Expression pattern of voltage-dependent calcium channel subunits in hippocampal inhibitory neurons in mice

Neuroscience. 2006 Nov 17;143(1):189-212. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2006.07.019. Epub 2006 Aug 28.


Different subtypes of voltage-dependent calcium channels (VDCCs) generate various types of calcium currents that play important role in neurotransmitter release, membrane excitability, calcium transients and gene expression. Well-established differences in the physiological properties and variable sensitivity of hippocampal GABAergic inhibitory neurons to excitotoxic insults suggest that the calcium homeostasis, thus VDCC subunits expression pattern is likely different in subclasses of inhibitory cells. Using double-immunohistochemistry, here we report that in mice: 1) Cav2.1 and Cav3.1 subunits are expressed in almost all inhibitory neurons; 2) subunits responsible for the L-type calcium current (Cav1.2 and Cav1.3) are infrequently co-localized with calretinin inhibitory cell marker while Cav1.3 subunit, at least in part, tends to compensate for the low expression of Cav1.2 subunit in parvalbumin-, metabotropic glutamate receptor 1alpha- and somatostatin-immunopositive inhibitory neurons; 3) Cav2.2 subunit is expressed in the majority of inhibitory neurons except in calbindin-reactive inhibitory cells; 4) Cav2.3 subunit is expressed in the vast majority of the inhibitory cells except in parvalbumin- and calretinin-immunoreactive neurons where the proportion of expression of this subunit is considerably lower. These data indicate that VDCC subunits are differentially expressed in hippocampal GABAergic interneurons, which could explain the diversity in their electrophysiological properties, the existence of synaptic plasticity in certain inhibitory neurons and their vulnerability to stressful stimuli.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calbindins
  • Calcium Channels / classification
  • Calcium Channels / metabolism*
  • Cholecystokinin / metabolism
  • Gene Expression / physiology*
  • Hippocampus / cytology*
  • Immunohistochemistry / methods
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Microscopy, Immunoelectron / methods
  • Neurons / metabolism*
  • Neurons / ultrastructure
  • Parvalbumins / metabolism
  • Receptors, Metabotropic Glutamate / metabolism
  • S100 Calcium Binding Protein G / metabolism
  • Somatostatin / metabolism


  • Calbindins
  • Calcium Channels
  • Parvalbumins
  • Receptors, Metabotropic Glutamate
  • S100 Calcium Binding Protein G
  • metabotropic glutamate receptor type 1
  • Somatostatin
  • Cholecystokinin