Amine Neurotransmitters

Abstract

Biogenic amines can serve as neurotransmitters, released from one nerve to act on another. Amine neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine and epinephrine are important in many physiological functions including sleep, arousal, reinforcement and regulation of heart rate and blood pressure.

Keywords: catecholamine; dopamine; noradrenaline; amino acid hydroxylase; serotonin

Figure 1.

Biosynthetic pathway for the catecholamines, dopamine, noradrenaline and adrenaline. From Seigel GJ, Agaranoff BW, Alberts RW, Fisher SK and Uhler MD(eds) (1998) Basic Neurochemistry: Molecular, Cellular and Medical Aspects, 6th edn. Philadelphia: Lippincott‐Raven.

Figure 2.

Biosynthetic pathway for serotonin. From Seigel GJ, Agaranoff BW, Alberts RW, Fisher SK and Uhler MD(eds) (1998) Basic Neurochemistry: Molecular, Cellular and Medical Aspects, 6th edn. Philadelphia: Lippincott‐Raven.

Figure 3.

(a) Noradrenergic pathways in the rat brain. (b) Dopaminergic neuronal pathways. AC, nucleus accumbens; A10, ventral tegmental area; ACC, anterior cingulate cortex; CC, corpus callosum; FC, frontal cortex; HC, hippocampus; HY, hypothalamus; LC, locus ceruleus; ME, median eminence; MFB, median forebrain bundle; OT, olfactory tubercle; SM, stria medullaris; SN, substantia nigra; ST, striatum. From Seigel GJ, Agaranoff BW, Alberts RW, Fisher SK and Uhler MD(eds) (1998) Basic Neurochemistry: Molecular, Cellular and Medical Aspects, 6th edn. Philadelphia: Lippincott‐Raven.

Figure 4.

Major serotonergic pathways in the rat brain. C. Put, nucleus caudate‐putamen; G. Pal, globus pallidus; H, habenula; OT, olfactory tuberculum; T, thalamus. From Seigel GJ, Agaranoff BW, Alberts RW, Fisher SK and Uhler MD(eds) (1998) Basic Neurochemistry: Molecular, Cellular and Medical Aspects, 6th edn. Philadelphia: Lippincott‐Raven.

Figure 5.

Regulatory pathways influencing amine release. Some of the feedback loops that act to keep the output of a neuron relatively constant are shown. These may include: (1) terminal autoreceptor regulation; (2a + 2b) terminal–terminal heteroreceptor regulation; (3a + 3b) multisynaptic feedback loops; (4) axon collaterals; (5 + 3b) dendritic–terminal heteroreceptor regulation; and (6) dendritic autoreceptor regulation. Not shown are even longer feedback systems that may involve physiological or regulatory pathways for amine synthesis or the sensitivity of target cells to the transmitter. From Bloom FE and Kupfer DJ (eds) (1995) Psychopharmacology: The Fourth Generation of Progress.

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Further Reading

Cooper JR, Bloom FE and Roth RH (1996) The Biochemical Basis of Neuropharmacology, 7th edn. New York: Oxford University Press.

Deutch AY and Roth RH (1999) Neurotransmitters. In: Zigmond MJ, Bloom FE, Landis SC, Roberts JL and Squire LR (eds) Fundamental Neuroscience, pp. 193–234. San Diego: Academic Press.

Frazer A and Hensler JG (1998) Serotonin. In: Seigel GJ, Agranoff BW, Albers RW, Fisher SK and Uhler MD (eds) Basic Neurochemistry, 6th edn, pp. 263–292. Philadelphia: Lippincott‐Raven.

Kuhar MJ, Couceyro PR and Lambert PD (1998) Catecholamines. In: Seigel GJ, Agranoff BW, Albers RW, Fisher SK and Uhler MD (eds) Basic Neurochemistry, 6th ed. pp. 243–261. Philadelphia: Lippincott‐Raven.

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How to Cite close
Pearl, Sandra M, and Zigmond, Michael J(Jun 2001) Amine Neurotransmitters. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. http://www.els.net [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0000008]