Understanding the Functions and Principles of GABA: A Guide for Research on Brain Diseases

A comprehensive guide detailing the functions and principles of GABA, a neurotransmitter that hampers brain cell activity, has recently been released.

The Institute of Basic Science (IBS) has announced the publication of a research paper by a team led by Lee Chang-jun, head of Cognitive and Social Research, and Ko Woo-hyun, next-generation research leader, in collaboration with Jeong Eun-ji, a professor of biotechnology at Yonsei University. The paper offers a systematic summary of the regulation and function of GABA, expected to prove invaluable for further studies on this neurotransmitter, which is currently under scrutiny as a potential culprit for various brain disorders.

GABA is a critical substance responsible for initiating “inhibitory signal transmission,” effectively suppressing brain cell activity. It plays a crucial role in several cognitive functions and signal transmissions within the brain.

Back in 2010, Director Lee Chang-joon made a groundbreaking discovery that astrocytes, a type of nerve cell, secrete GABA. Subsequent research focused on unraveling the cognitive function of astrocytes, which led to the revelation of the principles governing GABA synthesis, secretion, and elimination.

In 2014, the team’s findings confirmed that reactive astrocytes, prevalent in the brains of Alzheimer’s disease patients, release GABA as a means of memory reduction. Following this breakthrough, the researchers developed a potential dementia treatment candidate, named KDS2010, and successfully transferred the technology.

The paper presented by the research team systematically outlines the principles of GABA production and regulation, its mode of operation, and the influence of persistent GABA current, which has a lasting inhibitory effect on the brain.

The team particularly underscores the pivotal role of astrocytes in modulating the levels of GABA, emphasizing how persistent GABA currents can impact various cognitive functions.

Furthermore, the researchers introduce a novel concept, referred to as “GABA Tone,” which maintains a consistent level of GABA activity within the brain, analogous to music pitch being sustained at a constant tone.

In addition to previously established knowledge in academia, the study reveals the phenomenon of “bypass inhibition,” whereby the local reduction of excitatory signals diminishes the effects of GABA. This finding serves as a basis for explaining how GABA inhibits the activation of nerve cells while simultaneously fine-tuning signal regulation.

The research team delves into the diverse functions of GABA, including its involvement in learning and memory, circadian rhythms and arousal, and motor control. They emphasize the necessity of further research to uncover additional functions associated with GABA tone.

Director Lee Chang-joon notes, “This study uncovers the role of persistent GABA current and its relationship with various brain diseases.” He expresses his hopes that “the findings from this research will provide invaluable guidance for understanding the cognitive functions of the brain and treating brain disorders.”

Professor Eunji Jeong highlights the significance of GABA Tone as a filtering mechanism, allowing only relevant information to be retained in the brain. She states, “The global scientific community is eagerly following the emergence of this new concept surrounding GABA.”

The results of this study have been published in the renowned international journal, Nature Reviews Neuroscience.

A guide covering the functions and principles of GABA, a neurotransmitter that inhibits brain cell activity, has been published.

The Institute of Basic Science (IBS) announced that a research team led by Lee Chang-jun, head of Cognitive and Social Research, and Ko Woo-hyun, next generation research leader, have jointly published a paper summarizing the regulation and function systematically. principles of GABA with Jeong Eun-ji, professor of biotechnology at Yonsei University.

It is expected to serve as a guide for research on GABA, which is attracting attention as a cause of various brain diseases.

GABA is a substance that causes ‘inhibitory signal transmission’ which stops the activity of nerve cells in the brain, and is involved in various signal transmission and cognitive functions in the brain.

In 2010, director Lee Chang-joon discovered that astrocytes, among nerve cells, secrete GABA. Since then, when studying the cognitive function of astrocytes, the principle of GABA synthesis, secretion and elimination was revealed.

Mechanisms of GABA regulation in astrocytes / IBS

In 2014, it was first confirmed that reactive astrocytes, commonly found in the brains of patients with Alzheimer’s disease, secrete GABA to reduce memory, and based on the result of this research, developed a candidate drug for the treatment of dementia (KDS2010) and transfer’ the technology. .

In this paper, the research team has systematically summarized the principles of GABA production and regulation, how it works, and how the persistent inhibitory effect of GABA (persistent GABA current) affects the brain.

The researchers particularly emphasized the fact that astrocytes play a key role in regulating the amount of GABA, and that persistent GABA currents affect various cognitive functions.

He also proposed a new concept called ‘GABA Tone’ for GABA, which causes sustained GABA currents in the brain. This means that the amount and level of GABA activity remains constant within the brain, just as pitch is maintained at a constant tone in music.

In addition, unlike what has been known in the academic world until now, ‘bypass inhibition’ has been found, which reduces the effect of GABA by reducing excitatory signals locally. It became the basis for explaining the phenomenon that GABA inhibits the activation of nerve cells and at the same time regulates signals more precisely.

In addition to this, the research team explained the various functions of GABA, such as learning and memory, biorhythm and arousal, and motor control, emphasizing the need for active research on additional functions of GABA tone.

Director Lee Chang-joon said, “The function of persistent GABA current and the relationship between various brain diseases are revealed.” He expected that “the results of this research will act as a guide for GABA research to understand the cognitive functions of the brain and treat brain diseases.” .

Professor Eunji Jeong said, “Gaba Tone acts as a kind of filter to leave only necessary information in the brain, and it is important for various cognitive functions of the brain. The world is paying attention to the concept new from the mood of Gaba.” .

The results of this study were published in the international journal ‘Nature Reviews Neuroscience’.

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