What is the role of gamma-aminobutyric acid B (GABA-B) inhibition in the pathophysiology of epileptic seizures?

Updated: May 30, 2019
  • Author: David Y Ko, MD; Chief Editor: Selim R Benbadis, MD  more...
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The GABA-B receptor is coupled to potassium channels, forming a current that has a relatively long duration of action compared with the chloride current evoked by activation of the GABA-A receptor. Because of the long duration of action, alterations in the GABA-B receptor are thought to possibly play a major role in the transition between the interictal abnormality and an ictal event (ie, focal-onset seizure). The molecular structure of the GABA-B receptor complex consists of 2 subunits with 7 transmembrane domains each.

G proteins, a second messenger system, mediate coupling to the potassium channel, explaining the latency and long duration of the response. In many cases, GABA-B receptors are located in the presynaptic element of an excitatory projection.

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