Background: Currently, treatment of stress-related gastrointestinal disorders, such as inflammatory
bowel disease (IBD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), is mainly symptomatic since there is no drug on the
market that solves effectively diverse disease symptoms and comorbid states. Recently GABA receptors have
been identified within gastrointestinal system and it has been recognized that among various GABAergic drugs
some of them influence gastrointestinal stress-related diseases. Among them benzodiazepines have been investigated
due to their diverse effects: neuroimmunomodulatory, relief of visceral pain and anxiolytic action.
Conclusion: The present review brings findings on the expression of GABA receptors in the gastrointestinal tract
and the role of GABA within it. We also present knowledge on the role of neurotransmitter GABA and various
GABAergic ligands on diverse physiologic gastrointestinal functions with special emphasize to stress-related
disorders. The rationale for therapeutic use and further identification of a potential GABAergic treatment of
stress-related disorders has been critically discussed.