Types of Neurotransmitters by 1L72T6


									           Types of Neurotransmitters

Learning Objectives:

By the end of this lecture, the students should know:
     The different types of Neurotransmitters in CNS.
     Classification of Neurotransmitters
     Mechanism of action of various types of Neurotransmitters
     The neurotransmitter receptors

Neurotransmitters are the
chemicals responsible for signal transmission
between the individual neurons

• Most neurons make two or more
neurotransmitters, which are released
at different stimulation frequencies

• 50 or more neurotransmitters
 have been identified
• Classified by chemical structure
 and by function
Criteria to Classify a Biochemical Substance as

     Substance must be present in the pre-synaptic nerve terminal
      and packaged into synaptic vesicles
     The substance must be released from the nerve terminal upon
      arrival of action potential or depolarization of presynaptic
     Specific receptors must be present on the post synaptic
      membrane for the substance

Life Cycle of a Neurotransmitter

1) Synthesis of the transmitter

2) Packaging and storage in
Synaptic vesicles

3) If necessary, transport from
the site of synthesis to the site
of release from the nerve terminal

4) Release in response to an
action potential

5) Binding to postsynaptic
receptor proteins

6) Termination of action by diffusion,
destruction, or reuptake into cells.
Chemical Classification of Neurotransmitters:
1. Acetylcholine
2. Biogenic Amines
     Catecholamines: Dopamine, norepinephrine (NE), and
    Indolamines
    Serotonin and histamine (5-Hydroxytryptamine or 5-HT)
3. Amino Acids
     GABA—Gamma ()-aminobutyric acid
     Glycine
     Aspartate
     Glutamate
4. Neuropeptides
     Substance P
     Endorphins and Enkephalins
     Somatostatin, gastrin, cholecystokinin, oxytocin, vasopressin,
      Leutinizing hormone releasing hormone (LHRH)
5. Purines
     Adenosine
     ATP
6. Gases and Lipids
    Nitric Oxide (NO)
    Carbonmonooxide (CO)
    Cannabinoids

Functional Classification of Neurotransmitters:
1. Excitatory Neurotransmitter
2. Inhibitory Neurotransmitter
Acetylcholine (Ach)

• Acetylcholine (Ach) was the first neurotransmitter to be
It is the most abundant neurotransmitter in the brain
• Released at neuromuscular junctions and some ANS neurons
• Synthesized by enzyme choline acetyltransferase
• Degraded by the enzyme acetylcholinesterase (AChE)

• Catecholamines-Dopamine, norepinephrine (NE), and epinephrine
are synthesized from Tyrosine
• Is involved in reward-pleasure and learning
• Dopamine is the principle neurotransmitter involved in Addiction

• Broadly distributed in the brain, derived from Tryptophan
involved in sleep, dreaming, hunger and arousal
• Play roles in emotional behaviors and the biological clock
Depletion of serotonin in brain leads to depression
• GABA—Gamma ()-aminobutyric acid is the
major inhibitory neurotransmitter in CNS
• synthesized from decarboxylation of
involved in regulating anxiety
may be related to eating or sleep disorders

Endorphins, Enkephalins and Substance P
• Substance P is the mediator of pain signals
• Endorphins and Enkephalins act as natural opiates; reduce pain
• They also depress physical functions
like breathing and may produce physical

Purines such as ATP
• Purines such as ATP:
• Act in both the CNS and PNS
• Produce fast or slow responses
• Induce Ca2+ influx in astrocytes
• Provoke pain sensation

Nitric oxide (NO)
• Nitric oxide (NO)
• Synthesized on demand
• Activates the intracellular receptor
guanylyl cyclase to cyclic GMP
• Involved in learning and memory

• Endocannabinoids
• Lipid soluble; synthesized on demand from membrane lipids
• Bind with G protein–coupled receptors in the brain
• Involved in learning and memory
Functional Classification of Neurotransmitters
• Neurotransmitter effects may be excitatory (depolarizing) and/or
inhibitory (hyperpolarizing)
• Determined by the receptor type of the postsynaptic neuron
• GABA and glycine are usually inhibitory
• Glutamate is usually excitatory
• Acetylcholine-Excitatory at neuromuscular junctions in skeletal

Neurotransmitter Actions
• Direct action
• Neurotransmitter binds to channel-linked receptor and opens ion
• Promotes rapid responses
• Examples: ACh and amino acids

• Indirect action
• Neurotransmitter binds to a G protein-linked receptor and acts
through an intracellular second messenger
• Promotes long-lasting effects
• Examples: biogenic amines, neuropeptides, and dissolved gases

Neurotransmitter Receptors
• Types
1. Channel-linked receptors
2. G protein-linked receptors
Channel-Linked (Ionotropic) Receptors
• Ligand-gated ion channels
• Action is immediate and brief
• Excitatory receptors are channels for small cations
• Na+ influx contributes most to depolarization
• Inhibitory receptors allow Cl– influx or K+ efflux that causes

G Protein-Linked (Metabotropic) Receptors
• Transmembrane protein complexes
• Responses are indirect, slow, complex, and often prolonged
and widespread
• Examples: muscarinic ACh receptors and those that bind
biogenic amines and neuropeptides

G Protein-Linked Receptors: Mechanism
• Neurotransmitter binds to G protein–linked receptor
• G protein is activated
• Activated G protein controls production of second messengers,
e.g., cyclic AMP, cyclic GMP, diacylglycerol or Ca2+
Second messengers:
• Open or close ion channels
• Activate kinase enzymes
• Phosphorylate channel proteins
• Activate genes and induce protein synthesis

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