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Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2011 Aug;45(2):332-9. doi: 10.1165/rcmb.2010-0177OC. Epub 2010 Nov 5.

Functional expression of γ-amino butyric acid transporter 2 in human and guinea pig airway epithelium and smooth muscle.

Author information

1
Department of Pediatrics, College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, New York, New York 10032, USA.

Abstract

γ-Amino butyric acid (GABA) is a primary inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system, and is classically released by fusion of synaptic vesicles with the plasma membrane or by egress via GABA transporters (GATs). Recently, a GABAergic system comprised of GABA(A) and GABA(B) receptors has been identified on airway epithelial and smooth muscle cells that regulate mucus secretion and contractile tone of airway smooth muscle (ASM). In addition, the enzyme that synthesizes GABA, glutamic acid decarboxylase, has been identified in airway epithelial cells; however, the mechanism(s) by which this synthesized GABA is released from epithelial intracellular stores is unknown. We questioned whether any of the four known isoforms of GATs are functionally expressed in ASM or epithelial cells. We detected mRNA and protein expression of GAT2 and -4, and isoforms of glutamic acid decarboxylase in native and cultured human ASM and epithelial cells. In contrast, mRNA encoding vesicular GAT (VGAT), the neuronal GABA transporter, was not detected. Functional inhibition of (3)H-GABA uptake was demonstrated using GAT2 and GAT4/betaine-GABA transporter 1 (BGT1) inhibitors in both human ASM and epithelial cells. These results demonstrate that two isoforms of GATs, but not VGAT, are expressed in both airway epithelial and smooth muscle cells. They also provide a mechanism by which locally synthesized GABA can be released from these cells into the airway to activate GABA(A) channels and GABA(B) receptors, with subsequent autocrine and/or paracrine signaling effects on airway epithelium and ASM.

PMID:
21057105
PMCID:
PMC3175560
DOI:
10.1165/rcmb.2010-0177OC
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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