2003 issue 2

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Volume 12, issue 2

Review article

The GABA-ergic and serotoninergic systems: their role in mediating anxiety-like behavior and treatment of anxiety disorders

MAŁGORZATA LEHNER2, ALEKSANDRA WISŁOWSKA1, EWA TARACHA2, MAŁGORZATA ZIENOWICZ1, Piotr Maciejak2, ADAM PŁAŹNIKI1,2
1. Katedry i Zakładu Farmakologii Doświadczalnej i Klinicznej Akademii Medycznej w Warszawie
2. Zakład Neurochemii Instytutu Psychiatrii i Neurologii w Warszawie
Postępy Psychiatrii i Neurologii, 2003, 12 (2), 201-210
Keywords: GABA-A, benzodiazepines, anxiety, serotonin, 5-HT1A agonists, SSRI, serotonin-GABA interactions

Abstract

Objective – In this paper we describe changes occurring in GABA-ergic and serotoninergic systems in anxiety disorders and preclinical models of anxiety.

Review – The presented results underlie the importance of GABA-ergic and serotonergic interactions in anxiety disorders. Existing experimental data report the decreased number of GABA-A receptors in patients suffering from anxiety disorders. Moreover, the preclinical and clinical studies confirm the importance of serotonergic system in anxiety reactions. The role of serotonergic transmission in anxiety reactions is variable and depends on the activated structure and receptor type. The changes in GABA-ergic and serotonergic systems in anxiety disorders are more than empirical facts since the main drugs used in the treatment of anxiety are those acting on GABA-A receptors (benzodiazepines), 5-HT1A receptors (buspiron) and serotonin transporter (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors).

Conclusions – The data confirm the importance of GABA-ergic, serotonergic systems and interactions between these systems in occurrence and treatment of anxiety disorders.

Address for correspondence:
Pro.! Adam Płaźnik, Zakład Neurochemii Instytutu Psychiatrii i Neurologii,
ul. Sobieskiego 9, 02-957 Warszawa, e-mail: adaplaz@yahoo.com