GABA-transaminase in brain and blood platelets: basic and clinical aspects.



Sherif FM.

Department of Pharmacology, University for Medical Sciences, Tripoli, Libya.

Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 1994 Dec;18(8):1219-33.


Several lines of evidence suggest that the major inhibitory neuro-transmitter, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is involved, both directly and indirectly, in the pathogenesis of certain neurological and psychiatric disorders. The main enzyme responsible for GABA catabolism is gamma-aminobutyrate aminotransferase (GABA-T). Inhibition of this enzyme produces a considerable elevation of brain GABA concentrations, and such elevation has been correlated with many pharmacological effects. There seems to be that, as is discussed below, GABA-T activity in the brain and/or blood platelets is related to some neuro-psychiatric disorders such as alcoholism, epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease. GABA-T has been identified in the blood platelets with similar characteristics to those of brain GABA-T. In this way, studies on GABA-T activity in neuro-psychiatric disorders could be performed to understand, diagnosis and treat GABA-related disorders of the central nervous system (CNS).

Keywords: alcoholism; Alzheimer’s disease; aminobutyrate aminotransferase; blood platelets; epilepsy; ethanol; GABA; schizophrenia; suicide