Excitatory GABA: how a correct observation may turn out to be an experimental artifact
- INSERM URM 1106, Institut de Neuroscience des Systèmes, Aix-Marseille Université, Marseille, France
The concept of the excitatory action of GABA during early development is based on data obtained mainly in brain slice recordings. However, in vivo measurements as well as observations made in intact hippocampal preparations indicate that GABA is in fact inhibitory in rodents at early neonatal stages. The apparent excitatory action of GABA seems to stem from cellular injury due to the slicing procedure, which leads to accumulation of intracellular Cl− in injured neurons. This procedural artifact was shown to be attenuated through various manipulations such as addition of energy substrates more relevant to the in vivo situation. These observations question the very concept of excitatory GABA in immature neuronal networks.
Keywords: GABA, brain slices, in vivo versus in vitro, giant depolarizing potentials, energy substrates
Citation: Bregestovski P and Bernard C (2012) Excitatory GABA: how a correct observation may turn out to be an experimental artifact. Front. Pharmacol. 3:65. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2012.00065
Received: 13 January 2012; Paper pending published: 23 January 2012;
Accepted: 02 April 2012; Published online: 19 April 2012.
Copyright: © 2012 Bregestovski and Bernard. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial License, which permits non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in other forums, provided the original authors and source are credited.
*Correspondence: Piotr Bregestovski, INSERM URM 1106, Institut de Neuroscience des Systèmes, Aix-Marseille Université, Marseille 13005, France. e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org