Enhancement of GABA-activated membrane currents in aged Fischer 344 rat basal forebrain neurons. Academic Article uri icon


  • Changes in GABAergic systems have been widely documented during development. Similar changes might also occur during aging, but little information is currently available. Whole-cell and single-channel GABAA-activated currents were studied in acutely dissociated basal forebrain neurons. An age-related increase in whole-cell GABA currents was observed in cells from aged (19-25 month) Fischer 344 rats. The GABA current from aged animals displayed a greater maximum response, with no change in EC50 or slope of the GABA response curve. A reduction in use-dependent slow receptor desensitization was also observed in aged cells. Single-channel conductance and channel open time were unchanged with age, suggesting no alteration in the properties of single GABA channels. The benzodiazepine, midazolam, potentiated GABA currents to a greater degree in aged animals, consistent with previous reports of enhanced benzodiazepine activity with age. Ontogeny of the GABAA receptor/ion channel complex may continue through the stages of development, maturation, and aging.

published proceedings

  • J Neurosci

author list (cited authors)

  • Griffith, W. H., & Murchison, D. A.

citation count

  • 44

complete list of authors

  • Griffith, WH||Murchison, DA

publication date

  • March 1995