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GABA is an effective immunomodulatory molecule
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Neuroscience, Neurology. (Molecular Physiology)
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Neuroscience, Physiology. (Molecular Physiology)
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Neuroscience, Physiology. (Molecular Physiology)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1763-0266
2013 (English)In: Amino Acids, ISSN 0939-4451, E-ISSN 1438-2199, Vol. 45, no 1, 87-94 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In recent years, it has become clear that there is an extensive cross-talk between the nervous and the immune system. Somewhat surprisingly, the immune cells themselves do express components of the neuronal neurotransmitters systems. What role the neurotransmitters, their ion channels, receptors and transporters have in immune function and regulation is an emerging field of study. Several recent studies have shown that the immune system is capable of synthesizing and releasing the classical neurotransmitter GABA (γ-aminobutyric acid). GABA has a number of effects on the immune cells such as activation or suppression of cytokine secretion, modification of cell proliferation and GABA can even affect migration of the cells. The immune cells encounter GABA when released by the immune cells themselves or when the immune cells enter the brain. In addition, GABA can also be found in tissues like the lymph nodes, the islets of Langerhans and GABA is in high enough concentration in blood to activate, e.g., GABA-A channels. GABA appears to have a role in autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis and may modulate the immune response to infections. In the near future, it will be important to work out what specific effects GABA has on the function of the different types of immune cells and determine the underlying mechanisms. In this review, we discuss some of the recent findings revealing the role of GABA as an immunomodulator.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 45, no 1, 87-94 p.
National Category
Neurosciences Physiology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-168944DOI: 10.1007/s00726-011-1193-7ISI: 000320372500007PubMedID: 22160261OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-168944DiVA: diva2:504447
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 468203002
Available from: 2012-02-20 Created: 2012-02-20 Last updated: 2017-12-07Bibliographically approved

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