Selective knockdown of GABAA-α2 subunit in the dorsal dentate gyrus in adulthood induces anxiety, learning and memory deficits and impairs synaptic plasticity

Kuldeep Tripathi, Somoday Hazra, Joyeeta Dutta Hazra, Silvia Mandel, Ruchi Anunu, Martin Kriebel, Hansjurgen Volkmer, Gal Richter-Levin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Animal studies and clinical trials suggest that maintenance of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-ergic activity may be crucial in coping with stressful conditions, anxiety and mood disorders. Drugs highly efficient in promoting anxiolysis were shown to activate this system, particularly via the α2-subunit of type A receptors (GABAA α2). Given the high expression of GABAA α2 in the dentate gyrus (DG) sub-field of the hippocampus, we sought to examine whether manipulation of the α2 subunit in this area will evoke changes in emotional behaviour, memory and learning as well as in synaptic plasticity. We found that knockdown of GABAAα2 receptor specifically in the dorsal DG of rats caused increased anxiety without affecting locomotor activity. Spatial memory and learning in the Morris water maze were also impaired in GABAAα2 receptor knocked down rats, an effect accompanied by alterations in synaptic plasticity, as assessed by long-term potentiation in the DG. Our findings provide further support to the notion that emotional information processing in the hippocampus may be controlled, at least in part, via the inhibitory GABAA α2 receptor subunit, opening a potential avenue for early interventions from pre- puberty into adulthood, as a strategy for controlling anxiety-related psychopathology.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Neuroscience
Early online date10 Jun 2024
DOIs
StateE-pub ahead of print - 10 Jun 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 The Author(s). European Journal of Neuroscience published by Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Keywords

  • GABAA-α2 subunit
  • LTP
  • anxiety
  • dentate gyrus
  • electrophysiology recording
  • lentiviral-mediated RNA interference
  • stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience

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