What is neurotransmitter


English: neurotransmitter

1 definition

Neurotransmitters are biochemical substances that transmit, amplify or modulate stimuli from one nerve cell to another nerve cell or cell.

2 physiology

Electrical impulses (action potentials) entering the synapse cause the chemical messenger substances to be released from their storage locations, the vesicles, into the synaptic gap, from which they diffuse to the receptors of the downstream neuron. The action potentials are thus converted into chemical information and at the same time amplified. The neurotransmitters are quickly enzymatically inactivated and broken down after they are released.

3 classification

Neurotransmitters can be classified according to many different aspects. Overall, it is a chemically very heterogeneous group. A common division is the classification according to their chemical characteristics into monoamines, peptides and amino acids. The neurotransmitters can also be easily divided into small-molecule substances and neuroactive peptides.

3.1 monoamines

The monoamines or biogenic amines include:

3.2 neuropeptides

Another class of neurotransmitters are neuroactive peptides, which in turn can be divided into different subclasses.

3.2.1 Opioids

3.2.2 Neurokinins (Tachykinins)

3.2.3 Other neuropeptides

3.3 amino acids

3.4 Others

see also: NMDA receptor

4 Pharmacology of the transmitter systems

5 web links