Role of GABA(B) receptors in learning and memory and neurological disorders

Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2016 Apr;63:1-28. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2016.01.007. Epub 2016 Jan 24.


Although it is evident from the literature that altered GABAB receptor function does affect behavior, these results often do not correspond well. These differences could be due to the task protocol, animal strain, ligand concentration, or timing of administration utilized. Because several clinical populations exhibit learning and memory deficits in addition to altered markers of GABA and the GABAB receptor, it is important to determine whether altered GABAB receptor function is capable of contributing to the deficits. The aim of this review is to examine the effect of altered GABAB receptor function on synaptic plasticity as demonstrated by in vitro data, as well as the effects on performance in learning and memory tasks. Finally, data regarding altered GABA and GABAB receptor markers within clinical populations will be reviewed. Together, the data agree that proper functioning of GABAB receptors is crucial for numerous learning and memory tasks and that targeting this system via pharmaceuticals may benefit several clinical populations.

Keywords: Cognition; GABA(B) receptor; Learning and memory; Neuropsychological disorders.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal / physiology
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Conditioning, Classical / physiology
  • Fear / physiology
  • Humans
  • Learning / physiology*
  • Long-Term Potentiation
  • Memory / physiology*
  • Mental Disorders / metabolism
  • Mental Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Neurogenesis
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Receptors, GABA-B / metabolism
  • Receptors, GABA-B / physiology*
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / metabolism
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / physiology


  • Receptors, GABA-B
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid