Editors' ChoiceGlia

Tonic Inhibition

Sci. Signal.  09 Nov 2010:
Vol. 3, Issue 147, pp. ec344
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.3147ec344

Neuronal inhibition has recently drawn much attention; however, the mechanisms involved in tonic release of and the cellular source of the neurotransmitter involved, γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), have been difficult to pin down. Lee et al. showed that tonic release of GABA in the cerebellum occurs through the Bestrophin 1 anion channel of cerebellar astrocytes and Bergmann glial cells. These results confirm that glia can serve as a source of GABA for tonic inhibition of neurons and provide more evidence for interactions between neurons and glia cells that have implications for our understanding of brain-signaling mechanisms.

S. Lee, B.-E. Yoon, K. Berglund, S.-J. Oh, H. Park, H.-S. Shin, G. J. Augustine, C. J. Lee, Channel-mediated tonic GABA release from glia. Science 330, 790–796 (2010). [Abstract] [Full Text]