The European journal of neuroscience

GABAB receptors in Schwann cells influence proliferation and myelin protein expression.

PMID 15147298


The location and the role of gamma-aminobutyric acid type B (GABA(B)) receptors in the central nervous system have recently received considerable attention, whilst relatively little is known regarding the peripheral nervous system. In this regard, here we demonstrate for the first time that GABA(B) receptor isoforms [i.e. GABA(B(1)) and GABA(B(2))] are specifically localized in the rat Schwann cell population of the sciatic nerve. Using the selective GABA(B) agonist [i.e. (-)-baclofen] and the antagonists (i.e. CGP 62349, CGP 56999 A, CGP 55845 A), such receptors are shown to be functionally active and negatively coupled to the adenylate cyclase system. Furthermore, exposure of cultured Schwann cells to (-)-baclofen inhibits their proliferation and reduces the synthesis of specific myelin proteins (i.e. glycoprotein Po, peripheral myelin protein 22, myelin-associated glycoprotein, connexin 32), providing evidence for a physiological role of GABA(B) receptors in the glial cells of the peripheral nervous system.