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Amino Acid Neurotransmitters 

Amino Acid Neurotransmitters
Chapter:
Amino Acid Neurotransmitters
Author(s):

Leslie L. Iversen

, Susan D. Iversen

, Floyd E. Bloom

, and Robert H. Roth

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780195380538.003.0111
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date: 27 May 2020

On the basis of their functional actions, amino acid transmitters have been divided into two general categories: excitatory amino acid transmitters (glutamate [Glu], aspartate [Asp], cysteate, and homocysteate), which depolarize neurons in the mammalian central nervous system (CNS), and inhibitory amino acid transmitters (γ‎-aminobutyric acid [GABA], glycine [Gly], taurine, and β‎-alanine), which hyperpolarize mammalian neurons. A few amino acids have been demonstrated to fulfill most of the criteria for neurotransmitter candidates in the mammalian CNS. Among them are GABA, the major inhibitory transmitter in the brain; Glu, the major excitatory transmitter in the brain; and Gly, another important inhibitory transmitter in the brain stem, spinal cord, and hippocampus.

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