GABAAα1 and GABAAρ1 subunits are expressed in cultured human RPE cells and GABAA receptor agents modify the intracellular calcium concentration.

Cheng, Zhen-Ying, Wang, Xu-Ping, & Schmid, Katrina L. (2015) GABAAα1 and GABAAρ1 subunits are expressed in cultured human RPE cells and GABAA receptor agents modify the intracellular calcium concentration. Molecular Vision, 21, pp. 939-947.


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Gamma-aminobutyric acid A (GABAA) receptors (GABAARs), which are ionotropic receptors involving chloride channels, have been identified in various neural (e.g., mouse retinal ganglion cells) and nonneural cells (e.g., mouse lens epithelial cells) regulating the intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca(2+)]i). GABAAR β-subunit protein has been isolated in the cultured human and rat RPE, and GABAAα1 and GABAAρ1 mRNAs and proteins are present in the chick RPE. The purpose of this study was to investigate the expression of GABAAα1 and GABAAρ1, two important subunits in forming functional GABAARs, in the cultured human RPE, and further to explore whether altering receptor activation modifies [Ca(2+)]i.


Human RPE cells were separately cultured from five donor eye cups. Real-time PCR, western blots, and immunofluorescence were used to test for GABAAα1 and GABAAρ1 mRNAs and proteins. The effects of the GABAAR agonist muscimol, antagonist picrotoxin, or the specific GABAAρ antagonist 1,2,5,6-tetrahydropyridin-4-yl) methylphosphinic acid (TPMPA) on [Ca(2+)]i in cultured human RPE were demonstrated using Fluo3-AM.


Both GABAAα1 and GABAAρ1 mRNAs and proteins were identified in cultured human RPE cells; antibody staining was mainly localized to the cell membrane and was also present in the cytoplasm but not in the nucleus. Muscimol (100 μM) caused a transient increase of the [Ca(2+)]i in RPE cells regardless of whether Ca(2+) was added to the buffer. Muscimol-induced increases in the [Ca(2+)]i were inhibited by pretreatment with picrotoxin (300 μM) or TPMPA (500 μM).


GABAAα1 and GABAAρ1 are expressed in cultured human RPE cells, and GABAA agents can modify [Ca(2+)]i.

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1 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 90992
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: GABA, retinal pigment epithelium, intracellular calcium
ISSN: 1090-0535
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > OPTOMETRY AND OPHTHALMOLOGY (111300) > Ophthalmology (111301)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: © 2015 Molecular Vision
Deposited On: 03 Dec 2015 23:52
Last Modified: 26 Jun 2017 13:01

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