1. Here we report that in acutely isolated rat spinal dorsal horn neurons, the gamma-aminobutyric acid-A (GABAA) receptor can be regulated by calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaM-KII). Intracellularly applied, the alpha-subunit of CaM-KII enhanced GABAA-receptor-activated current recorded with the use of the whole cell patch-clamp technique. This effect was associated with reduced desensitization of GABA responses. 2. GABA-induced currents are also potentiated by calyculin A, an inhibitor of protein phosphatases 1 and 2A. 3. Conventional intracellular recordings were made from hippocampal CA1 neurons in slices to determine the effect of intracellular application of CaM-KII on inhibitory synaptic potentials evoked by electrical stimulation of the stratum oriens/alveus. The inhibitory synaptic potential was enhanced by CaM-KII; this mechanism may contribute to long-term enhancement of inhibitory synaptic transmission and may also play a role in other forms of plasticity in the mammalian brain.
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