Author(s): Yu R, Follesa P, Ticku MK
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Abstract We have recently shown that chronic neurosteroid, 5 alpha 3 alpha, treatment produced down-regulation of the GABA receptor binding and function, and heterologous uncoupling on the GABAA receptor complex in cultured mammalian cortical neurons. In order to explore the underlying mechanism of these observed down-regulation and heterologous uncoupling phenomenon, we investigated the effect of chronic 5 alpha 3 alpha (1 microM; 5 days) treatment on the GABAA receptor subunits mRNA levels, using RNase protection assay. We found that chronic neurosteroid, 5 alpha 3 alpha, treatment decreased the beta- and alpha-subunits mRNA levels while not altering the gamma 2S-subunit mRNA levels in the cortical neurons. The decrease in the beta-subunits mRNA levels suggests a decrease in the presence of the beta-subunits in the composition of GABAA receptors. This phenomenon may explain the down-regulation of the GABAA receptor binding and function. A decrease in the alpha 3-subunit mRNA level suggests a corresponding decrease in the alpha 3-subunit in the composition of GABAA receptor isoforms, relative to other isoforms. This observation may be responsible for the chronic neurosteroid-induced uncoupling and decreased efficacy. In summary, chronic 5 alpha 3 alpha treatment produced down-regulation of the GABAA receptor beta- and alpha-subunit mRNA levels, and these changes may be associated with the down-regulation, heterologous uncoupling, and decreased efficacy of GABAA receptor complex in the cultured mammalian cortical neurons.
This article was published in Brain Res Mol Brain Res
and referenced in Journal of Depression and Anxiety