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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Immunocytochemical distribution of the GABA(B) receptor splice variants GABA(B) R1a and R1b in the rat CNS and dorsal root ganglia.

The anatomical distribution of the GABA(B) receptor (GBR) splice variants GBR1a and 1b in the CNS has not previously been studied. In the present study, distribution of the splice variants was mapped using immunohistochemistry. Polyclonal antibodies against splice variant unique epitopes were raised in rabbits. Affinity purified antibodies were used according to routine immunohistochemical procedures in sections from the rat CNS or dorsal root ganglia (DRG). The staining intensity was high in the cerebral cortex but lower in basal ganglia and the hippocampus. In the cerebellum, there was a marked difference in the distribution of GBR1a- and 1b-like immunoreactivity (LI). GBR1a-LI was preferentially localised in the granule cell layer whilst GBR1b-LI was mostly found in Purkinje cells and in the molecular layer. Cell bodies of the deep cerebellar nuclei stained for the GBR1a antibody while terminals surrounding the cell bodies were strongly labelled with the GBR1b antibody. A similar pre- vs postsynaptic pattern was seen in several nuclei ventral or caudal to the cerebellum (e.g. the cochlear nucleus, the facial nucleus, the spinal cord) but not in regions rostral to the cerebellum. In the spinal cord, strong labelling for both antibodies was seen in the dorsal horn. The GBR1b but not the GBR1a antibody stained tanycytes in the epithelium of the 3rd ventricle and in the central canal at the brain stem level. DRG neurons were positive for both the GBR1a and 1b antibody, but the former stained the cells much more intensely. Satellite cells were labelled with the GBR1b antibody. The most important aspect of these findings is that in some nuclei, GBR1b may mediate inhibition of transmitter release while in the same regions, GBR1a may mediate postsynaptic inhibition. Further, the observations support previous findings that GBR1b is the predominant splice variant in Purkinje cells.[1]


  1. Immunocytochemical distribution of the GABA(B) receptor splice variants GABA(B) R1a and R1b in the rat CNS and dorsal root ganglia. Poorkhalkali, N., Juneblad, K., Jönsson, A.C., Lindberg, M., Karlsson, O., Wallbrandt, P., Ekstrand, J., Lehmann, A. Anat. Embryol. (2000) [Pubmed]
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