This subproject is one of many research subprojects utilizing the resources provided by a Center grant funded by NIH/NCRR. Primary support for the subproject and the subproject's principal investigator may have been provided by other sources, including other NIH sources. The Total Cost listed for the subproject likely represents the estimated amount of Center infrastructure utilized by the subproject, not direct funding provided by the NCRR grant to the subproject or subproject staff. Many factors ranging from neurotransmitter release to receptor localization to neurotransmitter uptake mechanisms will affect GABA-mediated synaptic inhibition, especially for metabotropic (GABAB-mediated) responses. As postsynaptic GABAB receptors are localized primarily outside of synaptic sites (ie extrasynaptic), it is hypothesized that GABA transporters (GATs), which function to remove extracellular GABA, limit the extent of GABA spillover and, therefore, GABAB receptor activation. To better understand how GATs regulate GABA spillover, we are examining the roles of two GATs, GAT1 and GAT3, in defining features of GABAB IPSCs in the rat thalamus. Our electrophysiology data demonstrate that GAT1 and GAT3 differentially regulate the amplitude and kinetics of GABAB IPSCs. Our anatomical data suggest that these different GAT1/3 actions result from differences in subcellular localization and density of the two GATs. Specifically, GAT1 expression is primarily perisynaptic, while GAT3 is found in both peri- and more distal extra-synaptic regions. We are beginning to explore how such differential localization can influence GABAB currents. We are currently using computational approaches to explore how GAT localization regulates GABA diffusion in the thalamus, and how such regulation determines the properties of GABAB IPSCs. Specifically, we are using MCell, a modeling platform that tracks the stochastic nature of diffusing molecules in 3-dimensional microphysiological environments using Monte Carlo algorithms (Stiles and Bartol, 2001). Our simpler, less computationally-intensive models indicate that differential GAT1/3 localization provides a mechanism by which GABA transients can be modulated to enable distinct GABAB IPSC amplitude and kinetic changes. We now would like to verify these initial findings in more complex models. Dr. Joel Stiles suggested that we utilize resources offered by the Pittsburg Supercomputing Center to run our new models. Therefore, in following his suggestion, we are applying for these resources to complete our project. We would like user accounts for Mark Beenhakker and John Huguenard

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Center for Research Resources (NCRR)
Biotechnology Resource Grants (P41)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-BCMB-Q (40))
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Carnegie-Mellon University
Biostatistics & Other Math Sci
Schools of Arts and Sciences
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