Enhancement of inhibitory synaptic transmission in large aspiny neurons after transient cerebral ischemia

Y. Li, Z. Lei, Z. C. Xu

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10 Scopus citations


Large aspiny neurons and most of the GABAergic interneurons survive transient cerebral ischemia while medium spiny neurons degenerate in 24 h. Expression of a long-term enhancement of excitatory transmission in medium spiny neurons but not in large aspiny neurons has been indicated to contribute to this selective vulnerability. Because neuronal excitability is determined by the counterbalance of excitation and inhibition, the present study examined inhibitory synaptic transmission in large aspiny neurons after ischemia in rats. Transient cerebral ischemia was induced for 22 min using the four-vessel occlusion method and whole-cell voltage-clamp recording was performed on striatal slices. The amplitudes of evoked inhibitory postsynaptic currents in large aspiny neurons were significantly increased at 3 and 24 h after ischemia, which was mediated by the increase of presynaptic release. Postsynaptic responses were depressed at 24 h after ischemia. Inhibitory postsynaptic currents could be evoked in large aspiny neurons at 24 h after ischemia, suggesting that they receive GABAergic inputs from the survived GABAergic interneurons. Muscimol, a GABAA receptor agonist, presynaptically facilitated inhibitory synaptic transmission at 24 h after ischemia. Such facilitation was dependent on the extracellular calcium and voltage-gated sodium channels. The present study demonstrates an enhancement of inhibitory synaptic transmission in large aspiny neurons after ischemia, which might reduce excitotoxicity and contribute, at least in part, to the survival of large aspiny neurons. Our data also suggest that large aspiny neurons might receive inhibitory inputs from GABAergic interneurons. Crown

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)670-681
Number of pages12
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 17 2009



  • cholinergic interneuron
  • excitotoxicity
  • GABA
  • GABAergic interneuron
  • GAD
  • striatum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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