Differential expression of metabotropic glutamate and GABA receptors at neocortical glutamatergic and GABAergic axon terminals

Luca Bragina, Tiziana Bonifacino, Silvia Bassi, Marco Milanese, Giambattista Bonanno, Fiorenzo Conti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Metabotropic glutamate (Glu) receptors (mGluRs) and GABAB receptors are highly expressed at presynaptic sites. To verify the possibility that the two classes of metabotropic receptors contribute to axon terminals heterogeneity, we studied the localization of mGluR1α, mGluR5, mGluR2/3, mGluR7, and GABAB1 in VGLUT1-, VGLUT2-, and VGAT- positive terminals in the cerebral cortex of adult rats. VGLUT1-positive puncta expressed mGluR1α (∼5%), mGluR5 (∼6%), mGluR2/3 (∼22%), mGluR7 (∼17%), and GABAB1 (∼40%), VGLUT2-positive terminals expressed mGluR1α (∼10%), mGluR5 (∼11%), mGluR2/3 (∼20%), mGluR7 (∼28%), and GABAB1 (∼25%), whereas VGAT-positive puncta expressed mGluR1α (∼27%), mGluR5 (∼24%), mGluR2/3 (∼38%), mGluR7 (∼31%), and GABAB1(∼19%). Control experiments ruled out the possibility that postsynaptic mGluRs and GABAB1 might have significantly biased our results. We also performed functional assays in synaptosomal preparations, and showed that all agonists modify Glu and GABA levels, which return to baseline upon exposure to antagonists. Overall, these findings indicate that mGluR1α, mGluR5, mGluR2/3, mGluR7, and GABAB1expression differ significantly between glutamatergic and GABAergic axon terminals, and that the robust expression of heteroreceptors may contribute to the homeostatic regulation of the balance between excitation and inhibition.

Original languageEnglish
Article number345
JournalFrontiers in Cellular Neuroscience
Volume9
Issue numberseptember
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 4 2015

Keywords

  • Autoreceptors
  • Cerebral cortex
  • GABA
  • Glutamate
  • Heteroreceptors
  • Metabotropic receptors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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