The GABA nervous system in C. elegans

Trends Neurosci. 2004 Jul;27(7):407-14. doi: 10.1016/j.tins.2004.05.005.


GABA neurotransmission requires a specialized set of proteins to synthesize, transport or respond to GABA. This article reviews results from a genetic strategy in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans designed to identify the genes responsible for these activities. These studies identified mutations in genes encoding five different proteins: the biosynthetic enzyme for GABA, the vesicular GABA transporter, a transcription factor that determines GABA neuron identity, a classic inhibitory GABA receptor and a novel excitatory GABA receptor. This review discusses the strategy employed to identify these genes as well as the conclusions about GABA transmission derived from study of the mutant phenotypes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / physiology*
  • Nervous System
  • Receptors, GABA / physiology*
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / physiology*


  • Receptors, GABA
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid