Sex differences in GABAAergic system in rat substantia nigra pars reticulata

Teresa Ravizza, Linda K. Friedman, Solomon L. Moshé, Jana Velíšková

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

38 Scopus citations

Abstract

The substantia nigra pars reticulata (SNR) is involved in the control of movement disorders including seizures through its GABAergic neurons. Microinfusions of muscimol (a GABAA receptor agonist) produce specific effects on seizures depending on sex, infusion site (SNRanterior or SNRposterior) and age. To assess whether these effects are due to sex differences in GABAergic indices within the SNR we analyzed the expression of α1 subunit mRNA of the GABAA receptor and the levels of GABA immunoreactivity (IR) of male and female rats at postnatal day 15 (PN15) and PN30. In each age, within the same SNR region, expression of α1 subunit mRNA and intensity of GABA IR per neuron was higher in females compared to males. At PN15, in both sexes, there were no regional differences in expression of α1 subunit mRNA and intensity of GABA IR. However, at PN30 in both sexes, expression of α1 subunit mRNA and intensity of GABA IR per cell was higher in SNRanterior than in SNRposterior. These results demonstrate that expression of α1 subunit mRNA for GABAA receptor and levels of GABA IR in the SNR are sex- and site-specific, which may contribute to sex-, regional- and age-related differences in the expression of movement disorders and seizures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)245-254
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Developmental Neuroscience
Volume21
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2003

Keywords

  • Midbrain
  • Sexual dimorphism
  • α Subunit
  • γ-Aminobutyric acid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Developmental Biology

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