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Alteration of GABA transporter expression in the rat cerebral cortex following needle puncture and colchicine injection.

  • Author(s): Yan, XX
  • Ribak, CE
  • et al.
Abstract

In the adult cerebral cortex, GABA transporters (GATs) are expressed by both neurons and astrocytes. GAT-1 immunoreactivity is found in axon terminals of GABAergic neurons and astrocytes, while GAT-3 immunolabeling occurs only in the latter. The present study was designed to determine whether the expression of GAT-1 and GAT-3 in the adult rat cerebrum changes after needle lesion and colchicine infusion. Following a needle puncture or a saline injection, immunolabeling for GAT-1 and GAT-3 was slightly increased in an area around the needle track. Not only was the neuropil labeling for both GATs increased, but also a few neuronal somata were found to be immunoreactive for GAT-1. Colchicine injections induced a striking increase in immunolabeling for both GATs in the neuropil in an area adjacent to the needle path and surrounding it. A homologous region of the contralateral hemisphere also showed a moderate increase of immunoreactivity in the neuropil for both GATs. Furthermore, this contralateral site showed many neuronal somata immunolabeled for GAT-1. These changes were mainly detected during the first 5 days following intracortical lesions. These results indicate that (1) the upregulation of GAT-1 and GAT-3 in cortical interneurons and astrocytes is caused by both mechanical and chemical factors associated with the injections; (2) increased GAT-1 and GAT-3 expression contralateral to the site of colchicine injection is mediated by transcellular signaling across the corpus callosum; and (3) the lesion-induced GAT expression may play a protective role by helping to balance excitatory and inhibitory neuronal activities.

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