Frequency-dependent depression of inhibition in guinea-pig neocortex in vitro by GABAB receptor feed-back on GABA release

J Physiol. 1989 May;412:513-41. doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.1989.sp017629.


1. The mechanisms involved in the lability of inhibition at higher frequencies of stimulation were investigated in the guinea-pig in vitro neocortical slice preparation by intracellular recording techniques. We attempted to test the possibility of a feedback depression of GABA on subsequent release. 2. At resting membrane potential (Em, -75.8 +/- 5.2 mV) stimulation of either the pial surface or subcortical white matter evoked a sequence of depolarizing and hyperpolarizing synaptic components in most neurones. An early hyperpolarizing component (IPSPA) was usually only obvious as a pronounced termination of the EPSP, followed by a later hyperpolarizing event (IPSPB). Current-voltage relationships revealed two different conductances of about 200 and 20 nS and reversal potentials of -73.0 +/- 4.4 and -88.6 +/- 6.1 mV for the early and late component, respectively. 3. The conductances of IPSPA and IPSPB were fairly stable at a stimulus frequency of 0.1 Hz. At frequencies between 0.5 and 2 Hz both IPSPs were attenuated with the second stimulus and after about five stimuli a steady state was reached. Concomitantly IPSPs were shortened. The average decrease in synaptic conductance between 0.1 and 1 Hz was 80% for the IPSPA and 60% for the IPSPB. At these frequencies the reversal potentials decreased by 5 and 2 mV, respectively; Em and input resistance (Rin) were not consistently affected. 4. The amplitudes of field potentials, action potentials and EPSPs of pyramidal cells were attenuated less than 10% at stimulus frequencies up to 1 Hz, suggesting that alterations in local circuits between the stimulation site and excitatory input onto inhibitory interneurones may play only a minor role in the frequency-dependent decay of IPSPs. 5. Localized application of GABA produced multiphasic responses. With low concentrations and application near the soma an early hyperpolarization prevailed followed by a depolarizing late component. Brief application of GABA at low frequencies induced constant responses; at higher frequencies, the responses sometimes declined. The current-voltage relationships of the two GABA responses were similar to each other and to the early IPSP. An apparently fivefold higher conductance was estimated at lower Ems, suggesting that the GABA response had a voltage sensitivity. The slope conductance of IPSPs was decreased by up to 50% for tens of seconds after postsynaptically detectable effects of GABA had dissipated. 6. Application of the GABA uptake inhibitor nipecotic acid (50-500 microM) reduced the conductance of both components of orthodromically evoked inhibition and shortened the IPSP at low frequencies, but had no additional effects at higher stimulation rates.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cerebral Cortex / drug effects
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology*
  • Feedback / physiology
  • Guinea Pigs
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Neural Inhibition / drug effects
  • Neural Inhibition / physiology*
  • Receptors, GABA-A / physiology*
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / metabolism
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / pharmacology*


  • Receptors, GABA-A
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid