Don't worry 'B' happy!: a role for GABA(B) receptors in anxiety and depression

Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2005 Jan;26(1):36-43. doi: 10.1016/


GABA, the main inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain, regulates many physiological and psychological processes. Thus, dysfunction of the GABA system is implicated in the pathophysiology of several neuropsychiatric disorders, including anxiety and depression. However, the role of GABA(B) receptors in behavioural processes related to these disorders has not been resolved. GABA(B) receptors are G-protein-coupled receptors that function as heterodimers of GABA(B(1)) and GABA(B(2)) subunits. In addition to highly selective agonists and antagonists, novel GABA(B) receptor tools have been developed recently to further assist elucidation of the role of GABA(B) receptors in CNS function. These include mice that lack functional GABA(B) receptors, and novel positive modulators of the GABA(B) receptor. In this review, we discuss evidence that points to a role of GABA(B) receptors in anxiety and depression.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anxiety / etiology*
  • Anxiety / metabolism*
  • Anxiety / physiopathology
  • Depression / etiology*
  • Depression / metabolism*
  • Depression / physiopathology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • GABA Agents / chemistry
  • GABA Agents / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Receptors, GABA-B / classification
  • Receptors, GABA-B / drug effects
  • Receptors, GABA-B / physiology*
  • Switzerland


  • GABA Agents
  • Receptors, GABA-B