GABA is synthesized from glutamate by glutamate decarboxylase (GAD), which exists in two isoforms, that is, GAD65 and GAD67. In line with GAD65 being located in the GABAergic synapse, several studies have demonstrated that this isoform is important during sustained synaptic transmission. In contrast, the functional significance of GAD65 in the maintenance of GABA destined for extrasynaptic tonic inhibition is less well studied. Using GAD65-/- and wild type GAD65+/+ mice, this was examined employing the cortical wedge preparation, a model suitable for investigating extrasynaptic GABA(A) receptor activity. An impaired tonic inhibition in GAD65-/- mice was revealed demonstrating a significant role of GAD65 in the synthesis of GABA acting extrasynaptically. The correlation between an altered tonic inhibition and metabolic events as well as the functional and metabolic role of GABA synthesized by GAD65 was further investigated in vivo. Tonic inhibition and the demand for biosynthesis of GABA were augmented by injection of kainate into GAD65-/- and GAD65+/+ mice. Moreover, [1-(13) C]glucose and [1,2-(13) C]acetate were administered to study neuronal and astrocytic metabolism concomitantly. Subsequently, cortical and hippocampal extracts were analyzed by NMR spectroscopy and mass spectrometry, respectively. Although seizure activity was induced by kainate, neuronal hypometabolism was observed in GAD65+/+ mice. In contrast, kainate evoked hypermetabolism in GAD65-/- mice exhibiting deficiencies in tonic inhibition. These findings underline the importance of GAD65 for synthesis of GABA destined for extrasynaptic tonic inhibition, regulating epileptiform activity.
© 2010 The Authors. Journal of Neurochemistry © 2010 International Society for Neurochemistry.