Alcohol modulation of extra-synaptic gamma-aminobutyric acid type A receptors

Ayla Arslan


Development of effective treatment agents for the alcohol use disorders requires the detailed understanding of molecular targets of alcohol in the brain. The gamma-aminobutyric acid type A receptors (GABAARs) are the major molecular targets of alcohol in the central nervous system. Mediating inhibitory neurotransmission upon GABA binding in the vertebrate central nervous system, GABAARs are heteropentameric chloride channels, assembled from a large subunit pool encoded by 19 distinct genes. It is the subunit composition that determines the receptor’s biophysical properties, neurotransmitter affinity, the pharmacology, and the position on the cell i.e., synaptic or extra-synaptic. This review paper briefly presents the alcohol modulation of a specific GABAAR subtype located at the extra-synaptic sites with a subunit composition of alpha, beta and delta

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