Analysis of the in-vivo GABAB receptor relocalization and oligomerization in chronic pain conditions using spatial intensity distribution analysis

Jonas Bienzeisler 1 , Marc Landry 2 , Alberto Llorente 3 ,  and Gereon Hüttmann 4
  • 1 Universität zu Lübeck, Medizinische Ingenieurwissenschaft, Lübeck, Germany
  • 2 Université de Bordeaux, IINS, Bordeaux, France
  • 3 Universidad del País Vasco, Bilbao, Spain
  • 4 Universität zu Lübeck, Institut für Biomedizinische Optik, Lübeck, Germany


The response to the synaptic release of γ-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the central nervous system is mediated by the GABAB receptor, inter alia dependent on the formation of receptor oligomers. Spatial intensity distribution analysis (SpIDA) is an image analysis method measuring the oligomerization and density of proteins. It was used to quantify the oligomerization of GABAB receptors in the rodent spinal cord under conditions of chronic pain and inflammation. SpIDA reports a lowered density of tetrameric GABAB receptor entities in GABAergic neurons of the dorsal horn under these conditions compared to sham samples. The soma of neurons in the ventral horn is shown to be populated by single entities of the GABAB receptor. The findings underline the role of receptor oligomerization, as well as the membrane environment in regulating receptor function.

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Current Directions in Biomedical Engineering is an open access journal and closely related to the journal Biomedical Engineering - Biomedizinische Technik. CDBME is a forum for the exchange of knowledge in the fields of biomedical engineering, medical information technology and biotechnology/bioengineering for medicine and addresses engineers, natural scientists, and clinicians working in research, industry, or clinical practice.