Striatal dopamine (DA) release is critical for motivated actions and reinforcement learning, and is locally influenced at the level of DA axons by other striatal neurotransmitters. Here, we review a wealth of historical and more recently refined evidence indicating that DA output is inhibited by striatal γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) acting via GABAA and GABAB receptors. We review evidence supporting the localisation of GABAA and GABAB receptors to DA axons, as well as the identity of the striatal sources of GABA that likely contribute to GABAergic modulation of DA release. We discuss emerging data outlining the mechanisms through which GABAA and GABAB receptors inhibit the amplitude as well as modulate the short-term plasticity of DA release. Furthermore, we highlight recent data showing that DA release is governed by plasma membrane GABA uptake transporters on striatal astrocytes, which determine ambient striatal GABA tone and, by extension, the tonic inhibition of DA release. Finally, we discuss how the regulation of striatal GABA-DA interactions represents an axis for dysfunction in psychomotor disorders associated with dysregulated DA signalling, including Parkinson's disease, and could be a novel therapeutic target for drugs to modify striatal DA output.
GABA, GABA transporters, GABAA receptors, GABAB receptors, Parkinson’s disease, dopamine, striatum, tonic inhibition