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Expression of GABA receptors subunits in peripheral blood mononuclear cells is gender dependent, altered in pregnancy and modified by mental health
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Molecular Biosciences, The Wenner-Gren Institute.
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2015 (English)In: Acta Physiologica, ISSN 1748-1708, E-ISSN 1748-1716, Vol. 213, no 3, 575-585 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

AimThe concept of nerve-driven immunity recognizes a link between the nervous and the immune system. -aminobutyric acid (GABA) is the main inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain, and receptors activated by GABA can be expressed by immune cells. Here, we examined whether the expression of GABA receptors and chloride transporters in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) was influenced by gender, pregnancy or mental health. MethodsWe used RT-qPCR to determine the mRNA expression level in PBMCs from men (n=16), non-pregnant women (n=19), healthy pregnant women (n=27) and depressed pregnant women (n=15). ResultsThe 2 subunit had the most prominent expression level of the GABA-A receptor subunits in all samples. The and 2 subunits were up-regulated by pregnancy, whereas the epsilon subunit was more frequently expressed in healthy pregnant women than non-pregnant women who, in turn, commonly expressed the 6 and the 2 subunits. The 1 and epsilon subunits expression was altered by depression in pregnant women. The GABA-B1 receptor was up-regulated by depression in pregnant women, while the transporters NKCC1 and KCC4 were down-regulated by pregnancy. The changes recorded in the mRNA expression levels imply participation of GABA receptors in establishing and maintaining tolerance in pregnancy. Importantly, the correlation of mental health with the expression of specific receptor subunits reveals a connection between the immune cells and the brain. Biomarkers for mental health may be identified in PBMCs. ConclusionThe results demonstrate the impact gender, pregnancy and mental health have on the expression of GABA receptors and chloride transporters expressed in human PBMCs.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 213, no 3, 575-585 p.
Keyword [en]
depression, GABA-A, GABA-B, NKCC1, PBMC, pregnancy
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URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-115270DOI: 10.1111/apha.12440ISI: 000348531600007PubMedID: 25529063OAI: diva2:799805


Available from: 2015-03-31 Created: 2015-03-18 Last updated: 2015-03-31Bibliographically approved

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Olafsson, Einar B.
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Department of Molecular Biosciences, The Wenner-Gren Institute
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