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Neurotransmission at a synapse
neurotransmitters can be broadly split into two groups – the‘classical’, small molecule neurotransmitters and the relatively larger neuropeptide neurotransmitters. Within the category of small molecule neurotransmitters, the biogenic amines (dopamine, noradrenaline,serotonin and histamine) are often referred to as a discrete group because of their similarity in terms of their chemical properties.
Small molecule neurotransmitters
Gamma aminobutyric acidGABA
Click on the links in the table above to read more about some of the importantneurotransmitters. Neuropeptide neurotransmitters
Corticotropin releasing hormone
Although the CNS contains less than 2% of the total serotonin in the body, serotonin plays a very important role in a range of brain functions. It issynthesised from the amino acid tryptophan.
Within the brain, serotonin is localised mainly in nerve pathways emerging from the raphe nuclei, a group of nuclei at the centre of the reticular formation inthe
Midbrain , pons and medulla. These serotonergic pathways spread extensively throughout the brainstem , the cerebral cortex and the spinal cord . In addition to mood control, serotonin has beenlinked with a wide variety of functions, including the regulation of sleep, pain perception, body temperature, blood pressure and hormonal activity.
Outside the brain, serotonin exerts a number...