Gamma amino butyric acid (GABA) is an inhibiting neurotransmitter that is present on human brains. As shown in the animation, gamma amino butyric acid promotes opening of a postsynaptic receptor, the GABA-A receptor.
This opening leads to a increased conductance to cloride ions, which produces membrane hiperpolarization, this induces a neuronal inhibition.
The binding of benzodiazepines to the GABA-A receptor increases the affinity of gamma amino butyric acid (GABA) and its receptor, thereby increasing the opening frecuency of GABA-A receptor.As a consequence of this, benzodiazepines potentiate GABAergic neurotransmission.
Some of the drugs included under the benzodiazepine class are:
- Modern Pharmacology with Clinical Applications, Sixth Edition by Charles Craig
- Principles of Pharmacology: The Pathophysiologic Basis of Drug Therapy, Second Edition
by David E Golan