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Early GABAA receptor clustering during the development of the rostral nucleus of the solitary tract

  • WL Heck
  • AM Basaraba
  • A Slusarczyk
  • L Schweitzer
Blackwell Science Inc
Publication Date
Apr 01, 2003


While there is an abundance of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the gustatory zone of the nucleus of the solitary tract of the perinatal rat, we know that GABAergic synapse formation is not complete until well after birth. Our recent results have shown that GABAB receptors are present at birth in the cells of the nucleus; however, they do not redistribute and cluster at synaptic sites until after PND10. The present study examined the time course of appearance and redistribution of GABAA receptors in the nucleus. GABAA receptors were also present at birth. However, in comparison to GABAB receptors, GABAA receptors underwent an earlier translocation to synaptic sites. Extrasynaptic label, for example, of GABAA receptors was non-existent compared to GABAB receptors at PND10 and well-defined clusters of GABAA receptors could be seen as early as PND1. We propose that while GABAA receptors may play an early neurotransmitter role at the synapse, GABAB receptors may play a non-transmitter neurotrophic role.

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