Analysis of G-protein-activated inward rectifying K+ (GIRK) channel currents upon GABAB receptor activation in rat supraoptic neurons

Analysis of G-protein-activated inward rectifying K+ (GIRK) channel currents upon GABAB receptor activation in rat supraoptic neurons
Nobuya HarayamaTomohiko KayanoTaiki MoriyaNaoki KitamuraIzumi Shibuya게이코 야마모토Yasuhito UezonoYoichi UetaTakeyoshi Sata
Supraoptic nucleus; GIRK channels; GABAB receptors; Gi/o; Patch clamp; RT-PCR
Issue Date
Brain research
VOL 1591, 1-13
While magnocellular neurons in the supraoptic nucleus (SON) possess rich Gi/o-mediated mechanisms, molecular and cellular properties of G-protein-activated inwardly rectifying K+ (GIRK) channels have been controversial. Here, properties of GIRK channels are examined by RT-PCR and whole-cell patch-clamp techniques in rat SON neurons. Patch clamp experiments showed that the selective GABAB agonist, baclofen, enhanced currents in a high K+ condition. The baclofen-enhanced currents exhibited evident inward rectification and were blocked by the selective GABAB antagonist, CGP55845A, the IRK channel blocker, Ba2+, and the selective GIRK channel blocker, tertiapin, indicating that baclofen activates GIRK channels via GABAB receptors. The GIRK currents were abolished by N-ethylmaleimide pretreatment, and prolonged by GTPγS inclusion in the patch pipette, suggesting that Gi/o proteins are involved. RT-PCR analysis revealed mRNAs for all four GIRK 1–4 channels and for both GABABR1 and GABABR2 receptors in rat SON. However, the concentration-dependency of the baclofen-induced activation of GIRK currents had an EC50 of 110 µM, which is about 100 times higher than that of baclofen-induced inhibition of voltage-dependent Ca2+ channels. Moreover, baclofen caused no significant changes in the membrane potential and the firing rate. These results suggest that although GIRK channels can be activated by GABAB receptors via the Gi/o pathway, this occurs at high agonist concentrations, and thus may not be a physiological mechanism regulating the function of SON neurons. This property that the membrane potential receives little influence from GIRK currents seems to be uncommon for CNS neurons possessing rich Gi/o-coupled receptors, and could be a special feature of rat SON neurons.
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