GABAergic neurons participate in the brain's response to birdsong auditory stimulation

Raphael Pinaud, Tarciso A F Velho, Jin K. Jeong, Liisa A. Tremere, Ricardo M. Leão, Henrique Von Gersdorff, Claudio Mello

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

51 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Birdsong is a learned vocal behaviour that requires intact hearing for its development in juveniles and for its maintenance during adulthood. However, the functional organization of the brain circuits involved in the perceptual processing of song has remained obscure. Here we provide evidence that GABAergic mechanisms are an important component of these circuits and participate in the auditory processing of birdsong. We first cloned a zebra finch homologue of the gene encoding the 65-kDa isoform of glutamic acid decarboxylase (zGAD-65), a specific GABAergic marker, and conducted an expression analysis by In situ hybridization to identify GABAergic cells and to map their distribution throughout auditory telencephalic areas. The results showed that field L2, the caudomedial nidopallium (NCM) and the caudomedial mesopallium (CMM) contain a high number of GABAergic cells. Using patch-clamp brain slice recordings, we found abundant GABAergic mIPSCs in NCM. Pharmacological antagonism of mIPSCs induced large EPSC bursts, suggesting that tonic inhibition helps to stabilize NCM against runaway excitation via activation of GABA-A receptors. Next, using double fluorescence in situ hybridization and double immunocytochemical labelling, we demonstrated that large numbers of GABAergic cells in NCM and CMM show inducible expression of the transcriptional regulator ZENK in response to song auditory stimulation. These data provide direct evidence that GABAergic neurons in auditory brain regions are activated by song stimulation. Altogether, our results suggest that GABAergic mechanisms participate in auditory processing and perception, and might contribute to the memorization of birdsong.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1318-1330
Number of pages13
JournalEuropean Journal of Neuroscience
Volume20
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2004

Fingerprint

Acoustic Stimulation
GABAergic Neurons
Music
Brain
Cell Count
Auditory Perception
Homeless Youth
Finches
Telencephalon
Auditory Cortex
Glutamate Decarboxylase
Equidae
GABA-A Receptors
Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization
Hearing
In Situ Hybridization
Protein Isoforms
Maintenance
Pharmacology
Genes

Keywords

  • Auditory
  • Avian
  • GABA
  • GAD
  • NCM
  • Plasticity
  • Songbird
  • ZENK

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

GABAergic neurons participate in the brain's response to birdsong auditory stimulation. / Pinaud, Raphael; Velho, Tarciso A F; Jeong, Jin K.; Tremere, Liisa A.; Leão, Ricardo M.; Von Gersdorff, Henrique; Mello, Claudio.

In: European Journal of Neuroscience, Vol. 20, No. 5, 09.2004, p. 1318-1330.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Pinaud, Raphael ; Velho, Tarciso A F ; Jeong, Jin K. ; Tremere, Liisa A. ; Leão, Ricardo M. ; Von Gersdorff, Henrique ; Mello, Claudio. / GABAergic neurons participate in the brain's response to birdsong auditory stimulation. In: European Journal of Neuroscience. 2004 ; Vol. 20, No. 5. pp. 1318-1330.
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