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Mechanisms and functions of GABA co-release

Abstract

The 'one neuron, one neurotransmitter' doctrine states that synaptic communication between two neurons occurs through the release of a single chemical transmitter. However, recent findings suggest that neurons that communicate using more than one classical neurotransmitter are prevalent throughout the adult mammalian CNS. In particular, several populations of neurons previously thought to release only glutamate, acetylcholine, dopamine or histamine also release the major inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA. Here, we review these findings and discuss the implications of GABA co-release for synaptic transmission and plasticity.

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Figure 1: Distinct cellular and molecular mechanisms of co-transmission.
Figure 2: Functions of GABA co-release.

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Acknowledgements

The authors would like to acknowledge members of the Sabatini laboratory for insightful discussions on this and other topics and for fostering a learned and collegial research environment, which greatly helped to shape this manuscript.

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Correspondence to Bernardo L. Sabatini.

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Tritsch, N., Granger, A. & Sabatini, B. Mechanisms and functions of GABA co-release. Nat Rev Neurosci 17, 139–145 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1038/nrn.2015.21

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