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Endocrinology. 2009 May;150(5):2388-94. doi: 10.1210/en.2008-1313. Epub 2009 Jan 22.

Gamma-aminobutyric acid B receptor mediated inhibition of gonadotropin-releasing hormone neurons is suppressed by kisspeptin-G protein-coupled receptor 54 signaling.

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Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Oregon Health and Science University, 3181 Southwest Sam Jackson Park Road, Portland, Oregon 97239, USA.


Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is one of the most important neurotransmitters that regulate the excitability of GnRH neurons. Numerous studies have shown that GABA activates Cl(-) currents in GnRH neurons, and these effects are antagonized by GABA(A) receptor antagonists. The GABA(B) receptor is a heterodimer composed of GABA(B) R1 and R2, and although both subunits have been localized in GnRH neurons, nothing is known about the cellular signaling of this G alpha(i,o)-coupled receptor in GnRH neurons. Using whole-cell recordings from mouse enhanced green fluorescent protein-GnRH neurons, we found that the GABA(B) receptor agonist baclofen hyperpolarized GnRH neurons through activation of an inwardly rectifying K(+) current in a concentration-dependent manner. The effects of baclofen were antagonized by the selective GABA(B) receptor antagonist CGP 52432 with a K(i) (inhibitory constant) of 85 nm. Furthermore, in the presence of the GABA(A) receptor antagonist picrotoxin, GABA hyperpolarized GnRH neurons in a similar manner. Treatment with 17beta-estradiol as compared with oil vehicle did not significantly alter either the EC(50) for the baclofen-induced response (0.8 +/- 0.1 vs. 1.0 +/- 0.1 microM, respectively) or the maximal outward current (10.8 +/- 1.7 pA vs. 11.4 +/- 0.6 pA, respectively) in GnRH neurons. However, the outward current (and membrane hyperpolarization) was abrogated by submaximal concentrations of the G protein-coupled receptor 54 (GPR54) agonist kisspeptin-10 in both groups, indicating that G alpha(q)-coupled (GPR54) can desensitize the GABA(B) receptor-mediated response. Therefore, the activation of GABA(B) receptors in GnRH neurons may provide increased inhibitory tone during estrogen-negative feedback states that is attenuated by kisspeptin during positive feedback.

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