The rise of a new GABA pharmacology.Neuropharmacology. 2011 Jun; 60(7-8):1042-9.N
Key developments in GABA pharmacology over the last 30 years are reviewed with special reference to the advances pioneered by Erminio Costa. His passion for innovative science, and his quest for novel therapies for psychiatric disorders are particularly apparent in his fundamental contributions to the field of GABA research, with a focus on anxiety disorders and schizophrenia. He was a cofounder of the GABAergic mechanism of action of benzodiazepines. He envisaged partial agonists as novel anxiolytics. He identified DBI (diazepam binding inhibitor) as endogenous agonist of neurosteroidogenesis with multiple CNS effects and he pointed to the developmental origin of GABAergic dysfunctions in schizophrenia through his discovery of a reelin deficit, all this in collaboration with Sandro Guidotti. Today, the GABA pharmacology comprises selective hypnotics, non-sedative anxiolytics, memory enhancers and powerful analgesics. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'Trends in neuropharmacology: in memory of Erminio Costa'.