Invivo electroretinographic studies of the role of GABAC receptors in retinal signal processing

Jing Wang, Deb Kumar Mojumder, Jun Yan, An Xie, Robert F. Standaert, Haohua Qian, David R. Pepperberg, Laura J. Frishman

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12 Scopus citations


All three classes of receptors for the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA (GABAR) are expressed in the retina. This study investigated roles of GABAR, especially GABACR (GABA(A)-ρ), in retinal signaling invivo by studying effects on the mouse electroretinogram (ERG) of genetic deletion of GABACR versus pharmacological blockade using receptor antagonists. Brief full-field flash ERGs were recorded from anesthetized GABACR-/- mice, and WT C57BL/6 (B6) mice, before and after intravitreal injection of GABACR antagonists, TPMPA, 3-APMPA, or the more recently developed 2-AEMP; GABAAR antagonist, SR95531; GABABR antagonist, CGP, and agonist, baclofen. Intravitreal injections of TPMPA and SR95531 were also made in Brown Norway rats. The effect of 2-AEMP on GABA-induced current was tested directly in isolated rat rod bipolar cells, and 2-AEMP was found to preferentially block GABACR in those cells. Maximum amplitudes of dark (DA) and light-adapted (LA) ERG b-waves were reduced in GABACR-/- mice, compared to B6 mice, by 30-60%; a-waves were unaltered and oscillatory potential amplitudes were increased. In B6 mice, after injection of TPMPA (also in rats), 3-APMPA or 2-AEMP, ERGs became similar to ERGs of GABACR-/- mice. Blockade of GABAARs and GABABRs, or agonism of GABABRs did not alter B6 DA b-wave amplitude. The negative scotopic threshold response (nSTR) was slightly less sensitive in GABACR-/- than in B6 mice, and unaltered by 2-AEMP. However, amplitudes of nSTR and photopic negative response (PhNR), both of which originate from inner retina, were enhanced by TPMPA and 3-APMPA, each of which has GABAB agonist properties, and further increased by baclofen. The finding that genetic deletion of GABACR, the GABACR antagonist 2-AEMP, and other antagonists all reduced ERG b-wave amplitude, supports a role for GABACR in determining the maximum response amplitude of bipolar cells contributing to the b-wave. GABACR antagonists differed in their effects on nSTR and PhNR; antagonists with GABAB agonist properties enhanced light-driven responses whereas 2-AEMP did not.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)48-63
Number of pages16
JournalExperimental Eye Research
StatePublished - Oct 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Ltd.


  • Electroretinogram
  • GABA
  • GABA receptors
  • Retina
  • Retinal signaling


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