Research Output

Weaker control of the electrical properties of cerebellar granule cells by tonically active GABAA receptors in the Ts65Dn mouse model of Down's syndrome.

  BACKGROUND

Down's syndrome (DS) is caused by triplication of all or part of human chromosome 21 and is characterized by a decrease in the overall size of the brain. One of the brain regions most affected is the cerebellum, in which the number of granule cells (GCs) is markedly decreased. GCs process sensory information entering the cerebellum via mossy fibres and pass it on to Purkinje cells and inhibitory interneurons. How GCs transform incoming signals depends on their input-output relationship, which is adjusted by tonically active GABA(A) receptor channels.

RESULTS

We report that in the Ts65Dn mouse model of DS, in which cerebellar volume and GC number are decreased as in DS, the tonic GABA(A) receptor current in GCs is smaller than in wild-type mice and is less effective in moderating input resistance and raising the minimum current required for action potential firing. We also find that tonically active GABA(A) receptors curb the height and broaden the width of action potentials in wild-type GCs but not in Ts65Dn GCs. Single-cell real-time quantitative PCR reveals that these electrical differences are accompanied by decreased expression of the gene encoding the GABA(A) receptor β3 subunit but not genes coding for some of the other GABA(A) receptor subunits expressed in GCs (α1, α6, β2 and δ).

CONCLUSIONS

Weaker moderation of excitability and action potential waveform in GCs of the Ts65Dn mouse by tonically active GABA(A) receptors is likely to contribute to atypical transfer of information through the cerebellum. Similar changes may occur in DS.

  • Type:

    Article

  • Date:

    30 November 2012

  • Publication Status:

    Published

  • Publisher

    BioMed Central

  • Library of Congress:

    QP Physiology

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    571 Physiology & related subjects

Citation

Szemes, M., Davies, R. L., Garden, C. L. P. & Usowicz, M. M. (2012). Weaker control of the electrical properties of cerebellar granule cells by tonically active GABAA receptors in the Ts65Dn mouse model of Down's syndrome. Molecular Brain. 6, 33. ISSN 1756-6606

Authors

Keywords

Down syndrome; Down’s syndrome; Cerebellum; Ts65Dn; Granule cell; GABAA receptor; Tonic inhibition; Shunting; qPCR; Single-cell RT-PCR;

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