GABA_B1a, GABA_B1b and GABA_B2 mRNA variants epression in hippocampus resected from patients with temporal epilepsy

Alessandra Princivalle, JS Duncan, M Thom, Norman Bowery

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The aim of this study was to investigate the mRNA expression of the two GABA(B1) receptor isoforms and the GABA(B2) subunit, in human postmortem control hippocampal sections and in sections resected from epilepsy patients using quantitative in situ hybridisation auto radiography. Utilising human control hippocampal sections it was shown that the oligonucleoticles employed were specific to the receptor. Hippocampal slices from surgical specimens obtained from patients with hippocampal sclerosis and temporal lobe epilepsy were compared with neurologically normal postmortem control subjects for neuropathology and GABA(B) mRNA expression. Neuronal loss was observed in most of the hippocampal subregions, but in the subiculum no significant difference was detected. The localisation of GABA(B1a) and GABA(B1b) isoform mRNAs in human control hippocampal sections supported and extended earlier studies using the GABA(B1) pan probe, which does not distinguish between the two GABA(B1) isoforms. Moreover, the GABA(B2) mRNA location confirmed the heterodimerisation of the receptor. Thus, although there was an apparent correlation between GABA(B1b) and GABA(B2), GABA(B1a) exhibited no such relationship. GABA(B1b) and GABA(B2) showed a similar intensity of expression whilst GABA(B1a) displayed a lower hybridisation signal. Comparison of the expression of the three mRNAs between control and epileptic subjects showed significant decreases or increases in different hippocampal subregions. GABA(B) isoforms and subunit mRNA expression per remaining neuron was significantly increased in the hilus and dentate gyrus. These results demonstrate that altered GABA(B) receptor mRNA expression occurs in human TLE; possibly the observed changes may also serve to counteract ongoing hyperexcitability. (C) 2003 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)975-984
Number of pages10
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2003


  • GABA(B) receptor
  • in situ hybridisation studies
  • in situ hybridisation
  • hippocampal circuit
  • partial seizures


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