Neuronal Chloride Regulation via KCC2 Is Modulated through a GABAB Receptor Protein Complex
KCC2 is the central regulator of neuronal Cl(-) homeostasis, and is critical for enabling strong hyperpolarizing synaptic inhibition in the mature brain. KCC2 hypofunction results in decreased inhibition and increased network hyperexcitability that underlies numerous disease states including epilepsy, neuropathic pain and neuropsychiatric disorders. The current holy grail of KCC2 biology is to identify how we can rescue KCC2 hypofunction in order to restore physiological levels of synaptic inhibition and neuronal network activity. It is becoming increasingly clear that diverse cellular signals regulate KCC2 surface expression and function including neurotransmitters and neuromodulators. In the present review we explore the existing evidence that G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) signalling can regulate KCC2 activity in numerous regions of the nervous system including the hypothalamus, hippocampus and spinal cord. We present key evidence from the literature suggesting that GPCR signalling is a conserved mechanism for regulating chloride homeostasis. This evidence includes: (1) the activation of group 1 metabotropic glutamate receptors and metabotropic Zn(2+) receptors strengthens GABAergic inhibition in CA3 pyramidal neurons through a regulation of KCC2; (2) activation of the 5-hydroxytryptamine type 2A serotonin receptors upregulates KCC2 cell surface expression and function, restores endogenous inhibition in motoneurons, and reduces spasticity in rats; and (3) activation of A3A-type adenosine receptors rescues KCC2 dysfunction and reverses allodynia in a model of neuropathic pain. We propose that GPCR-signals are novel endogenous Cl(-) extrusion enhancers that may regulate KCC2 function.