Imperial College London

Prof. William Wisden F. Med. Sci.

Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Life Sciences

Chair in Molecular Neuroscience



+44 (0)20 7594 9744w.wisden Website CV




401BSir Ernst Chain BuildingSouth Kensington Campus






BibTex format

author = {Wisden, W and Yu, X and Franks, NP},
doi = {10.1007/164_2017_56},
journal = {Handb Exp Pharmacol},
pages = {279--304},
title = {GABA Receptors and the Pharmacology of Sleep},
url = {},
volume = {253},
year = {2017}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - Current GABAergic sleep-promoting medications were developed pragmatically, without making use of the immense diversity of GABAA receptors. Pharmacogenetic experiments are leading to an understanding of the circuit mechanisms in the hypothalamus by which zolpidem and similar compounds induce sleep at α2βγ2-type GABAA receptors. Drugs acting at more selective receptor types, for example, at receptors containing the α2 and/or α3 subunits expressed in hypothalamic and brain stem areas, could in principle be useful as hypnotics/anxiolytics. A highly promising sleep-promoting drug, gaboxadol, which activates αβδ-type receptors failed in clinical trials. Thus, for the time being, drugs such as zolpidem, which work as positive allosteric modulators at GABAA receptors, continue to be some of the most effective compounds to treat primary insomnia.
AU - Wisden,W
AU - Yu,X
AU - Franks,NP
DO - 10.1007/164_2017_56
EP - 304
PY - 2017///
SN - 0171-2004
SP - 279
TI - GABA Receptors and the Pharmacology of Sleep
T2 - Handb Exp Pharmacol
UR -
UR -
UR -
VL - 253
ER -