GABA receptors and the immune system
Traditionally known as purely an inhibitory neurotransmitter, γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), its’ receptors and enzymes involved in GABA metabolism and catabolism have been shown to be widely distributed outside the brain and central nervous system. One of the organ systems expressing GABAA and GABAB receptors and other parts of the GABA system is the immune system. GABA and GABA analogous have primarily an inhibitory effect on the immune system, although the effect of activating GABAB receptors seems to be more complex and include immune stimulation. Molecular changes evoked by GABAergic compounds also translate to potential in vivo treatment of diseases associated with the immune system. Activation of immune cells leads in some cases to increased GABAB receptor expression, suggesting a ‘natural’ function of these receptors in immune system functioning.
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Advisor:Dr. P.A.J. Henricks
Keywords:GABA, GABAA, GABAB, immune system, immunology, pharmacology
Date of Publication:01/31/2012