Extrasynaptic localization of GABA in the developing mouse cerebellum.Neurosci Res 2004; 50(4):447-58NR
In the adult brain, gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA) is synaptically released and mediates inhibitory transmission. Recent studies have revealed that GABA is a trophic factor for brain development. To reveal the distribution of GABA and its secretion mechanisms during brain development, we investigated the immunohistochemical localization of two molecules, GABA and vesicular GABA transporter (VGAT), which is a GABAergic vesicle protein, in the developing mouse cerebellum by means of newly developed antibodies. Furthermore, we tested the relationship between developmental changes in distribution of above two molecules in the presynapses and ontogeny of GABAergic synapses. GABAergic synapses were detected by immunohistochemistry for the GABA(A) receptor alpha1 subunit, which is an essential subunit for inhibitory synaptic transmission in the mature cerebellar cortex. Until postnatal day 7 (P7), GABA was localized throughout the GABAergic neurons, and VGAT accumulated at axon varicosities and growth cones, where the alpha1 subunit did not accumulate. After P10, both GABA and VGAT became confined to the terminal sites where the alpha1 subunit was localized. These results suggested that GABA was extrasynaptically released from axon varicosities and growth cones by vesicular secretion 'exocytosis' and from all parts of GABAergic neurons during the cerebellar development by non-vesicular secretion 'diacrine'.