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Papers of the Week

Papers: 25 Feb 2023 - 3 Mar 2023





Front Immunol



Understanding the function of the GABAergic system and its potential role in rheumatoid arthritis.


Shan Y, Zhao J, Zheng Y, Guo S, Schrodi SJ, He D


Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a highly disabling chronic autoimmune disease. Multiple factors contribute to the complex pathological process of RA, in which an abnormal autoimmune response, high survival of inflammatory cells, and excessive release of inflammatory factors lead to a severe chronic inflammatory response. Clinical management of RA remains limited; therefore, exploring and discovering new mechanisms of action could enhance clinical benefits for patients with RA. Important bidirectional communication occurs between the brain and immune system in inflammatory diseases such as RA, and circulating immune complexes can cause neuroinflammatory responses in the brain. The gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic system is a part of the nervous system that primarily comprises GABA, GABA-related receptors, and GABA transporter (GAT) systems. GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that binds to GABA receptors in the presence of GATs to exert a variety of pathophysiological regulatory effects, with its predominant role being neural signaling. Nonetheless, the GABAergic system may also have immunomodulatory effects. GABA/GABA-A receptors may inhibit the progression of inflammation in RA and GATs may promote inflammation. GABA-B receptors may also act as susceptibility genes for RA, regulating the inflammatory response of RA immune cells. Furthermore, the GABAergic system may modulate the abnormal pain response in RA patients. We also summarized the latest clinical applications of the GABAergic system and provided an outlook on its clinical application in RA. However, direct studies on the GABAergic system and RA are still lacking; therefore, we hope to provide potential therapeutic options and a theoretical basis for RA treatment by summarizing any potential associations.