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Mark Farrant

Department of Neuroscience, Physiology & Pharmacology

Ionotropic GABA and glutamate receptor signalling

We are interested in understanding the role played by receptor subunit heterogeneity in dictating the properties of fast excitatory and inhibitory synaptic transmission and non-synaptic signalling. We focus on ionotropic GABAA receptors and AMPA- and NMDA-type glutamate receptors in the cerebellum. We use patch-clamp electrophysiology in combination with molecular approaches to investigate the properties of heterologously expressed recombinant receptors and to examine synaptic and non-synaptic signalling in acute brain slices and neuronal cultures from wild-type and mutant or genetically modified mice.


Ongoing projects include: investigating the regulation of GABAA receptor function by subunit RNA editing; studying the effects of stargazin and related transmembrane AMPA receptor regulatory proteins (TARPs) on receptor function and excitatory synaptic transmission; examining inhibitory signalling in transgenic animals with modified GABAA receptors.


Farrant M and Kaila K (2007)
The cellular, molecular and ionic basis of GABAA receptor signalling.
Progress in Brain Research: 160: 59-87

Wulff P, Goetz T, Leppa E, Linden AM, Renzi M, Swinny JD, Vekovischeva OY, Sieghart W, Somogyi P, Korpi ER, Farrant M and Wisden W  (2007)
From synapse to behavior: rapid modulation of defined neuronal types with engineered GABAA receptors
Nat. Neurosci.10: 923-929.

Renzi M, Farrant M and Cull-Candy SG (2007)
Climbing-fibre activation of NMDA receptors in Purkinje cells of adult mice.
J. Physiol. in press.

Soto D, Coombs ID, Kelly L, Farrant M and Cull-Candy SG (2007)
Stargazin attenuates polyamine block of calcium-permeable AMPA receptors.
Nat. Neurosci. in press.

Cull-Candy SG, Kelly L and Farrant M (2006)
Regulation of Ca2+-permeable AMPA receptors: synaptic plasticity and beyond.
Curr. Opin. Neurobiol. 16: 288-97.

Farrant M and Nusser Z (2005)
Variations on an inhibitory theme: phasic and tonic activation of GABAA receptors.
Nat. Rev. Neurosci. 6: 215-29.

Stell BM, Brickley SG, Tang CY, Farrant M and Mody I (2003)
Neuroactive steroids reduce neuronal excitability by selectively enhancing tonic inhibition mediated by delta subunit-containing GABAA receptors.
PNAS 100: 14439-44.

Cathala L, Brickley SG, Cull-Candy SG and Farrant M (2003)
Maturation of EPSCs and intrinsic membrane properties enhances precision at a cerebellar synapse.
J. Neurosci. 23: 6074-85.

Brickley SG, Revilla V, Cull-Candy SG, Wisden W, Farrant M (2001)
Adaptive regulation of neuronal excitability by a voltage-independent potassium conductance.
Nature 409: 88-92


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