Inhibition of GABA-gated chloride channel function by arachidonic acid.
The effects of arachidonic acid and its metabolites on gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABAA) receptor function were determined in rat cerebral cortical synaptoneurosomes. Incubation of synaptoneurosomes with phospholipase A2 decreased muscimol-induced 36Cl- uptake. Arachidonic acid, the major unsaturated fatty acid released by phospholipase A2, also inhibited muscimol-induced 36Cl uptake. Similar inhibition was obtained with other unsaturated fatty acids (docosahexaenoic, oleic) but not with saturated fatty acids (stearic, palmitic). The effect of arachidonic acid on muscimol responses was inhibited by bovine serum albumin (BSA), and BSA enhanced muscimol responses directly, indicating the generation of endogenous arachidonic acid in the synaptoneurosome preparation. The generation of endogenous arachidonic acid was also indicated by the ability of 2 inhibitors of arachidonic acid metabolism, indomethacin and nordihydroguaiaretic acid (NDGA), to inhibit muscimol-induced 36Cl uptake. We conclude that arachidonic acid probably has both direct and indirect actions on muscimol responses since both enzyme inhibitors inhibited muscimol responses but did not prevent the effect of exogenously added arachidonic acid. In additional experiments, arachidonic acid metabolites generated by cyclooxygenase, prostaglandins D2, E2 and F2 alpha, each decreased muscimol responses; prostaglandins F2 alpha was the most potent inhibitor. Since the unsaturated fatty acids and their metabolites are most susceptible to peroxidation, a generating system of superoxide radicals was tested on muscimol responses. A combination of xanthine and xanthine oxidase inhibited muscimol-induced 36Cl uptake in a concentration-dependent manner. We propose that the inhibition of GABAA neurotransmission by arachidonic acid and its metabolites can lead to increased neuronal excitability. This mechanism may play an important role in the development of neuronal damage following seizures or cerebral ischemia.
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