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GABA(A) receptors in the CNS mediate both fast synaptic and tonic inhibition. Over the past decade a phasic current with features intermediate between fast synaptic and tonic inhibition, termed GABA(A,slow), has received increasing attention. This has coincided with an ever-growing appreciation for GABAergic cell type diversity. Compared with classical fast synaptic inhibition, GABA(A,slow) is slower by an order of magnitude. In this review, we summarize recent studies that have enhanced our understanding of GABA(A,slow). These include the discovery of specialized interneuron types from which this current originates, the factors that could underlie its characteristically slow kinetics, its contribution to specific aspects of integrative function and network oscillations, and its potential usefulness as a novel drug target for modulating inhibitory synaptic transmission in the CNS.

Original publication

DOI

10.1016/j.tins.2010.10.005

Type

Journal article

Journal

Trends Neurosci

Publication Date

02/2011

Volume

34

Pages

101 - 112

Keywords

Animals, Drug Design, Hippocampus, Humans, Neural Inhibition, Neurons, Protein Subunits, Receptors, GABA-A, Synapses, Synaptic Transmission, Time Factors, gamma-Aminobutyric Acid