Intracellular chloride concentration influences the GABA A receptor subunit composition

Francesca Succol, Hubert Fiumelli, Fabio Benfenati, Laura Cancedda, Andrea Barberis*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


GABAA receptors (GABAARs) exist as different subtype variants showing unique functional properties and defined spatio-temporal expression pattern. The molecular mechanisms underlying the developmental expression of different GABAAR are largely unknown. The intracellular concentration of chloride ([Cl-]i), the main ion permeating through GABAARs, 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 GABAARs subtypes in primary cerebellar neurons. We show that [Cl-]i regulates the expression of α3-1 and δ-containing GABAA 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number738
JournalNature Communications
StatePublished - 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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