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Glycine, GABA and Benzodiazepine Receptors

  • S. J. Enna
  • Jon F. DeFrance
Part of the Receptors and Recognition book series (RERE, volume 9)

Abstract

While a neurotransmitter function for amino acids in the mammalian central nervous system was suspected for a number of years, it was not until the late 1950s, with the development of intracellular recording techniques, that physiologists were able to demonstrate that these simple substances could directly alter the electrical potential of individual neurons. As a result of these studies, amino acid neurotransmitter candidates have been classified as either inhibitory or excitatory, depending upon the electrophysiological response to the agent (Curtis et al., 1959, 1960; Davidson, 1976; Enna, 1979a). To date, twelve amino acids have been tentatively identified as inhibitory neurotransmitters while four have properties characteristic of an excitatory transmitter agent (Curtis and Johnston, 1974a). Of the twelve potential inhibitory amino acids, two, γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and glycine, have been extensively studied because there are relatively specific pharmacological antagonists for these substances. Thus, the convulsant bicuculline is much more potent in inhibiting GABA than glycine responses, whereas the convulsant strychnine antagonizes the effects of glycine but is relatively ineffective on GABA (Phillis et al., 1968; Curtis and Tebecis, 1972). Accordingly inhibitory amino acids are often classified as glycine-like or GABA-like to indicate which convulsant is more potent in blocking the action of the agent.

Keywords

Spinal Cord Gaba Receptor Neurotransmitter Receptor Glycine Receptor Corpus Striatum 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Chapman and Hall 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. J. Enna
  • Jon F. DeFrance

There are no affiliations available

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