Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
J Psychiatry Neurosci. 2003 Jul;28(4):263-74.

The role of GABAA receptors in mediating the effects of alcohol in the central nervous system.

Author information

  • Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alta. Martin.davies@ualberta.ca

Abstract

Ethanol is a chemically simple compound that produces many well-known effects in humans. The prevailing idea for many years was that ethanol and other alcohols exerted their effects on the central nervous system (CNS) by non-selectively disrupting the lipid bilayers of neurons. However, in recent years, there has been an accumulation of evidence pointing to the importance of ligand-gated ion channels (LGICs) in mediating the effects of ethanol. Of these LGICs, gamma-aminobutyric acid type A (GABAA) receptors appear to occupy a central role in mediating the effects of ethanol in the CNS. GABA is the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter in the mammalian CNS, and activation of GABAA receptors by GABA tends to decrease neuronal excitability. This article reviews several aspects of GABAA receptor and ethanol interactions, including the evidence for short- and long-term modulation of GABAA receptors by ethanol and evidence for a GABAA receptor-related genetic component of alcoholism.

PMID:
12921221
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC165791
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for The Canadian Medical Association Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk