Decreased expression of GABAA receptor alpha6 and beta3 subunits in stargazer mutant mice: a possible role for brain-derived neurotrophic factor in the regulation of cerebellar GABAA receptor expression?

Thompson, C.L., Tehrani, M.H., Barnes, E.M. and Stephenson, F.A. (1998) Decreased expression of GABAA receptor alpha6 and beta3 subunits in stargazer mutant mice: a possible role for brain-derived neurotrophic factor in the regulation of cerebellar GABAA receptor expression? Molecular Brain Research, 60 (2). pp. 282-290. 10.1016/S0169-328X(98)00205-8.

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DOI: 10.1016/S0169-328X(98)00205-8

Abstract

The cerebellar granule cells of the spontaneous recessive mutant mouse strain, stargazer (stg/stg), fail to express brain-derived neurotrophic factor mRNA. This deficit is exclusive to these neurons and is believed to underlie the motor irregularities displayed by stg/stg, though the molecular basis for their phenotype has still to be resolved. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor has been shown to play a role in the postnatal maturation of cerebellar granule cells. Differentiation of these neurons, postnatally, is characterised by a switch in their GABAA receptor subunit expression profile. Notably, the GABAA receptor alpha6 subunit, which is specific to these neurons, becomes detectable at postnatal days 10-14 (P10-14). To determine whether cerebellar GABAA receptor expression has been compromised in stg/stg mice, the expression levels of GABAA receptor alpha1, alpha6, beta2 and beta3 subunits were compared between stg/stg mice and the appropriate wild-type background strain, C57BL/6J (+/+). By quantitative immunoblotting, it was found that the expression of the alpha6 and beta3 subunits was 23+/-8% and 38+/-12% (mean+/-S.E.M., n=6) of control (+/+) levels, respectively. In contrast, the expression of the alpha1 and beta2 subunits was not significantly different from controls, being 116+/-11% and 87+/-24% (mean+/-S.E.M., n=6) of +/+ levels, respectively. Total specific [3H]Ro15-4513 binding activity detected in cerebellar membranes prepared from stg/stg was not significantly different from +/+ mice. However, the benzodiazepine agonist-insensitive subtype of [3H]Ro15-4513 binding activity, a pharmacological motif of alpha6 subunit-containing GABAA receptors, was lower in stg/stg mice relative to the +/+ strain which correlated with the lowered level of alpha6 subunit expression. Thus, we have identified an abnormality in the GABAA receptor profile of stg/stg mutant mice that might underpin its irregular phenotype.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:γ-Aminobutyric acid; Receptor regulation; Mutant mice; Development; Immunoblotting
Departments, units and centres:Department of Pharmaceutical and Biological Chemistry > Department of Pharmaceutical and Biological Chemistry
ID Code:2552
Journal or Publication Title:Molecular Brain Research
Deposited By:Library Staff
Deposited On:25 Nov 2011 12:22
Last Modified:25 Nov 2011 12:22

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