Common Neurotransmitters

Dopamine
Norepinephrine & Epi
Endorphins
Serotonin
Oxytocin
Acetylcholine

Catecholamines are epinephrine (adrenaline), norepinephrine (noradrenaline), and dopamine.

END: Epi, NE, DA

GOES GA: GABA, Oxytocin, Endorphins, Serotonin; Glycine, Acetylcholine.

Neurotransmitters, Functions, and Related Diseases

Neurotransmitter Function Diseases Related to these NT
Acetylcholine (ACh) Involved in Thought, Learning, and Memory. Alzheimer’s disease’ muscle movement in the PNS;
Myasthenia Gravis
Dopamine (DA)
(The Pleasure NT)
Involved in reward circuits.
Feelings of pleasure, and also addiction, movement, and motivation. People repeat behaviors that lead to dopamine release.
Parkinson’s disease; Schizophrenia
Norepinephrine (NE) Arousal Depression
Serotonin Depression; Aggression; Schizophrenia
Glutamate (Glu) Learning; Major excitatory NT in the brain
GABA Anxiety disorders; Epilepsy; Major inhibitory NT in the brain
Endogenous Opioids
(Endorphins, Enkephalins)
Pain; Analgesia; Reward

NT = Neurotransmitter.

Benzodiazepines bind to benzodiazepine receptors; enhances GABA effects.
Alcohol’s effects of ethanol in the CNS are mediated through GABA receptors.
Sedative-hypnotics (Zolpidem, Eszopiclone, Zaleplon) all interact with GABA-Benzodiazepine receptor complexes.

Drugs, Mechanism of Action, and Use

Drug Mechanism of Action Use Agonist / Antagonist
L-dopa Increases synthesis of DA Parkinson’s disease Agonist for DA
Mixed amphetamine salts (Adderall) Increase release of DA, NE ADHD Agonist for DA, NE
Ritalin (methylphenidate) Blocks removal of DA, NE and lesser (5HT) from synapse ADHD Agonist for DA, NE mostly
Donepezil (Aricept) Blocks removal of ACh from synapse Alzheimer’s disease Agonist for ACh
SSRI’s eg. Fluoxetine Blocks removal of 5HT from synapse Depression, OCD  Agonist 5HT
SNRIs e.g. duloxetine and venlafaxine Block the reuptake of both serotonin and NE. Depression, neuropathic pain.
NDRIs e.g. Bupropion Block reuptake of NE and DA from synapse Tobacco cessation; Depression
 Quetiapine (Seroquel) Blocks DA and 5HT receptors  Schizophrenia, Bipolar disorder  Antagonist for DA, 5HT
 Naltrexone Blocks opioid post-synaptic receptors Alcoholism, opioid addiction  Antagonist for opioids

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)
Norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake inhibitors (NDRIs)

Neurotransmitters

Neurotransmitter Receptors That Are Ligand-Gated Ion Channels

Functional Type Ligand* Ion Channel
Excitatory Receptors
Acetylcholine (nicotinic receptor) Na+/K+
Glutamate (NMDA class receptors) Na+/K+ and Ca2+
Glutamate (non-NMDA class receptors) Na+/K+
Serotonin (5HT3 class receptors) Na+/K+
Inhibitory Receptors
γ-Aminobutyric acid, GABA (A-class receptors) Cl
Glycine Cl

Some Neurotransmitter and Neuropeptide Receptors That Are Coupled to G Proteins

G-Protein Coupled Receptors.

CLASSIC NEUROTRANSMITTERS
Acetylcholine* (muscarinic receptors)
GABA* (B-class receptors)
Adenosine
ATP
Dopamine
Epinephrine, norepinephrine
GABA* (B-class receptors)
Glutamate*
Histamine
Serotonin* (5HT1, 5HT2, 5HT4 receptors)

NEUROPEPTIDES
Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH)
Bradykinin
Cholecystokinin (CCK)
Endothelin
Gastrin
Luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH)
Opioids (e.g., β-endorphin)
Oxytocin
Tachykinins (e.g., substance P)
Thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH)
Vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP)
Vasopressin

 

Reference
Lodish H, Berk A, Zipursky SL, et al. Molecular Cell Biology. 4th edition. New York: W. H. Freeman; 2000. Section 21.4, Neurotransmitters, Synapses, and Impulse Transmission. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK21521/

https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/educational-resources/brain-basics/brain-basics.shtml

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