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

GABAB-receptor-mediated suppression of sympathetic outflow from the spinal cord of neonatal rats.

Using a splanchnic nerve-spinal cord preparation in vitro that could spontaneously generate sympathetic nerve discharge (SND), we investigated the roles of intraspinal GABA(B) receptors in the regulation of SND. Despite an age-dependent difference in sensitivity, bath applications of baclofen (Bac; GABA(B)-receptor agonist) consistently reduced SND in a concentration-dependent manner. The drug specificity of Bac in activation of GABA(B) receptors was verified by application of its antagonist saclofen (Sac) or CGP-46381 (CGP). Sac or CGP alone did not change SND. However, in the presence of Sac or CGP, the effects of Bac on SND inhibition were reversibly attenuated. The splanchnic sympathetic preganglionic neuron (SPN) was recorded by blind whole cell, patch-clamp techniques. We examined Bac effects on electrical membrane properties of SPNs. Applications of Bac reduced excitatory synaptic events, induced membrane hyperpolarizations, and inhibited SPN firing. In the presence of 12 mM Mg2+ or 0.5 microM TTX to block Ca2+- or action potential-dependent synaptic transmissions, applications of Bac induced an outward baseline current that reversed at -29 +/- 6 mV. Because the K+ equilibrium potential in our experimental conditions was -100 mV, the Bac-induced currents could not simply be attributed to an alteration of K+ conductance. On the other hand, applications of Bac to Cs+-loaded SPNs reduced Cd2+-sensitive and high-voltage-activated inward currents, indicating an inhibition of voltage-gated Ca2+ currents. Our results suggest that the activation of intraspinal GABA(B) receptors suppresses SND via a mixture of ion events that may link to a change in Ca2+ conductance.[1]


  1. GABAB-receptor-mediated suppression of sympathetic outflow from the spinal cord of neonatal rats. Cheng, Y.W., Ku, M.C., Ho, C.M., Chai, C.Y., Su, C.K. J. Appl. Physiol. (2005) [Pubmed]
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