2018, Number 6
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ABSTRACTThe γ-aminobutyric-acid (GABA) is the main inhibitory neurotransmitter in the human central nervous system (CNS) and produces activation of three distinct classes of GABA receptors. The GABAB receptor is an heterodimer with two 7TM subunits, it was characterized in the 70’s of the 20th century and it was largely studied regarding its relation with several pathologies. GABAB receptors are widely distributed throughout the CNS, however, in the addiction field, the GABAB receptors on the ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopaminergic neurons body have generated a large number of researches. GABAB receptors activation produces inhibition of the VTA dopaminergic neurons and the dopamine release decrease in the accumbens, the main component of the reward system. Due to his complexity and his important role on the addiction treatment, in this paper we review general aspects about GABA, like its discovery, synthesis, receptors and signaling pathways, besides experimental and clinical evidence that support or limit the therapeutic use of GABAB receptor agonists for addictions.
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