In the peripheral neurons and circuits for hearing, balance, touch and pain, GABA plays diverse and important roles. In some cases, GABA is an essential player in the maintenance of sensory receptors and afferent neurons. In other instances, GABA modulates the sensory signal before it reaches CNS neurons. And in yet other instances, tonic GABA-mediated signals set the resting tone and excitability of afferent neurons. GABAA receptors are present on gustatory afferent neurons that carry taste signals from taste buds to central circuits in the brainstem. Yet, the functional significance of these receptors is unexplored. Here, I outline some of the roles of GABA in other peripheral sensory systems. I then consider whether similar functions may be ascribed to GABA signaling in the taste periphery.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physiology (medical)