The glutamate receptor-interacting protein GRIP1 is present in glutamatergic synapses and interacts with the GluR2/3/4c subunits of the AMPA receptors. This interaction plays important roles in trafficking, synaptic targeting, and recycling of AMPA receptors as well as in the plasticity of glutamatergic synapses. Although GRIP1 has been shown to be present at GABAergic synapses in cultured neurons, the use of EM (electron microscopy) immunocytochemistry in the intact brain has failed to convincingly reveal the presence of GRIP1 in GABAergic synapses. Therefore, most studies on GRIP1 have focused on glutamatergic synapses. By using mild tissue fixation and embedding in EM, we show that in the intact brain the 7-PDZ domain GRIP1a/b is present not only in glutamatergic synapses but also in GABAergic synapses. In GABAergic synapses GRIP1a/b localizes both at the presynaptic terminals and postsynaptically, being frequently localized on the synaptic membranes or the synaptic junctional complex. Considerably higher density of GRIP1a/b is found in the presynaptic GABAergic terminals than in the glutamatergic terminals, while the density of GRIP1a/b in the postsynaptic complex is similar in both types of synapses. The results also show that the 7-PDZ and the shorter 4-PDZ domain splice forms of GRIP1 (GRIP1c 4-7) frequently colocalize with each other in individual GABAergic and glutamatergic synapses. The results suggest that GRIP1 splice forms might play important roles in brain GABAergic synapses.
Copyright 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.