Our findings suggest that loss of the GABAA receptor α4

Our findings suggest that loss of the GABAA receptor α4 subunit in the pons affects neuronal activity involved in the modulation of the respiratory pattern. The observed decrease in respiratory variability in KO animals could result from altered signaling from the pons to medullary areas that are thought to generate the respiratory pattern. Other studies have shown that GABA can affect the respiratory pattern (reviewed in Zuperku and McCrimmon 2002).

These studies have demonstrated that a tonic GABAergic input decreases the activity of respiratory-modulated neurons in the medulla. This inhibition by GABA decreases the discharge frequency of these Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical neurons by 50–65% and can act both phasically and tonically. Our data from the α4 subunit KO mice suggest that a decrease in tonic inhibition Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical due to a reduction in extrasynaptic GABAa receptor number augments respiratory-modulated neuronal activity to stabilize the breath-to-breath pattern. In addition to respiratory changes, our studies also showed that

loss of the α4 subunit in KO mice results in enhanced anxiety-like behavior. Most notably, KO mice explored all arms of an elevated plus maze, but almost exclusively entered the closed arms. This behavior suggests that the KO mice prefer dark, enclosed spaces (approach) and fear elevated/open spaces (avoidance). In contrast to our findings, this behavioral difference was not detected in another study using α4 subunit Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical KO mice (Chandra et al. 2008). This disparity presumably reflects differences in the background strains of the subunit-deficient mice, 5-FU price animal age, or differences in the testing Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical protocols. The mechanisms underlying the behavioral changes in our α4 KO mice exposed to stress are difficult to identify in an intact animal. These changes could be due directly to the loss of α4 and the resulting alterations in the balance of tonic and phasic signaling

in the brain. The changes may also be Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical due to differences in the assembly of functional receptors in different brain regions or to changes in receptor–receptor interactions. Alternatively, Sodium butyrate they may be an indirect consequence of increased α2 subunit expression and changes in synaptic receptor levels in the limbic system, a brain region associated with anxiety-like behaviors (Dubois et al. 2006). Although some studies found that α2 subunit expression is reduced in anxiety-related behaviors (Nehrenberg et al. 2009), it is possible that alterations in the interaction of GABAergic and glutamatergic signaling might disrupt the balance of inhibitory and excitatory activity (Mozhui et al. 2010). A number of studies have demonstrated that anxiety-like behavior is often associated with increased FR (Masaoka and Homma 2000, 2004; Nardi et al. 2009). The concomitant changes in these behaviors have led some to hypothesize that respiratory function and anxiety are linked by a common neural circuitry (Abelson et al. 2010).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>