Role of GABA receptors in nitric oxide inhibition of dorsolateral periaqueductal gray neurons

Jihong Xing, De Pei Li, Jianhua Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Nitric oxide (NO) affects neuronal activity of the midbrain periaqueductal gray (PAG). The purpose of this report was to investigate the role of GABA receptors in NO modulation of neuronal activity through inhibitory and excitatory synaptic inputs within the dorsolateral PAG (dl-PAG). First, spontaneous miniature inhibitory postsynaptic currents (mIPSCs) and excitatory postsynaptic currents (mEPSCs) were recorded using whole cell voltage-clamp methods. Increased NO by either S-nitroso-N-acetyl-penicillamine (SNAP, 100 μM) or l-arginine (50 μM) significantly augmented the frequency of mIPSCs of the dl-PAG neurons without altering their amplitudes or decay time constants. The effects were eliminated after bath application of carboxy-PTIO (NO scavenger), and 1-(2-trifluorom-ethylphenyl) imidazole (NO synthase inhibitor). In contrast, SNAP and l-arginine did not alter mEPSCs in dl-PAG neurons. However the frequency of mEPSCs was significantly increased with prior application of the GABAB receptors antagonist, CGP55845. In addition, NO significantly decreased the discharge rate of spontaneous action potentials in the dl-PAG neurons and the effect was reduced in the presence of the GABAA receptor antagonist, bicuculline. Our data show that within the dl-PAG NO potentiates the synaptic release of GABA, while NO-induced GABA presynaptically inhibits glutamate release through GABAB receptors. Overall, NO suppresses neuronal activity of the dl-PAG via a potentiation of GABAergic synaptic inputs and via GABAA receptors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)734-744
Number of pages11
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Role of GABA receptors in nitric oxide inhibition of dorsolateral periaqueductal gray neurons'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this