Original Publication Date
Journal of Biomedical Science
DOI of Original Publication
Date of Submission
Excitatory amino acid release and subsequent biochemical cascades following traumatic brain injury (TBI) have been well documented, especially glutamate-related excitotoxicity. The effects of TBI on the essential functions of inhibitory GABA-A receptors, however, are poorly understood.
We used Western blot procedures to test whether in vivo TBI in rat altered the protein expression of hippocampal GABA-A receptor subunits α1, α2, α3, α5, β3, and γ2 at 3 h, 6 h, 24 h, and 7 days post-injuy. We then used pre-injury injections of MK-801 to block calcium influx through the NMDA receptor, diltiazem to block L-type voltage-gated calcium influx, or diazepam to enhance chloride conductance, and re-examined the protein expressions of α1, α2, α3, and γ2, all of which were altered by TBI in the first study and all of which are important constituents in benzodiazepine-sensitive GABA-A receptors.
Western blot analysis revealed no injury-induced alterations in protein expression for GABA-A receptor α2 or α5 subunits at any time point post-injury. Significant time-dependent changes in α1, α3, β3, and γ2 protein expression. The pattern of alterations to GABA-A subunits was nearly identical after diltiazem and diazepam treatment, and MK-801 normalized expression of all subunits 24 hours post-TBI.
These studies are the first to demonstrate that GABA-A receptor subunit expression is altered by TBI in vivo, and these alterations may be driven by calcium-mediated cascades in hippocampal neurons. Changes in GABA-A receptors in the hippocampus after TBI may have far-reaching consequences considering their essential importance in maintaining inhibitory balance and their extensive impact on neuronal function.
© 2010 Gibson et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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VCU Psychology Publications