). indicating that the GABA currents were mediated by a Cl- conductance. In PN2-5 neurones, EGABA agreed with the value predicted by the Goldman-Hodgkin-Katz equation at given concentrations of internal and external anions permeable through GABA-activated Cl- channels, whereas EGABA in older neurones was 8-18 mV more negative. 4. Examination of the relations between EGABA, holding potential, [Cl-]p and resting conductance indicated that the membrane of the PN2-5 neurones was readily permeable to Cl- which followed a passive Donnan equilibrium. Passive distribution of Cl- played a decreasing role in PN8-13 neurones and in PN15-20 neurones. 5. To assess the contribution of outward Cl- co-transport, bath applications of high K+ or furosemide were performed. High K+ and furosemide caused a reversible positive shift of EGABA in PN15-20 neurones. Raising the temperature moved EGABA to a more negative potential, with a Q10 of 5 mV. A similar change of EGABA in response to high K+, but not to furosemide, was found in PN8-13 neurones. 6. The present data indicate the existence of GABAA-mediated inhibitory synaptic connections in CA1 neurones at the earliest stages of postnatal life. During the first postnatal week, Cl- ions are passively distributed and the EIPSP and EGABA are near the RMP.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS).

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