Journal of neurochemistry

Opposite effects of presynaptic 5-HT3 receptor activation on spontaneous and action potential-evoked GABA release at hippocampal synapses.

PMID 17064350


5-HT(3) (serotonin type 3) receptors are targets of antiemetics, antipsychotics, and antidepressants and are believed to play a role in cognition. Nevertheless, contrasting results have been obtained with respect to their functions in the CNS and in the control of transmitter release. We used rat hippocampal neurons in single-neuron microcultures to identify the roles of presynaptic 5-HT(3) receptors at central synapses. 5-HT (10 microm) caused a transient > 10-fold increase in the frequency of miniature inhibitory postsynaptic currents without affecting amplitudes or kinetics. This effect was abolished by tropisetron (30 nm) and when Ca(2+) channels were blocked by 100 microm Cd(2+) it was mimicked and occluded when neurons were depolarized by 20 mm, but not 10 mm, K(+). Thus, activation of presynaptic 5-HT(3) receptors increased spontaneous GABA release by causing depolarization and opening of voltage-gated Ca(2+) channels. In microculture neurons, 5-HT transiently reduced action potential-evoked inhibitory autaptic currents by > 50%; this effect was blocked by tropisetron and mimicked by 20 mm, but not 10 mm, K(+). Miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents were not altered by 5-HT. Excitatory autaptic currents were tonically reduced, an effect attenuated by 5-HT(1A) antagonists. Thus, presynaptic 5-HT(3) receptors control GABA, but not glutamate, release and mediate opposite effects on spontaneous and action potential-dependent release.

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Saclofen, solid