1 Neuronal Signalling Lab, Department of Neuroscience and Pharmacology, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet2 Neuropharm and Genetics Lab, Department of Neuroscience and Pharmacology, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet3 Neuropharm and Genetics Lab, Department of Neuroscience and Pharmacology, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet4 Neuronal Signalling Lab, Department of Neuroscience and Pharmacology, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet
The role of spontaneously occurring release events in glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons and their regulation is intensely debated. To study the interdependence of glutamatergic and GABAergic spontaneous release, we compared reciprocally connected "mixed" glutamatergic/GABAergic neuronal pairs from mice cultured on astrocyte islands with "homotypic" glutamatergic or GABAergic pairs and autaptic neurons. We measured mEPSC and mIPSC frequencies simultaneously from both neurons. Neuronal pairs formed both interneuronal synaptic and autaptic connections indiscriminately. We find that whereas mEPSC and mIPSC frequencies did not deviate between autaptic and synaptic connections, the frequency of mEPSCs in mixed pairs was strongly depressed compared with either autaptic neurons or glutamatergic pairs. Simultaneous imaging of synapses, or comparison to evoked release amplitudes, showed that this decrease was not caused by fewer active synapses. The mEPSC frequency was negatively correlated with the mIPSC frequency, indicating interdependence. Moreover, the reduction in mEPSC frequency was abolished when established pairs were exposed to bicuculline for 3 d, but not by long-term incubation with tetrodotoxin, indicating that spontaneous GABA release downregulates mEPSC frequency. Further investigations showed that knockout of synaptotagmin-1 did not affect mEPSC frequencies in either glutamatergic autaptic neurons or in glutamatergic pairs. However, in mixed glutamatergic/GABAergic pairs, mEPSC frequencies were increased by a factor of four in the synaptotagmin-1-null neurons, which is in line with data obtained from mixed cultures. The effect persisted after incubation with BAPTA-AM. We conclude that spontaneous GABA release exerts control over mEPSC release, and GABAergic innervation of glutamatergic neurons unveils the unclamping phenotype of the synaptotagmin-1-null neurons.
Journal of Neuroscience : the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 2014, Vol 34, Issue 6, p. 2100-10