Neonatal treatment of Long-Evans Hooded rats with the cholesterol synthesis inhibitor (CSI) AY9944 has been shown to increase occurrence of spike-waves in EEG recordings and decrease benzodiazepines sensitivity of GABA(A) receptor-mediated responses in neurons from the thalamic reticular nuclei (nRt, Wu et al., 2004). The present experiments were designed to investigate the changes in the gamma2 and alpha1 subunits of the GABA(A) receptor in CSI model rats as possible mechanisms of these changes. Western blot, immunohistochemistry and real-time PCR techniques were performed to measure the levels of GABA(A) receptor gamma2 and alpha1 subunit transcripts and protein in the nRt and ventrobasal (VB) relay nuclei of thalamus and in somatosensory cortex. In CSI model animals, Western blot results showed that gamma2 subunit expression significantly decreased in thalamus (control, n=6: 0.17+/-0.02 relative to actin vs. CSI model, n=6: 0.11+/-0.01, P<0.05) but neither in cortex nor in hippocampal tissues. Conversely, alpha1 subunit expression decreased in CSI model somatosensory cortex, but not in nRt and VB. The present results demonstrate that neonatal block of cholesterol synthesis produces region- and subunit-specific decreases in GABA(A) receptor subunits in thalamus and cortex. Selective reductions in GABA(A) receptor subunits in thalamus may play a role in pathophysiology of absence epilepsy.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2006.03.003
View details for PubMedID 16678865