Mechanisms and functions of GABA co-release

Nat Rev Neurosci. 2016 Mar;17(3):139-45. doi: 10.1038/nrn.2015.21. Epub 2016 Feb 11.


The 'one neuron, one neurotransmitter' doctrine states that synaptic communication between two neurons occurs through the release of a single chemical transmitter. However, recent findings suggest that neurons that communicate using more than one classical neurotransmitter are prevalent throughout the adult mammalian CNS. In particular, several populations of neurons previously thought to release only glutamate, acetylcholine, dopamine or histamine also release the major inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA. Here, we review these findings and discuss the implications of GABA co-release for synaptic transmission and plasticity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Neurons / metabolism*
  • Neurotransmitter Agents / metabolism*
  • Synapses / physiology*
  • Synaptic Transmission / physiology*
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / metabolism*


  • Neurotransmitter Agents
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid