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1.  GABAA receptors 
Progress in brain research  2007;160:21-41.
γ-Aminobutyric acid type A (GABAA) receptors, the major inhibitory neurotransmitter receptors responsible for fast inhibition in the basal ganglia, belong to the superfamily of “cys-cys loop” ligand-gated ion channels. GABAA receptors form as pentameric assemblies of subunits, with a central Cl− permeable pore. On binding of two GABA molecules to the extracellular receptor domain, a conformational change is induced in the oligomer and Cl−, in most adult neurons, moves into the cell leading to an inhibitory hyperpolarization. Nineteen mammalian subunit genes have been identified, each showing distinct regional and cell-type-specific expression. The combinatorial assembly of the subunits generates considerable functional diversity. Here we place the focus on GABAA receptor expression in the basal ganglia: striatum, globus pallidus, substantia nigra and subthalamic nucleus, where, in addition to the standard α1β2/3γ2 receptor subtype, significant levels of other subunits (α2, α3, α4, γ1, γ3 and δ) are expressed in some nuclei.
PMCID: PMC2648504  PMID: 17499107
GABA; GABAA receptor; basal ganglia; striatum; globus pallidus; substantia nigra; benzodiazepines

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