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Eur J Neurosci. 1992 Oct;4(11):1049-1058.

GABA Triggers a [Ca2+]i Increase in Murine Precursor Cells of the Oligodendrocyte Lineage.

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1
Department of Neurobiology, University of Heidelberg, Im Neuenheimer Feld 345, 6900 Heidelberg, FRG.

Abstract

The development of oligodendrocytes from their precursor cells can be studied in vitro by using a culture system in which cells can be identified at different developmental stages. We used this culture system to compare the effect of the inhibitory neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) on intracellular Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i) using fura-2 fluorescence systems. Application of GABA evoked transient [Ca2+]i increases in precursor cells. In contrast, [Ca2+]i levels were not affected in oligodendrocytes, which were identified by their positive labelling with the antibody O1. The precursor cells, identified by a lack of O1 staining, responded to GABA in the concentration range between 10-6 and 10-4 M. Since muscimol mimicked and bicuculline as well as picrotoxin blocked the GABA response, we conclude that the response is mediated by activation of GABAA receptors. The involvement of Ca2+ channels is inferred from the observation that the [Ca2+]i changes could be blocked by nifedipine or by omitting Ca2+ from the bath solution. Both GABAA receptors and Ca2+ channels have been previously identified on these precursor cells with the aid of the patch-clamp technique. We thus propose the following mechanism to explain our observations: the Cl- efflux via the GABA receptor depolarizes precursor cells, and this depolarization leads to activation of Ca2+ channels, resulting in an influx of Ca2+ and the observed rise in cytosolic [Ca2+]. Although its physiological importance is speculative, this event could serve as a signal from GABAergic neurons to glial precursor cells.

PMID:
12106410

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