The entorhinal cortex (EC) is regarded as the gateway to the hippocampus and thus is essential for learning and memory. Whereas the EC expresses a high density of GABAB receptors, the functions of these receptors in this region remain unexplored. Here, we examined the effects of GABAB receptor activation on neuronal excitability in the EC and spatial learning. Application of baclofen, a specific GABAB receptor agonist, inhibited significantly neuronal excitability in the EC. GABAB receptor-mediated inhibition in the EC was mediated via activating TREK-2, a type of two-pore domain K+ channels, and required the functions of inhibitory G proteins and protein kinase A pathway. Depression of neuronal excitability in the EC underlies GABAB receptor-mediated inhibition of spatial learning as assessed by Morris water maze. Our study indicates that GABAB receptors exert a tight control over spatial learning by modulating neuronal excitability in the EC.
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