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Front Neuroendocrinol. 2017 Jan;44:35-82. doi: 10.1016/j.yfrne.2016.11.003. Epub 2016 Nov 25.

The dynamics of GABA signaling: Revelations from the circadian pacemaker in the suprachiasmatic nucleus.

Author information

1
Center for Behavioral Neuroscience, Atlanta, GA 30302, United States; Neuroscience Institute, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA 30302, United States. Electronic address: biohea@gsu.edu.
2
Center for Behavioral Neuroscience, Atlanta, GA 30302, United States; Neuroscience Institute, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA 30302, United States.
3
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurobiology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294, United States.
4
Center for Behavioral Neuroscience, Atlanta, GA 30302, United States; Department of Psychology, Morehouse College, Atlanta, GA 30314, United States.

Abstract

Virtually every neuron within the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) communicates via GABAergic signaling. The extracellular levels of GABA within the SCN are determined by a complex interaction of synthesis and transport, as well as synaptic and non-synaptic release. The response to GABA is mediated by GABAA receptors that respond to both phasic and tonic GABA release and that can produce excitatory as well as inhibitory cellular responses. GABA also influences circadian control through the exclusively inhibitory effects of GABAB receptors. Both GABA and neuropeptide signaling occur within the SCN, although the functional consequences of the interactions of these signals are not well understood. This review considers the role of GABA in the circadian pacemaker, in the mechanisms responsible for the generation of circadian rhythms, in the ability of non-photic stimuli to reset the phase of the pacemaker, and in the ability of the day-night cycle to entrain the pacemaker.

KEYWORDS:

Benzodiazepines; Cation chloride cotransporters; Entrainment; Ethanol; GABA vesicular transporters; GABA(A) receptors; GABA(B) receptors; Glutamic acid decarboxylase; Membrane GABA transporters; Neurosteroids

PMID:
27894927
PMCID:
PMC5225159
DOI:
10.1016/j.yfrne.2016.11.003
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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