γ-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) induces a receptor-mediated reduction in GABA(A) receptor α subunit messenger RNAs in embryonic chick neurons in culture

P. Montpied, E. I. Ginns, B. M. Martin, D. Roca, D. H. Farb, S. M. Paul

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

81 Scopus citations

Abstract

γ-Aminobutyric acid (GABA), the major inhibitory neurotransmitter in brain, is known to interact with a subclass of receptors that activate a ligand-gated chloride ion channel. Exposure of cultured embryonic chick neurons to physiological concentrations of GABA results in a time-dependent down-regulation of these GABA(A) receptors. To delineate the cellular mechanism(s) responsible for agonist-induced down-regulation of GABA(A) receptors we quantified the levels of GABA(A) receptor α subunit messenger RNAs, which encode the subunit(s) containing agonist recognition site(s), and observed a marked reduction in α subunit mRNAs following exposure of embryonic chick neurons to GABA. Both the down-regulation of GABA(A) receptors and the reduction in α subunit mRNAs induced by GABA were completely antagonized by the specific GABA(A) receptor antagonist SR-95531. These data demonstrate the presence of an agonist-induced receptor-mediated mechanism for regulating the expression of receptor subunit-encoding mRNAs that may be involved in the development of tolerance to the pharmacological actions of drugs known to act via GABA(A) receptors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6011-6014
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Volume266
Issue number10
StatePublished - Jul 23 1991
Externally publishedYes

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