Rat pituitary cells selectively express mRNA encoding the short isoform of the γ2 GABAA receptor subunit

Alessandra Valerio, Cristina Tinti, Pierfranco Spano, Maurizio Memo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The GABAA receptor belongs to the ligand-gated ion channel receptor superfamily and appears to be composed of from 4 to 5 subunits which interact with each other. Molecular cloning of cDNAs encoding the different subunits of the GABAA receptor has revealed an unexpected heterogeneity which includes at least 4 homologous classes of subunits: these classes, designated as α, β, γ and δ contain multiple variants. We have measured the steady-state levels of mRNAs encoding different (α1, α4, β1, β2, β3, γ2 long, γ2 short and δ) GABAA receptor subunits in the rat anterior pituitary and cerebellum using a polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-derived method. We found that pituitary cells express mRNAs encoding the α1, β1 and β3 GABAA receptor subunits whereas the transcripts for α4, β2 and δ were undetectable. We also found that pituitary cells selectively express the short isoform of the γ2 subunit mRNA. These data indicate that the expression of the various GABAA receptor subunits is cell-specific and support the concept that the diversity in function and pharmacology of the GABAA receptor is based on the ability of cells to specify the expression of selective GABAA receptor subunits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-150
Number of pages6
JournalMolecular Brain Research
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 1992


  • Cerebellum
  • GABA receptor
  • mRNA
  • Pituitary gland
  • Polymerase chain reaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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