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J Neurosci. 2017 Jun 21;37(25):6007-6020. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0772-16.2017. Epub 2017 May 30.

TARP γ-2 Is Required for Inflammation-Associated AMPA Receptor Plasticity within Lamina II of the Spinal Cord Dorsal Horn.

Author information

1
Department of Neuroscience, Physiology and Pharmacology, University College London, London WC1E 6BT, United Kingdom.
2
Department of Neuroscience, Physiology and Pharmacology, University College London, London WC1E 6BT, United Kingdom m.farrant@ucl.ac.uk s.cull-candy@ucl.ac.uk.

Abstract

In the brain, transmembrane AMPAR regulatory proteins (TARPs) critically influence the distribution, gating, and pharmacology of AMPARs, but the contribution of these auxiliary subunits to AMPAR-mediated signaling in the spinal cord remains unclear. We found that the Type I TARP γ-2 (stargazin) is present in lamina II of the superficial dorsal horn, an area involved in nociception. Consistent with the notion that γ-2 is associated with surface AMPARs, CNQX, a partial agonist at AMPARs associated with Type I TARPs, evoked whole-cell currents in lamina II neurons, but such currents were severely attenuated in γ-2-lacking stargazer (stg/stg) mice. Examination of EPSCs revealed the targeting of γ-2 to be synapse-specific; the amplitude of spontaneously occurring miniature EPSCs (mEPSCs) was reduced in neurons from stg/stg mice, but the amplitude of capsaicin-induced mEPSCs from C-fiber synapses was unaltered. This suggests that γ-2 is associated with AMPARs at synapses in lamina II but excluded from those at C-fiber inputs, a view supported by our immunohistochemical colabeling data. Following induction of peripheral inflammation, a model of hyperalgesia, there was a switch in the current-voltage relationships of capsaicin-induced mEPSCs, from linear to inwardly rectifying, indicating an increased prevalence of calcium-permeable (CP) AMPARs. This effect was abolished in stg/stg mice. Our results establish that, although γ-2 is not typically associated with calcium-impermeable AMPARs at C-fiber synapses, it is required for the translocation of CP-AMPARs to these synapses following peripheral inflammation.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT In the brain, transmembrane AMPAR regulatory proteins (TARPs) critically determine the functional properties of AMPARs, but the contribution of these auxiliary subunits to AMPAR-mediated signaling in the spinal cord remains unclear. An increase in the excitability of neurons within the superficial dorsal horn (SDH) of the spinal cord is thought to underlie heighted pain sensitivity. One mechanism considered to contribute to such long-lived changes is the remodeling of the ionotropic AMPA-type glutamate receptors that underlie fast excitatory synaptic transmission in the SDH. Here we show that the TARP γ-2 (stargazin) is present in SDH neurons and is necessary in a form of inflammatory pain-induced plasticity, which involves an increase in the prevalence of synaptic calcium-permeable AMPARs.

KEYWORDS:

AMPARs; TARPs; dorsal horn; inflammation; spinal cord; stargazin

PMID:
28559374
PMCID:
PMC5481940
DOI:
10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0772-16.2017
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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