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Special Issue "GABAergic and Glycinergic Neurons"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Neurobiology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Yuchio Yanagawa
Guest Editor
Department of Genetic and Behavioral Neuroscience, Gunma University Graduate School of Medicine, 3-39-22 Showa-machi, Maebashi 371-8511, Japan
Interests: molecular and cellular neurobiology; behavior; neuropsychiatric disorder; animal disease model; inhibitory neuron; transgenic rodent
Dr. Akiko Arata
Guest Editor
Division of Physiome, Department of Physiology, Hyogo College of Medicine, 1-1 Mukogawa-cho, Nishinomiya 663-8501, Japan
Interests: respiratory physiology; perinatal physiology; system neuroscience; development of neuronal network; sensory-motor control; neonatal period

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Neurons are typically classified into two groups, i.e., excitatory and inhibitory neurons. Inhibitory neurons play an important role in the regulation and stabilization of network activities and are essential for a number of brain functions, such as cognition, perception, movement, and respiration. Inhibitory neurons are composed of GABAergic and glycinergic neurons, which release GABA and glycine, respectively, as neurotransmitters. GABAergic neurons are widely spread in the CNS, whereas glycinergic neurons are largely restricted to the brainstem and spinal cord. GABAergic and glycinergic neurons are scattered in their locations and thus are difficult to identify in living brain preparations. However, the recent development of tools and technologies for characterizing these neurons, such as transgenic mice, viruses, optogenetics, and DREAD (Designer Receptors Exclusively Activated by Designer Drugs), has made it easier to study these neurons.

The goal of this Special Issue is to bring together experts studying GABAergic and/or glycinergic neurons. It will present studies on (1) the structure and function of GABAergic/glycinergic neurons, (2) the development of GABAergic/glycinergic networks that involve switching from excitatory neurons to inhibitory ones, (3) new mechanisms and roles of GABAergic/glycinergic neurons in behavior, (4) diseases related to GABAergic/glycinergic neurons, and (5) research tools for investigating GABAergic/glycinergic neurons. This Special Issue will welcome original research articles focusing on GABAergic and/or glycinergic neurons and review articles discussing our current knowledge of GABAergic and/or glycinergic neurons.

Prof. Dr. Yuchio Yanagawa
Dr. Akiko Arata
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. There is an Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal. For details about the APC please see here. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • GABAergic neuron
  • glycinergic neuron
  • neurotransmitter
  • GABA
  • glycine
  • transporter
  • perception
  • sensation
  • movement
  • respiration
  • network switching
  • behavior
  • disease

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle
Inspiratory Off-Switch Mediated by Optogenetic Activation of Inhibitory Neurons in the preBötzinger Complex In Vivo
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(4), 2019; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22042019 - 18 Feb 2021
Viewed by 472
The role of inhibitory neurons in the respiratory network is a matter of ongoing debate. Conflicting and contradicting results are manifold and the question whether inhibitory neurons are essential for the generation of the respiratory rhythm as such is controversial. Inhibitory neurons are [...] Read more.
The role of inhibitory neurons in the respiratory network is a matter of ongoing debate. Conflicting and contradicting results are manifold and the question whether inhibitory neurons are essential for the generation of the respiratory rhythm as such is controversial. Inhibitory neurons are required in pulmonary reflexes for adapting the activity of the central respiratory network to the status of the lung and it is hypothesized that glycinergic neurons mediate the inspiratory off-switch. Over the years, optogenetic tools have been developed that allow for cell-specific activation of subsets of neurons in vitro and in vivo. In this study, we aimed to identify the effect of activation of inhibitory neurons in vivo. Here, we used a conditional transgenic mouse line that expresses Channelrhodopsin 2 in inhibitory neurons. A 200 µm multimode optical fiber ferrule was implanted in adult mice using stereotaxic surgery, allowing us to stimulate inhibitory, respiratory neurons within the core excitatory network in the preBötzinger complex of the ventrolateral medulla. We show that, in anesthetized mice, activation of inhibitory neurons by blue light (470 nm) continuously or with stimulation frequencies above 10 Hz results in a significant reduction of the respiratory rate, in some cases leading to complete cessation of breathing. However, a lower stimulation frequency (4–5 Hz) could induce a significant increase in the respiratory rate. This phenomenon can be explained by the resetting of the respiratory cycle, since stimulation during inspiration shortened the associated breath and thereby increased the respiratory rate, while stimulation during the expiratory interval reduced the respiratory rate. Taken together, these results support the concept that activation of inhibitory neurons mediates phase-switching by inhibiting excitatory rhythmogenic neurons in the preBötzinger complex. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue GABAergic and Glycinergic Neurons)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Jean-Marc Fritschy

Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Zurich, Winterthurerstrasse 190, CH - 8057 Zurich, Switzerland.

(tentative title) Molecular and cellular characterization of GABAergic and glycinergic neurons in the CNS


Yuchio Yanagawa

Department of Genetic and Behavioral Neuroscience, Gunma University Graduate School of Medicine, Maebashi 371-8511, Japan

(tentative title) Transgenic rodents for investigating GABAergic and glycinergic neurons


Chitoshi Takayama

Department of Molecular Anatomy, Graduate School of Medicine, University of the Ryukyus, 207 Uehara 207, Nishihara, Okinawa 9030215, Japan.

(tentative title) Development of GABAergic and glycinergic neurons


Volker Eulenburg

Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care, University of Leipzig, Liebigstrasse 20, 04103 Leipzig, Germany.

(tentative title) Glycine transporters (GLYT1 and GLYT2): From molecules to diseases


Swen Hülsmann

DFG Research Center for Nanoscale Microscopy and Molecular Physiology of the Brain (CNMPB), Göttingen, Germany

(tentative title) The role of inhibitory neurons in respiration using knockout mice or optogenetics


Akiko Arata

Department of Physiology, Hyogo College of Medicine, Japan

(tentative title) GABAergic/Glycinergic neuronal networks of motor control in the perinatal period.


Peter Noakes

Queensland Brain Institute, the University of Queensland, St Lucia, Brisbane, QLD, 4072, Australia.

(tentative title) The effect of GABAergic and glycinergic transmission on development of motor neurons


J Martin Wild

Department of Anatomy and Medical Imaging, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.

(Reference paper) Respiratory and telencephalic modulation of vocal motor neurons in the zebra finch.


Kendall F. Morris

Department of Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology, Morsani College of Medicine, University of South Florida , Tampa, Florida.

(Reference paper) Feed-forward and reciprocal inhibition for gain and phase timing control in a computational model of repetitive cough


Toshiharu Yasaka

Department of Health and Nutrition, Niigata University Health and Welfare, Japan

(Reference paper) Populations of inhibitory and excitatory interneurons in lamina II of the adult rat spinal dorsal horn revealed by a combined electrophysiological and anatomical approach

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