The present review discusses the functional and molecular diversity of GABAρ receptors. These receptors were originally described in the mammalian retina, and their functional role in the visual pathway has been recently elucidated; however new studies on their distribution in the brain and spinal cord have revealed that they are more spread than originally thought, and thus it will be important to determine their physiological contribution to the GABAergic transmission in other areas of the central nervous system. In addition, molecular modeling has revealed peculiar traits of these receptors that have impacted on the interpretations of the latest pharmacolgical and biophysical findings. Finally, sequencing of several vertebrate genomes has permitted a comparative analysis of the organization of the GABAρ genes.
Keywords: GABA receptor gene organization; Ligand Gated Ion Channel; Receptor structure; TPMPA..