Abstract The physiological and pharmacological properties of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-induced responses were investigated in acutely isolated spiral ganglion cells (SGCs) of guinea pig by using either a nystatin-perforated patch recording configuration or a conventional whole-cell patch recording mode combined with rapid drug application. GABA and GABA A subtype receptor agonist, muscimol, induced inward currents in a concentration-dependent manner in 74% of all cells. The current-voltage relationship for the GABA response indicated the GABA-induced current in SGCs is carried by Cl −. Bicuculline (BIC), strychnine (STR), and picrotoxin (PTX) suppressed the GABA response in a concentration-dependent manner. BIC and STR, and PTX blocked the GABA response in a competitive manner and in a non-competitive manner, respectively. For inorganic antagonists, Cd 2+ and Ni 2+ also inhibited the GABA response. On the other hand, Zn 2+ failed to suppress the GABA response in SGCs. An antibiotic, benzylpenicillin, suppressed the GABA response. The GABA response was augmented by both a barbiturate derivative, pentobarbital (PB), and a benzodiazepine derivative, diazepam. The results suggest clearly that the physiological and pharmacological characteristics of GABA A receptor on acutely isolated guinea pig SGCs are quite similar to the common GABA A receptor found in other sensory ganglion cells.