Acceleration of GABA-switch after early life stress changes mouse prefrontal glutamatergic transmission

Henk Karst*, Wouter J. Droogers, Nelleke van der Weerd, Ruth Damsteegt, Nicky van Kroonenburg, R. Angela Sarabdjitsingh, Marian Joëls

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

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    Early life stress (ELS) alters the excitation-inhibition-balance (EI-balance) in various rodent brain areas and may be responsible for behavioral impairment later in life. The EI-balance is (amongst others) influenced by the switch of GABAergic transmission from excitatory to inhibitory, the so-called “GABA-switch”. Here, we investigated how ELS affects the GABA-switch in mouse infralimbic Prefrontal Cortex layer 2/3 neurons, using the limited-nesting-and-bedding model. In ELS mice, the GABA-switch occurred already between postnatal day (P) 6 and P9, as opposed to P15–P21 in controls. This was associated with increased expression of the inward chloride transporter NKCC1, compared to the outward chloride transporter KCC2, both of which are important for the intracellular chloride concentration and, hence, the GABA reversal potential (Erev). Chloride transporters are not only important for regulating chloride concentration postsynaptically, but also presynaptically. Depending on the Erev of GABA, presynaptic GABAA receptor stimulation causes a depolarization or hyperpolarization, and thereby enhanced or reduced fusion of glutamate vesicles respectively, in turn changing the frequency of miniature postsynaptic currents (mEPSCs). In accordance, bumetanide, a blocker of NKCC1, shifted the Erev GABA towards more hyperpolarized levels in P9 control mice and reduced the mEPSC frequency. Other modulators of chloride transporters, e.g. VU0463271 (a KCC2 antagonist) and aldosterone -which increases NKCC1 expression-did not affect postsynaptic Erev in ELS P9 mice, but did increase the mEPSC frequency. We conclude that the mouse GABA-switch is accelerated after ELS, affecting both the pre- and postsynaptic chloride homeostasis, the former altering glutamatergic transmission. This may considerably affect brain development.

    Originele taal-2English
    Aantal pagina's10
    StatusPublished - 15-aug.-2023

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