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Sci Rep. 2017 Nov 2;7(1):14897. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-15006-3.

Changes in GABAergic markers accompany degradation of neuronal function in the primary visual cortex of senescent rats.

Author information

1
College of Life Sciences, Anhui Normal University, Wuhu, Anhui, 241000, China.
2
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, 90095, USA.
3
College of Life Sciences, Anhui Normal University, Wuhu, Anhui, 241000, China. tmhua@mail.ahnu.edu.cn.

Abstract

Numerous studies have reported age-dependent degradation of neuronal function in the visual cortex and have attributed this functional decline to weakened intracortical inhibition, especially GABAergic inhibition. However, whether this type of functional decline is linked to compromised GABAergic inhibition has not been fully confirmed. Here, we compared the neuronal response properties and markers of GABAergic inhibition in the primary visual cortex (V1) of young adult and senescent rats. Compared with those of young adult rats, old rats' V1 neurons exhibited significantly increased visually evoked responses and spontaneous activity, a decreased signal-to-noise ratio and reduced response selectivity for the stimulus orientation and motion direction. Additionally, the ratio of GABA-positive neurons to total cortical neurons in old rats was significantly decreased compared with that in young rats. Expression of the key GABA-synthesizing enzyme GAD67 was significantly lower in old rats than in young rats, although GAD65 expression showed a marginal difference between the two age groups. Further, expression of an important GABAA receptor subunit, GABAAR α1, was significantly attenuated in old rats relative to young ones. These results demonstrate that ageing may result in decreased GABAergic inhibition in the visual cortex and that this decrease in GABAergic inhibition accompanies neuronal function degradation.

PMID:
29097694
PMCID:
PMC5668371
DOI:
10.1038/s41598-017-15006-3
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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