6 Scopus citations


Past research has shown that calcium influx through NMDA receptors (NMDARs) depresses GABAA currents. We examined upstream triggers of this suppression, including involvement of target synaptic GABAA receptors and the NMDARs triggering suppression. In hippocampal neurons, conditioning with 20 μM NMDA for 20 s caused 50% suppression of GABA responses. The suppression was delayed by ~60 s following NMDA application and persisted for at least 5 min following conditioning. Pharmacology experiments suggested a shift in both the sensitivity to GABA and a loss of functional receptors. NMDA conditioning strongly suppressed inhibitory postsynaptic currents and speeded decay kinetics. Synaptic NMDAR conditioning was necessary to suppress GABA current in pyramidal neurons; extrasynaptic NMDAR activation did not suppress, even when matched to synaptic activation. We found no evidence that specific synaptic NMDAR supunits mediate depression of GABA responses. Although physical colocalization of glutamate and GABAA receptors is mostly likely in extrasynaptic regions, our evidence suggests that NMDAR-induced suppression of GABA responsiveness prominently affects precise, moment-to-moment signaling from synaptic receptors to synaptic receptors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2532-2540
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of neurophysiology
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 1 2012


  • Epilepsy
  • Hippocampal neurons
  • N-methyl-D-aspartate
  • Synaptic plasticity
  • γ-aminobutyric acid


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