Abstract W MP41: Potentiation of Gaba-Mediated Synaptic Inhibition in the Recovery Phase: A Novel Therapeutic Target for Stroke
Background: Stroke is a major cause of disability yet pharmacotherapy targeting the recovery phase is lacking. Cortical circuit reorganization adjacent to the stroke site promotes recovery, thus elucidating mechanisms that promote this plasticity could lead to new therapeutics. Tonic neuronal inhibition, mediated by extrasynaptic GABAA receptors,inhibits post-stroke recovery. However, effects of phasic (synaptic) GABA signaling - which promotes plasticity during development - are unknown. Here we use a combined approach of i) array tomography to determine the composition of GABA synapses in the post-stroke mouse brain, ii) electrophysiology to determine whether stroke leads to functional changes in GABA-mediated phasic inhibition, and (iii) treatment with zolpidem, an FDA-approved GABA agonist, to modulate recovery.
Results: We found, using array tomography, a 1.7-fold increase in the number of GABAergic synapses containing the α1 receptor subunit in layer 5 of the peri-infarct cortex (synapse number/μm3: 0.039±0.006 (control) vs 0.064±0.006 (stroke); P<0.01), but not in layer 2/3. There was an associated increase in spontaneous inhibitory post-synaptic currents (sIPSC) specific to layer 5 pyramidal neurons (sIPSC charge (fC): -403±27.8 (control) vs -724±166 (stroke); p=0.03). This effect was transient, occurring during the onset of functional recovery. To test whether the increased phasic inhibitory GABAergic signaling promotes stroke recovery, we treated animals with zolpidem, an agonist with high affinity for α1 subunit-containing GABAA receptors. Low dose zolpidem increased GABAA phasic signaling in layer 5 pyramidal cells and notably increased the rate and extent of behavioral recovery without altering infarct size.
Conclusions: These data provide the first evidence that enhanced GABAA-mediated synaptic activity during the recovery phase improves stroke outcome. These data identify modulation of phasic GABA signaling as a novel therapeutic strategy for stroke, indicate zolpidem as a potential drug to improve recovery, and underscore the necessity to distinguish the role of tonic and phasic GABA inhibition in stroke recovery.
Author Disclosures: T. Hiu: None. T. Bliss: None. J. Paz: None. E. Wang: None. Z. Farzampour: None. A. Olson: None. K. Micheva: None. G. Wang: None. K. Tran: None. N. Manley: None. R. Lemmens: None. Y. Nishiyama: None. A. Arac: None. S. Hamilton: None. N. O’Rourke: None. S. Smith: None. J. Huguenard: None. G. Steinberg: None.
- © 2014 by American Heart Association, Inc.