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The hippocampal corticotropin releasing hormone synapse mismatched pre and post synaptic elements


, : The hippocampal corticotropin releasing hormone synapse mismatched pre and post synaptic elements. Society for Neuroscience Abstract Viewer & Itinerary Planner : Abstract No 867 9

Rationale: Corticotropin releasing hormone (CRH) acts on hippocampal pyramidal neurons to enhance synaptic efficacy. Recent studies in developing hippocampus (when both CRH-expressing neurons and the peptide's actions are prominent), have demonstrated a dense network of perisomatic CRH-containing boutons as well as CRH receptors in CA3 stratum pyramidale (s.p.), typical for the location of inhibitory synapses (J Comp Neurol 2000, J Neurosci 2001). Does CRH, released from inhibitory interneurons, exert excitatory actions on pyramidal cells via inhibitory (symmetric) synapses? Methods: Both pre-synaptic (CRH-containing) and post-synaptic (CRH-receptor expressing) elements of the CRH synapse in CA3 s.p. were studied (in apprxP18 rat) using light, confocal and electron microscopy (EM). Results: Presynaptic CRH-containing terminals co-localized the vesicular inhibitory amino acid transporter VGAT (involved in loading of GABA within synaptic vesicles) as well as GAD, confirming that the peptide is released from inhibitory interneurons. In contrast, EM studies showed that the post-synaptic element of the CRH synapse, the CRH receptor, was confined to dendritic spines of CA3 pyramidal cells, and was localized to the post-synaptic density. Conclusion: The 'CRH synapse' may constitute a novel concept: the excitatory neuropeptide is released from perisomatic inhibitory interneurons to act on receptors residing in relatively distant asymmetric post-synaptic elements. The means by which the peptide traverses the distance from pre-to post-synaptic elements is under active investigation.

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