Gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA) plasma membrane transporters (GATs) contribute to the modulation of GABA's actions and are implicated in neuropsychiatric diseases. In this study, the localization of GAT-3, the major glial GAT, was investigated in human cortex using immunocytochemical techniques. In prefrontal and temporal cortices, GAT-3 immunoreactivity (ir) was present throughout the depth of the cortex, both in puncta and in neurons. GAT-3-positive puncta were dispersed in the neuropil or closely related to cell bodies; neuronal staining was in perikarya, especially of pyramidal cells, and proximal dendrites. Electron microscopic studies showed that GAT-3 ir was in astrocytic processes as well as in neuronal elements. All GAT-3-positive neurons co-expressed heat shock protein 70. To test the possibility that the collection procedure of human samples induced the expression of GAT-3 in neurons which normally do not express it, we analyzed rat cortical tissue resected using the same procedure and found that numerous neurons are GAT-3-positive and that they co-express heat shock protein 70. Results show that in human cortex GAT-3 is expressed in astrocytic processes and in neurons and suggest that neuronal expression is related to the procedure used for collecting human samples.
- GABA uptake
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience