GABAA receptors: properties and trafficking.

Department of Neuroscience, University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6074, USA.
Critical Reviews in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (Impact Factor: 5.81). 01/2007; 42(1):3-14. DOI: 10.1080/10409230601146219
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Fast synaptic inhibition in the brain and spinal cord is mediated largely by ionotropic gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors. GABAA receptors play a key role in controlling neuronal activity; thus modulating their function will have important consequences for neuronal excitation. GABAA receptors are important therapeutic targets for a range of sedative, anxiolytic, and hypnotic agents and are involved in a number of CNS diseases, including sleep disturbances, anxiety, premenstrual syndrome, alcoholism, muscle spasms, Alzheimer's disease, chronic pain, schizophrenia, bipolar affective disorders, and epilepsy. This review focuses on the functional and pharmacological properties of GABAA receptors and trafficking as an essential mechanism underlying the dynamic regulation of synaptic strength.

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