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Retina-attached slice recording reveals light-triggered tonic GABA signaling in suprachiasmatic nucleus

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Title
Retina-attached slice recording reveals light-triggered tonic GABA signaling in suprachiasmatic nucleus
Author(s)
Jea Kwon; Minwoo Wendy Jang; C. Justin Lee
Publication Date
2021-11
Journal
Molecular Brain, v.14, no.1
Publisher
BioMed Central Ltd
Abstract
© 2021, The Author(s).Light is a powerful external cue modulating the biological rhythm of internal clock neurons in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN). GABA signaling in SCN is critically involved in this process. Both phasic and tonic modes of GABA signaling exist in SCN. Of the two modes, the tonic mode of GABA signaling has been implicated in light-mediated synchrony of SCN neurons. However, modulatory effects of external light on tonic GABA signalling are yet to be explored. Here, we systematically characterized electrophysiological properties of the clock neurons and determined the spatio-temporal profiles of tonic GABA current. Based on the whole-cell patch-clamp recordings from 76 SCN neurons, the cells with large tonic GABA current (>15 pA) were more frequently found in dorsal SCN. Moreover, tonic GABA current in SCN was highly correlated with the frequency of spontaneous inhibitory postsynaptic current (sIPSC), raising a possibility that tonic GABA current is due to spill-over from synaptic release. Interestingly, tonic GABA current was inversely correlated with slice-to-patch time interval, suggesting a critical role of retinal light exposure in intact brain for an induction of tonic GABA current in SCN. To test this possibility, we obtained meticulously prepared retina-attached SCN slices and successfully recorded tonic and phasic GABA signaling in SCN neurons. For the first time, we observed an early-onset, long-lasting tonic GABA current, followed by a slow-onset, short-lasting increase in the phasic GABA frequency, upon direct light-illumination of the attached retina. This result provides the first evidence that external light cue can directly trigger both tonic and phasic GABA signaling in SCN cell. In conclusion, we propose tonic GABA as the key mediator of external light in SCN.
URI
https://pr.ibs.re.kr/handle/8788114/10908
DOI
10.1186/s13041-021-00881-9
ISSN
1756-6606
Appears in Collections:
Center for Cognition and Sociality(인지 및 사회성 연구단) > 1. Journal Papers (저널논문)
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