Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Getting on 'the GABA receptor shuttle' to treat anxiety disorders

Date:
December 1, 2009
Source:
Elsevier
Summary:
There are increasingly precise molecular insights into ways that stress exposure leads to fear and through which fear extinction resolves these fear states. Extinction is generally regarded as new inhibitory learning, but where the inhibition originates from remains to be determined. Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), the primary inhibitory chemical messenger in the brain, seems to be very important to these processes.

There are increasingly precise molecular insights into ways that stress exposure leads to fear and through which fear extinction resolves these fear states. Extinction is generally regarded as new inhibitory learning, but where the inhibition originates from remains to be determined. Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), the primary inhibitory chemical messenger in the brain, seems to be very important to these processes.

A new article in Biological Psychiatry examined whether during the extinction of fear learning, GABA receptors may be inserted into the cell surface to reduce the excitability of the amygdala. Researchers inactivated a protein that links GABAA receptors to the cell surface. They found that this protein prevented fear extinction training and the local application of NMDA from increasing the number of GABAA receptors on the cell surface and enhancing the inhibition of amygdala nerve cells.

Lin and colleagues show that during fear conditioning, the number of GABAA receptors on the surface of neurons in the amygdala decreases, reducing the extent of inhibition of the neurons in this brain "fear center." When fear is extinguished by dissociating fear cues from unpleasant stimuli, the number of GABAA receptors on the cell surface of the amygdala neurons increases.

How does this happen? The study provides evidence of molecular mechanisms that shuttle GABAA receptors to the cell surface during extinction. The researchers showed that by inactivating a protein involved in the localization of GABAA receptors in the amygdala, they prevented the recruitment of GABA-mediated inhibition and extinction of fear. Dr. John Krystal, Editor of Biological Psychiatry comments: "This research provides evidence that we are starting to untangle the molecular mechanisms through which our cognitive and behavioral therapies might alter brain function."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Elsevier. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Hui-Ching Lin, Sheng-Chun Mao, and Po-Wu Gean. Block of γ-Aminobutyric Acid-A Receptor Insertion in the Amygdala Impairs Extinction of Conditioned Fear. Biological Psychiatry, Volume 66, Issue 7 (October 1, 2009) [link]

Cite This Page:

Elsevier. "Getting on 'the GABA receptor shuttle' to treat anxiety disorders." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 December 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091022101532.htm>.
Elsevier. (2009, December 1). Getting on 'the GABA receptor shuttle' to treat anxiety disorders. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091022101532.htm
Elsevier. "Getting on 'the GABA receptor shuttle' to treat anxiety disorders." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091022101532.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Dieting At A Young Age Might Lead To Harmful Health Habits

Dieting At A Young Age Might Lead To Harmful Health Habits

Newsy (July 30, 2014) Researchers say women who diet at a young age are at greater risk of developing harmful health habits, including eating disorders and alcohol abuse. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

Newsy (July 29, 2014) If you've been looking for love online, there's a chance somebody has been looking at how you're looking. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

Newsy (July 29, 2014) Researchers have found certain facial features can make us seem more attractive or trustworthy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins