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J Physiol. 2005 Jan 1;562(Pt 1):37-46. Epub 2004 Nov 4.

Aspects of the homeostaic plasticity of GABAA receptor-mediated inhibition.

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Department of Neurology, The David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.


Plasticity of ligand-gated ion channels plays a critical role in nervous system development, circuit formation and refinement, and pathological processes. Recent advances have mainly focused on the plasticity of channels gated by excitatory amino acids, including their acclaimed role in learning and memory. These receptors, together with voltage-gated ion channels, have also been known to be subjected to a homeostatic form of plasticity that prevents destabilization of the neurone's function and that of the network during various physiological processes. To date, the plasticity of GABA(A) receptors has been examined mainly from a developmental and a pathological point of view. Little is known about homeostatic mechanisms governing their plasticity. This review summarizes some of the findings on the homeostatic plasticity of tonic and phasic inhibitory activity.

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