The amount of astrocytic GABA positively correlates with the degree of tonic inhibition in hippocampal CA1 and cerebellum

Bo Eun Yoon, Seonmi Jo, Junsung Woo, Jae Hoon Lee, Taekeun Kim, Daesoo Kim, C. Justin Lee

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58 Citations (Scopus)


A tonic form of synaptic inhibition occurs in discrete regions of the central nervous system and has an important role in controlling neuronal excitability. Recently, we reported that GABA present in astrocyte is the major source of tonic inhibition in cerebellum and that GABA is released through Bestrophin-1 channel by direct permeation. In this study, we screened for the presence of astrocytic GABA in various brain regions such as hippocampus, thalamus, hypothalamus and cerebellum using immunohistochemistry. We found that astrocytic GABA was present in the regions that were reported to show tonic inhibition. Because the existence of tonic inhibition in hippocampal CA1 is somewhat controversial, we compared the amount of astrocytic GABA and tonic inhibition between the hippocampal CA1 pyramidal cell layer and the cerebellar granule cell layer. Unlike cerebellar glial cells, hippocampal astrocytes did not contain GABA. The tonic inhibition was also much lower in the pyramidal neurons of hippocampal CA1 compared to the granule cells of cerebellum. Nevertheless, most of the hippocampal astrocytes expressed Bestrophin-1 channel. These data indicate that the absence of astrocytic GABA results in a low level of tonic inhibition in hippocampal CA1 region.

Original languageEnglish
Article number42
JournalMolecular brain
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the World Class Institute(WCI) Program of the National Research Foundation of Korea(NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology of Korea(MEST) (NRF Grant Number: WCI 2009-003) and The National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MEST) (to D.K, 20110028772). We thank Clare. J. Choi for giving helpful comments about editing manuscript.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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