Name:GABA (4-Aminobutyric acid)
Synonyms:4-Aminobutanoic acid; Piperidic acid; Piperidinic acid;
CAS Registry Number:56-12-2
γ-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) (IPA: [gæm minobjutrc æsd]) is the chief inhibitory
neurotransmitter in the mammalian central nervous system. It plays
an important role in regulating neuronal excitability throughout
the nervous system. In humans, GABA is also directly responsible
for the regulation of muscle tone. In insect species GABA acts
only on excitatory nerve receptors.
Although chemically it is an amino acid, GABA is rarely referred to
as such in the scientific or medical communities, because the term
"amino acid," used without a qualifier, refers to the alpha amino
acids, which GABA is not, nor is it incorporated into proteins.
In spastic diplegia in humans, GABA absorption by some nerves
becomes impaired, which leads to hypertonia of the muscles signaled
by those nerves.