Development of GABA-mediated, chloride-dependent inhibition in CA1 pyramidal neurones of immature rat hippocampal slices

J Physiol. 1991 Dec;444:25-49. doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.1991.sp018864.


1. gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA)-mediated, Cl(-)-dependent inhibitory postsynaptic potentials (IPSPs) and GABA currents in immature rat hippocampal CA1 neurones were studied using the whole-cell recording technique in brain slices. 2. IPSPs evoked by electrical stimulation were observed in postnatal 2- to 5- (PN2-5), 8- to 13-(PN8-13) and 15- to 20-(PN15-20)day-old CA1 neurones. In the presence of glutamate receptor blockers 6-cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione (CNQX) and D-2-amino-5-phosphonovaleric acid (APV), the reversal potential for the IPSP (EIPSP) was near the resting membrane potential (RMP) in the PN2-5 neurones, but 13 and 25 mV more negative than the RMP in PN8-13 and PN15-20 neurones respectively. IPSPs and GABA currents were blocked by the GABAA-receptor antagonists bicuculline or picrotoxin. 3. The reversal potential for somatic GABA currents (EGABA) was examined in the presence of tetrodotoxin (TTX). There was a strong dependence of the EGABA upon the patch pipette [Cl-] ([Cl-]p). indicating that the GABA currents were mediated by a Cl- conductance. In PN2-5 neurones, EGABA agreed with the value predicted by the Goldman-Hodgkin-Katz equation at given concentrations of internal and external anions permeable through GABA-activated Cl- channels, whereas EGABA in older neurones was 8-18 mV more negative. 4. Examination of the relations between EGABA, holding potential, [Cl-]p and resting conductance indicated that the membrane of the PN2-5 neurones was readily permeable to Cl- which followed a passive Donnan equilibrium. Passive distribution of Cl- played a decreasing role in PN8-13 neurones and in PN15-20 neurones. 5. To assess the contribution of outward Cl- co-transport, bath applications of high K+ or furosemide were performed. High K+ and furosemide caused a reversible positive shift of EGABA in PN15-20 neurones. Raising the temperature moved EGABA to a more negative potential, with a Q10 of 5 mV. A similar change of EGABA in response to high K+, but not to furosemide, was found in PN8-13 neurones. 6. The present data indicate the existence of GABAA-mediated inhibitory synaptic connections in CA1 neurones at the earliest stages of postnatal life. During the first postnatal week, Cl- ions are passively distributed and the EIPSP and EGABA are near the RMP.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Transport
  • Bumetanide / pharmacology
  • Chlorides / metabolism
  • Chlorides / physiology*
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Evoked Potentials / drug effects
  • Evoked Potentials / physiology*
  • Furosemide / pharmacology
  • Hippocampus / physiology
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Male
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Potassium / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Temperature
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / metabolism
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / physiology*


  • Chlorides
  • Bumetanide
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid
  • Furosemide
  • Potassium