Distinct mechanisms regulate GABA(A) receptor and gephyrin clustering at perisomatic and axo-axonic synapses on CA1 pyramidal cells

Patrizia Panzanelli, Benjamin G. Gunn, Monika C. Schlatter, Dietmar Benke, Shiva K. Tyagarajan, Peter Scheiffele, Delia Belelli, Jeremy J. Lambert, Uwe Rudolph, Jean-Marc Fritschy

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    92 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Pyramidal cells express various GABA(A) receptor (GABA(A)R) subtypes, possibly to match inputs from functionally distinct interneurons targeting specific subcellular domains. Postsynaptic anchoring of GABA(A)Rs is ensured by a complex interplay between the scaffolding protein gephyrin, neuroligin-2 and collybistin. Direct interactions between these proteins and GABA(A)R subunits might contribute to synapse-specific distribution of GABA(A)R subtypes. In addition, the dystrophin-glycoprotein complex, mainly localized at perisomatic synapses, regulates GABA(A)R postsynaptic clustering at these sites. Here, we investigated how the functional and molecular organization of GABAergic synapses in CA1 pyramidal neurons is altered in mice lacking the GABA(A)R alpha 2 subunit (alpha 2-KO). We report a marked, layer-specific loss of postsynaptic gephyrin and neuroligin-2 clusters, without changes in GABAergic presynaptic terminals. Whole-cell voltage-clamp recordings in slices from alpha 2-KO mice show a 40% decrease in GABAergic mIPSC frequency, with unchanged amplitude and kinetics. Applying low/high concentrations of zolpidem to discriminate between alpha 1- and alpha 2/alpha 3-GABA(A)Rs demonstrates that residual mIPSCs in alpha 2-KO mice are mediated by alpha 1-GABA(A)Rs. Immunofluorescence analysis reveals maintenance of alpha 1-GABA(A)R and neuroligin-2 clusters, but not gephyrin clusters, in perisomatic synapses of mutant mice, along with a complete loss of these three markers on the axon initial segment. This striking subcellular difference correlates with the preservation of dystrophin clusters, colocalized with neuroligin-2 and alpha 1-GABA(A)Rs on pyramidal cell bodies of mutant mice. Dystrophin was not detected on the axon initial segment in either genotype. Collectively, these findings reveal synapse-specific anchoring of GABA(A)Rs at postsynaptic sites and suggest that the dystrophin-glycoprotein complex contributes to stabilize alpha 1-GABA(A)R and neuroligin-2, but not gephyrin, in perisomatic postsynaptic densities.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)4959-4980
    Number of pages22
    JournalJournal of Physiology
    Volume589
    Issue number20
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2011

    Keywords

    • INITIAL SEGMENT
    • INHIBITORY SYNAPSES
    • GABAERGIC SYNAPSES
    • A-RECEPTORS
    • GABA(A)-RECEPTOR SUBTYPES
    • GLYCOPROTEIN COMPLEX
    • HIPPOCAMPAL-NEURONS
    • MOUSE HIPPOCAMPAL
    • PURKINJE-CELLS
    • RAT-BRAIN

    Cite this

    Panzanelli, P., Gunn, B. G., Schlatter, M. C., Benke, D., Tyagarajan, S. K., Scheiffele, P., Belelli, D., Lambert, J. J., Rudolph, U., & Fritschy, J-M. (2011). Distinct mechanisms regulate GABA(A) receptor and gephyrin clustering at perisomatic and axo-axonic synapses on CA1 pyramidal cells. Journal of Physiology, 589(20), 4959-4980. https://doi.org/10.1113/jphysiol.2011.216028