High-affinity zinc potentiation of inhibitory postsynaptic glycinergic currents in the zebrafish hindbrain

Suwa, H., Saint-Amant, L., Triller, A., Drapeau, P., and Legendre, P.
Journal of neurophysiology   85(2): 912-925 (Journal)
Registered Authors
Drapeau, Pierre, Legendre, Pascal, Saint-Amant, Louis, Suwa, Hiroshi, Triller, Antoine
MeSH Terms
  • Animals
  • Electric Conductivity
  • Glycine/analogs & derivatives
  • Glycine/pharmacology
  • Glycine/physiology*
  • Kinetics
  • Metals, Heavy/pharmacology
  • Neural Inhibition/physiology*
  • Osmolar Concentration
  • Reaction Time/drug effects
  • Receptors, Glycine/drug effects
  • Receptors, Glycine/metabolism
  • Rhombencephalon/physiology*
  • Synapses/drug effects
  • Synapses/physiology*
  • Zebrafish
  • Zinc/pharmacology*
11160522 Full text @ J. Neurophysiol.
Zinc has been reported to potentiate glycine receptors (GlyR), but the physiological significance of this observation has been put in doubt by the relatively high values of the EC(50), 0.5-1 ?M, since such concentrations may not be attained in the synaptic cleft of glycinergic synapses. We have re-evaluated this observation in the frame of the hypothesis that contaminant heavy metals present in usual solutions may have lead to underestimate the affinity of the zinc binding site, and therefore to underestimate the potential physiological role of zinc. Using chelators either to complex heavy metals or to apply zinc at controlled concentrations, we have examined the action of zinc on GlyR kinetics in outside-out patches from 50-h-old zebrafish Mauthner cells. Chelating contaminating heavy metals with tricine or N,N,N',N'-tetrakis-(2-pyridylmethyl)-ethylenediamine (TPEN) decreased the duration of the currents evoked by glycine, confirming that traces of heavy metals alter the GlyR response in control conditions. Using tricine- (10 mM) buffered zinc solution, we then showed that zinc increases the amplitude of outside-out responses evoked by 0.1-0.5 mM glycine with an EC(50) of 15 nM. In contrast zinc had no effect on the amplitude of currents evoked by a saturating concentration (3-10 mM) of glycine. This suggests that zinc enhances GlyR apparent affinity for glycine. The study of the effects of zinc on the kinetics of the response indicates that this increase of apparent affinity is due to a decrease of the glycine dissociation rate constant. We then analyzed the effects of zinc on postsynaptic GlyRs in whole cell recordings of glycinergic miniature inhibitory postsynaptic currents (mIPSCs). Chelation of contaminant heavy metals decreased the amplitude and the duration of the mIPSCs; inverse effects were observed by adding zinc in buffered solutions containing nanomolar free zinc concentrations. Zinc plus tricine or tricine alone did not change the coefficient of variation ( approximately 0.85) of the mIPSC amplitude distributions. These results suggest that postsynaptic GlyRs are not saturated after the release of one vesicle.
Genes / Markers
Mutations / Transgenics
Human Disease / Model
Sequence Targeting Reagents
Engineered Foreign Genes