Ethanol specifically potentiates GABA-mediated neurotransmission in feline cerebral cortex

Science  08 Aug 1980:
Vol. 209, Issue 4457, pp. 708-710
DOI: 10.1126/science.7394531


Ethanol (ethyl alcohol) potentiates the inhibition of cortical neurons by gamma-aminobutyric acid. This effect is specific, since ethanol does not potentiate inhibiton by glycine, serotonin, or dopamine. These results have implications for alcoholism because (i) gamma-aminobutyric acid mediates anxiolytic mechanisms, and (ii) anxiety is implicated in the etiology of alcoholism.