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Cortical glutamatergic neurons mediate the motor sedative action of diazepam


Zeller, A; Crestani, F; Camenisch, I; Iwasato, T; Itohara, S; Fritschy, J M; Rudolph, U (2008). Cortical glutamatergic neurons mediate the motor sedative action of diazepam. Molecular Pharmacology, 73(2):282-291.

Abstract

The neuronal circuits mediating the sedative action of diazepam are unknown. Although the motor-depressant action of diazepam is suppressed in alpha1(H101R) homozygous knockin mice expressing diazepam-insensitive alpha1-GABA(A) receptors, global alpha1-knockout mice show greater motor sedation with diazepam. To clarify this paradox, attributed to compensatory up-regulation of the alpha2 and alpha3 subunits, and to further identify the neuronal circuits supporting diazepam-induced sedation, we generated Emx1-cre-recombinase-mediated conditional mutant mice, selectively lacking the alpha1 subunit (forebrain-specific alpha1(-/-)) or expressing either a single wild-type (H) or a single point-mutated (R) alpha1 allele (forebrain-specific alpha1(-/H) and alpha1(-/R) mice, respectively) in forebrain glutamatergic neurons. In the rest of the brain, alpha1(-/R) mutants are heterozygous alpha1(H101R) mice. Forebrain-specific alpha1(-/-) mice showed enhanced diazepam-induced motor depression and increased expression of the alpha2 and alpha3 subunits in the neocortex and hippocampus, in comparison with their pseudo-wild-type littermates. Forebrain-specific alpha1(-/R) mice were less sensitive than alpha1(-/H) mice to the motor-depressing action of diazepam, but each of these conditional mutants had a similar behavioral response as their corresponding control littermates. Unexpectedly, expression of the alpha1 subunit was reduced in forebrain, notably in alpha1(-/R) mice, and the alpha3 subunit was up-regulated in neocortex, indicating that proper alpha1 subunit expression requires both alleles. In conclusion, conditional manipulation of GABA(A) receptor alpha1 subunit expression can induce compensatory changes in the affected areas. Specifically, alterations in GABA(A) receptor expression restricted to forebrain glutamatergic neurons reproduce the behavioral effects seen after a global alteration, thereby implicating these neurons in the motor-sedative effect of diazepam.

The neuronal circuits mediating the sedative action of diazepam are unknown. Although the motor-depressant action of diazepam is suppressed in alpha1(H101R) homozygous knockin mice expressing diazepam-insensitive alpha1-GABA(A) receptors, global alpha1-knockout mice show greater motor sedation with diazepam. To clarify this paradox, attributed to compensatory up-regulation of the alpha2 and alpha3 subunits, and to further identify the neuronal circuits supporting diazepam-induced sedation, we generated Emx1-cre-recombinase-mediated conditional mutant mice, selectively lacking the alpha1 subunit (forebrain-specific alpha1(-/-)) or expressing either a single wild-type (H) or a single point-mutated (R) alpha1 allele (forebrain-specific alpha1(-/H) and alpha1(-/R) mice, respectively) in forebrain glutamatergic neurons. In the rest of the brain, alpha1(-/R) mutants are heterozygous alpha1(H101R) mice. Forebrain-specific alpha1(-/-) mice showed enhanced diazepam-induced motor depression and increased expression of the alpha2 and alpha3 subunits in the neocortex and hippocampus, in comparison with their pseudo-wild-type littermates. Forebrain-specific alpha1(-/R) mice were less sensitive than alpha1(-/H) mice to the motor-depressing action of diazepam, but each of these conditional mutants had a similar behavioral response as their corresponding control littermates. Unexpectedly, expression of the alpha1 subunit was reduced in forebrain, notably in alpha1(-/R) mice, and the alpha3 subunit was up-regulated in neocortex, indicating that proper alpha1 subunit expression requires both alleles. In conclusion, conditional manipulation of GABA(A) receptor alpha1 subunit expression can induce compensatory changes in the affected areas. Specifically, alterations in GABA(A) receptor expression restricted to forebrain glutamatergic neurons reproduce the behavioral effects seen after a global alteration, thereby implicating these neurons in the motor-sedative effect of diazepam.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:February 2008
Deposited On:16 Dec 2008 16:20
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:33
Publisher:American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
ISSN:0026-895X
Publisher DOI:10.1124/mol.107.038828
PubMed ID:17965197
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-5330

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