Article: article from journal or magazin.
Muscimol-induced death of GABAergic neurons in rat brain aggregating cell cultures.
Developmental Brain Research
During brain development, spontaneous neuronal activity has been shown to play a crucial role in the maturation of neuronal circuitries. Activity-related signals may cause selective neuronal cell death and/or rearrangement of neuronal connectivity. To study the effects of sustained inhibitory activity on developing inhibitory (GABAergic) neurons, three-dimensional primary cell cultures of fetal rat telencephalon were used. In relatively immature cultures, muscimol (10 microns), a GABAA receptor agonist, induced a transient increase in apoptotic cell death, as evidenced by a cycloheximide-sensitive increase of free nucleosomes and an increased frequency of DNA double strand breaks (TUNEL labeling). Furthermore, muscimol caused an irreversible reduction of glutamic acid decarboxylase activity, indicating a loss of GABAergic neurons. The muscimol-induced death of GABAergic neurons was attenuated by the GABAA receptor blockers bicuculline (100 microns) and picrotoxin (100 microns), by depolarizing potassium concentrations (30 mM KCl) and by the L-type calcium channel activator BAY K8644 (2 microns). As compared to the cholinergic marker (choline acetyltransferase activity), glutamic acid decarboxylase activity was significantly more affected by various agents known to inhibit neuronal activity, including tetrodotoxin (1 micron), flunarizine (5 microns), MK 801 (50 microns) and propofol (40 microns). The present results suggest that the survival of a subpopulation of immature GABAergic neurons is dependent on sustained neuronal activity and that these neurons may undergo apoptotic cell death in response to GABAA autoreceptor activation.
Animals, Brain/cytology, Brain/drug effects, Cell Aggregation/drug effects, Cell Death/drug effects, Cells, Cultured, DNA Fragmentation/drug effects, GABA Agonists/toxicity, GABA-A Receptor Agonists, Muscimol/toxicity, Neurons/drug effects, Neurons/enzymology, Nucleosomes/enzymology, Nucleosomes/ultrastructure, Rats, Rats, Sprague-Dawley, gamma-Aminobutyric Acid/physiology
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