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Neurotransmitters and Their Receptors 

Neurotransmitters and Their Receptors
Chapter:
Neurotransmitters and Their Receptors
Author(s):

Per Brodal

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190228958.003.0005
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date: 03 March 2021

Chapter 5 describes neurotransmitters and their receptors. Classical neurotransmitters are small molecules, such as amino acids and amines. Another important group of signal substances released at synapses are neuropeptides. Many transmitter receptors are found extrasynaptically and are responsible for volume transmission. Autoreceptors are located presynaptically on nerve terminals. Synthesis of a transmitter usually depends on the activity of a key enzyme. Transmitter receptors far outnumber the transmitters. The most important amino acid transmitters are glutamate and g-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Glutamate is the dominant excitatory transmitter, whereas GABA is inhibitory. Glutamate and GABA bind to both ionotropic and metabotropic receptors. Acetylcholine and the biogenic amines (dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin) act in most parts of the brain and have modulatory actions that serve to regulate the excitability of neurons.

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