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GABA(A) receptors (GABA(A)Rs) exist as different subtype variants showing unique functional properties and defined spatio-temporal expression pattern. The molecular mechanisms underlying the developmental expression of different GABA(A)R are largely unknown. The intracellular concentration of chloride ([Cl(-)](i)), the main ion permeating through GABA(A)Rs, also undergoes considerable changes during maturation, being higher at early neuronal stages with respect to adult neurons. Here we investigate the possibility that [Cl(-)](i) could modulate the sequential expression of specific GABA(A)Rs subtypes in primary cerebellar neurons. We show that [Cl(-)](i) regulates the expression of α3-1 and δ-containing GABA(A) receptors, responsible for phasic and tonic inhibition, respectively. Our findings highlight the role of [Cl(-)](i) in tuning the strength of GABAergic responses by acting as an intracellular messenger.


Francesca Succol, Hubert Fiumelli, Fabio Benfenati, Laura Cancedda, Andrea Barberis. Intracellular chloride concentration influences the GABAA receptor subunit composition. Nature communications. 2012;3:738

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PMID: 22415829

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