Molecular Aspects of Central Neurotransmitter Function

  • Rory Mitchell
Conference paper
Part of the Basic and Clinical Aspects of Neuroscience book series (BASIC, volume 2)


It is clear from the previous chapters that the list of substances that may be considered as possible neurotransmitters in the central nervous system is rapidly growing. In addition to the now ‘classical’ neurotransmitters such as acetylcholine, monoamines and amino acids (amongst which there are also new tentative candidates such as adrenaline and taurine), there are now scores of neuropeptide candidates. Few of these have been shown to fully satisfy the criteria for acceptance as neurotransmitters. Nevertheless, in many cases there is evidence fully consistent with, and suggestive of, a role in chemical neurotransmission. A general impression has developed that neural actions of peptides are inordinately slow in onset and offset and that they should therefore be regarded more as long-term neuromodulators than as true transmitters. This may relate in part to our limited ability to rapidly deliver adequate concentrations of peptides to the correct neuronal loci, due to factors such as poor ejection from micropipettes and the presence of powerful peptide-degrading enzymes in neuronal tissue [31].


Phorbol Ester Neurotransmitter Action GABAA Receptor Complex Slow Depolarisation Clonal Pituitary Cell 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rory Mitchell
    • 1
  1. 1.MRC Brain Metabolism Unit, Department of PharmacologyUniversity of EdinburghEdinburghUK

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