GABAB receptor modulation of voltage-sensitive calcium channels in spines and dendrites

Jason R. Chalifoux, Adam G. Carter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although primarily studied at the cell body, GABAB receptors (GABABRs) are abundant at spines and dendrites of cortical pyramidal neurons, where they are positioned to influence both synaptic and dendritic function. Here, we examine how GABABRs modulate calcium (Ca) signals evoked by action potentials (APs) in spines and dendrites of layer 2/3 pyramidal neurons in mouse prefrontal cortex. We first use two-photon microscopy to show that GABABRs inhibit AP Ca signals throughout the entire dendritic arbor of these neurons. We then use local pharmacology and GABA uncaging to show that dendritic GABABRs also decrease the input resistance, shorten the AP afterde-polarization, and generate inhibitory postsynaptic potentials. However, we find that these electrophysiological effects recorded at the cell body do not correlate with the inhibition of AP Ca signals measured in spines and dendrites. Instead, we use voltage-clamp recordings to show that GABA BRs directly inhibit several subtypes of voltage-sensitive calcium channels (VSCCs) in both spines and dendrites. Given the importance of VSCC-mediated Ca signals for neuronal function, our results have implications for the functional role of dendritic GABABRs in the prefrontal cortex and throughout the brain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4221-4232
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number11
StatePublished - Mar 16 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'GABAB receptor modulation of voltage-sensitive calcium channels in spines and dendrites'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this