Excitatory actions of gaba during development: the nature of the nurture.

Yehezkel Ben-Ari 1, *
* Corresponding author
Abstract : In the immature brain, GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) is excitatory, and GABA-releasing synapses are formed before glutamatergic contacts in a wide range of species and structures. GABA becomes inhibitory by the delayed expression of a chloride exporter, leading to a negative shift in the reversal potential for choride ions. I propose that this mechanism provides a solution to the problem of how to excite developing neurons to promote growth and synapse formation while avoiding the potentially toxic effects of a mismatch between GABA-mediated inhibition and glutamatergic excitation. As key elements of this cascade are activity dependent, the formation of inhibition adds an element of nurture to the construction of cortical networks.
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Yehezkel Ben-Ari. Excitatory actions of gaba during development: the nature of the nurture.. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, Nature Publishing Group, 2002, 3 (9), pp.728-39. ⟨10.1038/nrn920⟩. ⟨inserm-00484852⟩

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