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Tonic GABA(A) receptor-mediated currents in human brain.

Journal article
Authors Annalisa Scimemi
Anna Andersson
Joost H Heeroma
Joakim Strandberg
Bertil Rydenhag
Andrew W McEvoy
Maria Thom
Fredrik Asztely
Matthew C Walker
Published in The European journal of neuroscience
Volume 24
Issue 4
Pages 1157-60
ISSN 0953-816X
Publication year 2006
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Clinical Neuroscience and Rehabilitation
Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Physiology
Pages 1157-60
Language en
Keywords Animals, Anti-Anxiety Agents, pharmacology, Cerebral Cortex, cytology, metabolism, Dentate Gyrus, cytology, metabolism, Desoxycorticosterone, analogs & derivatives, pharmacology, Electrophysiology, GABA Antagonists, pharmacology, Humans, Interneurons, cytology, metabolism, Membrane Potentials, Neurons, cytology, drug effects, metabolism, Picrotoxin, pharmacology, Pyridazines, pharmacology, Receptors, GABA-A, metabolism
Subject categories Neuroscience, Neurophysiology, Neurology, Neurosurgery


GABA(A) receptors can mediate both phasic (synaptic) and tonic (extrasynaptic) forms of inhibition. It has been proposed that tonic inhibition plays a critical part in controlling neuronal and network excitability. Although tonic GABA(A) receptor-mediated currents have been well characterized in rodents, their existence in human tissue has yet to be demonstrated. Here we show that tonic currents can be recorded from human tissue obtained from patients undergoing temporal lobectomies. Tonic GABA(A) receptor-mediated currents were present in pyramidal cells and interneurons in layer V-VI of temporal neocortex and granule cells in the dentate gyrus. These tonic currents have cell type-specific pharmacologies, opening up the possibility of targeted therapeutics.

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