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Developing networks follow common rules to shift from silent cells to coactive networks that operate via thousands of synapses. This review deals with some of these rules and in particular those concerning the crucial role of the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobuytric acid (GABA), which operates primarily via chloride-permeable GABA(A) receptor channels. In(More)
A depolarized resting membrane potential has long been considered to be a universal feature of immature neurons. Despite the physiological importance, the underlying mechanisms of this developmental phenomenon are poorly understood. Using perforated-patch, whole cell, and cell-attached recordings, we measured the membrane potential in CA3 pyramidal cells in(More)
The immature brain is prone to seizures but the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. We explored the hypothesis that increased seizure susceptibility during early development is due to the excitatory action of GABA. Using noninvasive extracellular field potential and cell-attached recordings in CA3 of Sprague-Dawley rat hippocampal slices, we(More)
The NMDA subtype of glutamate receptors (NMDAR) at excitatory neuronal synapses plays a key role in synaptic plasticity. The extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK1,2 or ERK) pathway is an essential component of NMDAR signal transduction controlling the neuroplasticity underlying memory processes, neuronal development, and refinement of synaptic(More)
We report that the oxytocin-mediated neuroprotective γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) excitatory-inhibitory shift during delivery is abolished in the valproate and fragile X rodent models of autism. During delivery and subsequently, hippocampal neurons in these models have elevated intracellular chloride levels, increased excitatory GABA, enhanced glutamatergic(More)
We report that kainate receptors are present on presynaptic GABAergic terminals contacting interneurons and that their activation increases GABA release. Application of kainate increased the frequency of miniature inhibitory postsynaptic currents recorded in CA1 interneurons. Local applications of glutamate but not of AMPA or NMDA also increased GABA(More)
During postnatal development of the rat hippocampus, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) switches its action on CA3 pyramidal cells from excitatory to inhibitory. To characterize the underlying changes in the GABA reversal potential, we used somatic cell-attached recordings of GABA(A) and N-methyl-D-aspartate channels to monitor the GABA driving force and(More)
We report a signaling mechanism in rats between mother and fetus aimed at preparing fetal neurons for delivery. In immature neurons, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is the primary excitatory neurotransmitter. We found that, shortly before delivery, there is a transient reduction in the intracellular chloride concentration and an excitatory-to-inhibitory(More)
We have performed a morphofunctional analysis of CA1 pyramidal neurons at birth to examine the sequence of formation of GABAergic and glutamatergic postsynaptic currents (PSCs) and to determine their relation to the dendritic arborization of pyramidal neurons. We report that at birth pyramidal neurons are heterogeneous. Three stages of development can be(More)
GABA depolarizes immature neurons because of a high [Cl(-)](i) and orchestrates giant depolarizing potential (GDP) generation. Zilberter and coworkers (Rheims et al., 2009; Holmgren et al., 2010) showed recently that the ketone body metabolite DL-3-hydroxybutyrate (DL-BHB) (4 mM), lactate (4 mM), or pyruvate (5 mM) shifted GABA actions to hyperpolarizing,(More)