GABA is one of the main neurotransmitters in the mature mammalian central nervous system, having mainly inhibitory action in adult vertrebrates and acting in both autocrine and paracrine ways. However, the insulin-producing β-cells also produce relatively high levels of GABA, together with insulin. Under normal glucose conditions GABA stimulates β-cells to produce more insulin in an autocrine way, while at the same time inhibiting the neighbouring α-cells from producing glucagon in a paracrine way. When glucose levels are very high, GABA actually inhibits insulin secretion, likely to prevent ‘overshooting’ of insulin. Furthermore, GABA has beneficial effects on β-cells’ replication and survival, and can stimulate α-cells to convert to β-cells.
In the ReGenerate-1 study, a GABA formulation (Remygen®) will be administered, with or without with the receptor-modulating agent Alprazolam, to 36 patient aged 18-15 with type 1 diabetes >5 years.
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