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J Neurophysiol. 1989 Nov;62(5):1018-27.

GABA as an inhibitory neurotransmitter in human cerebral cortex.

Author information

1
Section of Neuroanatomy, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06510.

Abstract

1. The possible role of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) as an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the human cerebral cortex was investigated with the use of intracellular recordings from neocortical slices maintained in vitro. 2. Electrical stimulation of afferents to presumed pyramidal cells resulted in an initial excitatory postsynaptic potential (EPSP) followed by fast and slow inhibitory postsynaptic potentials (IPSPs). The early IPSP had an average reversal potential of -68 mV, was associated with a mean 67-nS increase in membrane conductance, was reduced by the GABAA antagonist bicuculline, was sensitive to the intracellular injection of Cl-, and was mimicked by the GABAA agonist muscimol. 3. The late IPSP, in contrast, had an average reversal potential of -95 mV, was associated with a mean 12-nS increase in membrane conductance, was reduced by the GABAB antagonist phaclofen, and was mimicked by the GABAB agonist baclofen. 4. Block of the early IPSP by bicuculline or picrotoxin led to the generation of paroxysmal epileptiform activity, which could be further enhanced by reduction of the late IPSP. 5. These data strongly support the hypothesis that GABA is a major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the human cerebral cortex and that GABAergic IPSPs play an important role in controlling the excitability and responsiveness of cortical neurons.

PMID:
2573696
DOI:
10.1152/jn.1989.62.5.1018
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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