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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1998 Mar 17;95(6):3245-50.

The absence of a major Ca2+ signaling pathway in GABAergic neurons of the hippocampus.

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Institute of Experimental Medicine, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Szigony utca 43, Budapest, H-1083, Hungary.


The Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein phosphatase 2B or calcineurin (CN) participates in several Ca2+-dependent signal transduction cascades and, thus, contributes to the short and long term regulation of neuronal excitability. By using a specific antibody to CN, we demonstrate its absence from hippocampal interneurons and illustrate a physiological consequence of such CN deficiency. Consistent with the lack of CN in interneurons as detected by immunocytochemistry, the CN inhibitors FK-506 or okadaic acid significantly prolonged N-methyl-D-aspartate channel openings recorded in the cell-attached mode in hippocampal principal cells but not those recorded in interneurons. Interneurons were also devoid of Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase IIalpha, yet many of their nuclei contained the cyclic AMP-responsive element binding protein. On the basis of the CN and Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase IIalpha deficiency of interneurons, entirely different biochemical mechanisms are expected to govern Ca2+-dependent neuronal plasticity in interneurons versus principal cells.

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