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Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2008 Jul;90(1):90-4. doi: 10.1016/j.pbb.2008.03.006. Epub 2008 Mar 14.

GABA(A) receptors and alcohol.

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1
Waggoner Center for Alcohol and Addiction Research, Section of Neurobiology and Institute for Cellular and Molecular Biology, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712, United States.

Abstract

There is substantial evidence that GABAergic neurotransmission is important for many behavioral actions of ethanol and there are reports spanning more than 30 years of literature showing that low to moderate (3-30 mM) concentrations of ethanol enhance GABAergic neurotransmission. A key question is which GABA receptor subunits are sensitive to low concentrations of ethanol in vivo and in vitro. Recent evidence points to a role for extrasynaptic receptors. Another question is which behavioral actions of alcohol result from enhancement of GABAergic neurotransmission. Some clues are beginning to emerge from studies of knock-out and knock-in mice and from genetic analysis of human alcoholics. These approaches are converging on a role for GABAergic actions in regulating alcohol consumption and, perhaps, the development of alcoholism.

PMID:
18423561
PMCID:
PMC2574824
DOI:
10.1016/j.pbb.2008.03.006
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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