Helmholtz Gemeinschaft


GABAAreceptor-expressing astrocytes in the supraoptic nucleus lack glutamate uptake and receptor currents

Item Type:Article
Title:GABAAreceptor-expressing astrocytes in the supraoptic nucleus lack glutamate uptake and receptor currents
Creators Name:Israel, J.M. and Schipke, C.G. and Ohlemeyer, C. and Theodosis, D.T. and Kettenmann, H.
Abstract:An important function of astrocytes is the clearance of excess extracellular glutamate via specific carriers whose expression has become an astrocytic marker. In the present study, we found that a large population of astrocytes in the supraoptic nucleus (SON) of the rat hypothalamus lacks glutamate uptake currents and receptor responses but expresses GABAA receptors. Patch clamp recordings in acute hypothalamic slices that included the SON showed typical astrocytic membrane currents and demonstrated that GABA, via GABAA receptor activation, triggered a conductance increase with the reversal potential close to the Cl- equilibrium potential and a decrease in resting K+ conductance. Intracellular labeling with Lucifer Yellow revealed that these cells had a radial glia-like morphology, with cell bodies lined up along the base of the brain and long processes traversing the nucleus; they were not dye-coupled. Parallel immunocytochemical labelings showed that they expressed strong GABAA receptor and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) immunoreactivities. In addition, our electrophysiological and morphological analyses revealed another population of astrocytes in this nucleus, located next to the subarachnoid space. They were less numerous than the radial type, had a round morphology and few processes, and were dye-coupled. Unlike the radial astrocytes, they showed little immunoreactivity for GABAA receptor or GFAP. Moreover, they did not respond to GABA but to glutamate, a response that was partially mimicked by aspartate, indicating glutamate transporter expression. Taken together, our observations add to growing evidence illustrating heterogeneity of astrocytes in the adult brain, a heterogeneity that reflects striking differences in form and function of astrocytic populations in regions as discrete as the SON of the hypothalamus.
Keywords:Glutamate, Hypothalamus, Immunocytochemistry, Neuron-Glia Interactions, Patch clamp, Animals, Rats
Page Range:102-110
Date:November 2003
Official Publication:https://doi.org/10.1002/glia.10272
PubMed:View item in PubMed

Repository Staff Only: item control page

Open Access
MDC Library