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

Neuroactive steroids induce GABA(A) receptor-mediated depolarizing postsynaptic potentials in hippocampal CA1 pyramidal cells of the rat.

Intracellular recordings were performed in area CA1 pyramidal cells of rat hippocampal slices to determine the effects of certain steroids on inhibitory postsynaptic potentials/currents (IPSP/Cs) mediated by GABA(A) receptors. Following application of the steroids 5alpha-pregnan-3alpha,21-diol-20-one (5alpha-THDOC), alphaxalone and 5beta-pregnan-3alpha-ol-20-one (pregnanolone) hyperpolarizing PSPs developed into biphasic responses consisting of an early hyperpolarizing and a late depolarizing PSP sequence. Steroid-induced depolarizing PSPs could be elicited in the presence of antagonists to non-NMDA, NMDA, and GABA(B) receptors, indicating that these receptor types do not contribute significantly to the initiation of these responses. Depolarizing PSPs were completely blocked by both GABA(A) receptor antagonists bicuculline and t-butylbicyclophosphorothionat (TBPS) providing evidence for their mediation by GABA(A) receptors. The reversal potential of steroid-induced late inward PSCs, measured in single-electrode voltage clamp, was -29.9+/-5.3 mV, whereas the early outward current, which corresponded to the early hyperpolarizing component of PSPs, reversed at -68.2+/-1.5 mV. Depolarizing PSPs and late inward PSCs were sensitive to reduction of extracellular [HCO3-] and block of carbonic anhydrase by application of acetazolamide. The results suggest that certain neuroactive steroids can induce GABA(A) receptor-mediated depolarizing PSPs, which are dependent on HCO3-.[1]


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