Role of gamma-aminobutyric acid-B receptors in ethanol induced behaviours

First published: 10 May 2019 | Last updated: 20 May 2019

Alcohol is one of the most widely used and socially accepted psychoactive substances in the world, and its misuse was accountable for 3.3 million alcohol related deaths in the world in 2015. Whilst it is known that ethanol enhances the actions of the GABA-B receptor, the role of the stimulation of this receptor in inducing  acute and chronic effects, remains to be investigated and identified. The fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, offers the possibility to investigate behaviours such as preference and tolerance to alcohol, and to challenge them with pharmacological agents. In this study, the GABA-B receptor agonist (SKF 97451) and antagonist (CGP 54626) were used to challenge the development of tolerance and the onset of preference to alcohol in wild type flies and in mutant lines with putative disruptions of GABAB receptor 1 or 2 subunit genes. The results indicate that the GABA-B receptors are indeed part of a complex mechanism that result in alcohol induced behavioural changes. The data support the usefulness of the <em>Drosophila model and the need for further investigations.


– Mr Daniel Ranson- University of East London – Dr Samir Ayoub- University of East London – Dr Stefano Casalotti- University of East London

Conflicts of interest:

No conflicts of interest.

Dr Daniel Ranson