GABAergic Regulation of Astroglial Gliotransmission through Cx43 Hemichannels

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Jiménez, Ivanka
Reyes, Rachel
Lemunao, Yordan
Cárdenas, Kevin
Castro, Raimundo
Peña, Francisca
Lucero, Claudia
Prieto, Juan
Retamal, Mauricio
Orellana, Juan
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Gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) is the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain. It is produced by interneurons and recycled by astrocytes. In neurons, GABA activates the influx of Cl- via the GABAA receptor or efflux or K+ via the GABAB receptor, inducing hyperpolarization and synaptic inhibition. In astrocytes, the activation of both GABAA and GABAB receptors induces an increase in intracellular Ca2+ and the release of glutamate and ATP. Connexin 43 (Cx43) hemichannels are among the main Ca2+-dependent cellular mechanisms for the astroglial release of glutamate and ATP. However, no study has evaluated the effect of GABA on astroglial Cx43 hemichannel activity and Cx43 hemichannel-mediated gliotransmission. Here we assessed the effects of GABA on Cx43 hemichannel activity in DI NCT1 rat astrocytes and hippocampal brain slices. We found that GABA induces a Ca2+-dependent increase in Cx43 hemichannel activity in astrocytes mediated by the GABAA receptor, as it was blunted by the GABAA receptor antagonist bicuculline but unaffected by GABAB receptor antagonist CGP55845. Moreover, GABA induced the Cx43 hemichannel-dependent release of glutamate and ATP, which was also prevented by bicuculline, but unaffected by CGP. Gliotransmission in response to GABA was also unaffected by pannexin 1 channel blockade. These results are discussed in terms of the possible role of astroglial Cx43 hemichannel-mediated glutamate and ATP release in regulating the excitatory/inhibitory balance in the brain and their possible contribution to psychiatric disorders.
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Cx43 hemichannels , GABA , GABAA receptors , Astrocytes , Astroglia , Astroglial release , Connexin 43 , Gliotransmission
Jiménez-Dinamarca I, Reyes-Lizana R, Lemunao-Inostroza Y, Cárdenas K, Castro-Lazo R, Peña F, Lucero CM, Prieto-Villalobos J, Retamal MA, Orellana JA, Stehberg J. GABAergic Regulation of Astroglial Gliotransmission through Cx43 Hemichannels. Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Nov 7;23(21):13625, doi: 10.3390/ijms232113625