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ANNEE : 2007

Differential organization of gamma-aminobutyric acid type A and glycine receptors in the somatic and dendritic compartments of rat abducens motoneurons.

AUTEURS : Lorenzo LE, Russier M, Barbe A, Bras H.

REVUE : Journal of Comparative Neurology

Premotor inhibitory neurons responsible for the decrease in the firing discharge during fast or slow eye movements selectively target the cell bodies and the dendrites of abducens motoneurons. Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and glycine, the main inhibitory synaptic neurotransmitters in the central nervous system, act via glycine and GABAA receptors, assembled from various types of subunits, which determine the kinetics of the currents mediated. Therefore, our hypothesis was that the expression of the inhibitory receptors on the somatic and the dendritic compartments, involved in different functions, may differ. In this study, we compared the subcellular patterns of expression of the main GABAA receptor subunits (GABAARalpha1, alpha2, alpha3, alpha5), glycine receptors (GlyRalpha1), and gephyrin in the somatic and dendritic compartments of rat abducens motoneurons, using double or triple immunocytochemical experiments with confocal microscopy. Significant differences exist in the patterns of organization and the synaptic expression of the GlyR and GABAAR subunits in the cell bodies and dendrites of abducens motoneurons. In the somata, only the GABAARalpha1 subunit was expressed, whereas both GABAARalpha1 and GABAARalpha3 were present in the dendrites. The GlyRalpha1 to GABAARalpha1 density ratio was reversed in the somatic and dendritic compartments (0.9 vs. 2.3). A quantitative electron microscopy study showed that the modes whereby gephyrin reaches its postsynaptic inhibitory synaptic target differ between the somata and the dendrites. Therefore, our results support the idea that a structure-function adaptation occurs at the single-neuron level.