The impact of GABAergic transmission on neuronal excitability depends on the Cl–gradient across membranes. However, the Cl–fluxes through GABAA receptors alter the intracellular Cl- concentration ([Cl-]i) and in turn attenuate GABAergic responses, a process termed ionic plasticity. Recently it has been shown that coincident glutamatergic inputs significantly affect ionic plasticity. Yet how the [Cl-]i changes depend on the properties of glutamatergic inputs and their spatiotemporal relation to GABAergic stimuli is unknown. To investigate this issue, we used compartmental biophysical models of Cl- dynamics simulating either a simple ball-and-stick topology or a reconstructed immature CA3 neuron. These computational experiments demonstrated that glutamatergic co-stimulation enhances GABA receptor-mediated Cl- influx at low and attenuates or reverses the Cl- efflux at high initial [Cl-]i. The size of glutamatergic influence on GABAergic Cl–fluxes depends on the conductance, decay kinetics, and localization of glutamatergic inputs. Surprisingly, the glutamatergic shift in GABAergic Cl–fluxes is invariant to latencies between GABAergic and glutamatergic inputs over a substantial interval. In agreement with experimental data, simulations in a reconstructed CA3 pyramidal neuron with physiological patterns of correlated activity revealed that coincident glutamatergic synaptic inputs contribute significantly to the activity-dependent [Cl-]i changes. Whereas the influence of spatial correlation between distributed glutamatergic and GABAergic inputs was negligible, their temporal correlation played a significant role. In summary, our results demonstrate that glutamatergic co-stimulation had a substantial impact on ionic plasticity of GABAergic responses, enhancing the destabilization of GABAergic inhibition in the mature nervous systems, but suppressing GABAergic [Cl-]i changes in the immature brain. Therefore, glutamatergic shift in GABAergic Cl–fluxes should be considered as a relevant factor of short term plasticity.
bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience