VAMP-2, SNAP-25A/B and syntaxin-1 in glutamatergic and GABAergic synapses of the rat cerebellar cortex
1 Dipartimento Scienze Mediche di Base - Sezione di Anatomia e Istologia, Università Bari - 70124 Bari - Italy
2 Dipartimento Bioetica, Università Bari - 70124 Bari - Italy
3 Dipartimento Scienze Biomediche e Oncologia Umana - Sezione Farmacologia, Università Bari - 70124 Bari - Italy
BMC Neuroscience 2011, 12:118 doi:10.1186/1471-2202-12-118Published: 17 November 2011
The aim of this study was to assess the distribution of key SNARE proteins in glutamatergic and GABAergic synapses of the adult rat cerebellar cortex using light microscopy immunohistochemical techniques. Analysis was made of co-localizations of vGluT-1 and vGluT-2, vesicular transporters of glutamate and markers of glutamatergic synapses, or GAD, the GABA synthetic enzyme and marker of GABAergic synapses, with VAMP-2, SNAP-25A/B and syntaxin-1.
The examined SNARE proteins were found to be diffusely expressed in glutamatergic synapses, whereas they were rarely observed in GABAergic synapses. However, among glutamatergic synapses, subpopulations which did not contain VAMP-2, SNAP-25A/B and syntaxin-1 were detected. They included virtually all the synapses established by terminals of climbing fibres (immunoreactive for vGluT-2) and some synapses established by terminals of parallel and mossy fibres (immunoreactive for vGluT-1, and for vGluT-1 and 2, respectively). The only GABA synapses expressing the SNARE proteins studied were the synapses established by axon terminals of basket neurons.
The present study supplies a detailed morphological description of VAMP-2, SNAP-25A/B and syntaxin-1 in the different types of glutamatergic and GABAergic synapses of the rat cerebellar cortex. The examined SNARE proteins characterize most of glutamatergic synapses and only one type of GABAergic synapses. In the subpopulations of glutamatergic and GABAergic synapses lacking the SNARE protein isoforms examined, alternative mechanisms for regulating trafficking of synaptic vesicles may be hypothesized, possibly mediated by different isoforms or homologous proteins.