GABA, a natural immunomodulator of T lymphocytes.

Helen Bjurstöm, Junyang Wang, Ida Ericsson, Martin Bengtsson, Yawei Liu, Suresh Kumar Mendu, Shohreh Issazadeh, Bryndis Birnir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

128 Citations (SciVal)


gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is the main neuroinhibitory transmitter in the brain. Here we show that GABA in the extracellular space may affect the fate of pathogenic T lymphocytes entering the brain. We examined in encephalitogenic T cells if they expressed functional GABA channels that could be activated by the low (nM-1 microM), physiological concentrations of GABA present around neurons in the brain. The cells expressed the alpha1, alpha4, beta2, beta3, gamma1 and delta GABAA channel subunits and formed functional, extrasynaptic-like GABA channels that were activated by 1 microM GABA. 100 nM and higher GABA concentrations decreased T cell proliferation. The results are consistent with GABA being immunomodulatory.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-50
JournalJournal of Neuroimmunology
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Bibliographical note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015.
The record was previously connected to the following departments: Neuroinflammation (013210006), GABA Channels in Physiology and Pharmacology (013241570)

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Neurology


  • T cell
  • Inhibition
  • Tonic current


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