Frontiers in Biology

, Volume 8, Issue 5, pp 496–507 | Cite as

Novel functions of GABA signaling in adult neurogenesis

Review

Abstract

Neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutiric acid (GABA) through ionotropic GABAA and metabotropic GABAB receptors plays key roles in modulating the development, plasticity and function of neuronal networks. GABA is inhibitory in mature neurons but excitatory in immature neurons, neuroblasts and neural stem/progenitor cells (NSCs/NPCs). The switch from excitatory to inhibitory occurs following the development of glutamatergic synaptic input and results from the dynamic changes in the expression of Na+/K+/2Cl co-transporter NKCC1 driving Cl influx and neuron-specific K+/Cl co-transporter KCC2 driving Cl efflux. The developmental transition of KCC2 expression is regulated by Disrupted-in-Schizophrenia 1 (DISC1) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) signaling. The excitatory GABA signaling during early neurogenesis is important to the activity/experience-induced regulation of NSC quiescence, NPC proliferation, neuroblast migration and new-born neuronal maturation/functional integration. The inhibitory GABA signaling allows for the sparse and static functional networking essential for learning/memory development and maintenance.

Keywords

neurogenesis neural stem cells GABA signal pathways co-transporter neurons 

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Copyright information

© Higher Education Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of NeuroscienceTemple University School of MedicinePhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Universidade do Estado do ParáSantarém, PABrasil

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