Interneuronal Communication II: Neurotransmitter Receptors and Second Messenger Systems

  • Oswald Steward


Neurotransmitters are not inherently excitatory or inhibitory; in fact, certain neurotransmitters are excitatory in some situations and inhibitory in others. The action of a neurotransmitter depends upon its postsynaptic receptor and the intracellular processes that are influenced by the receptor. As noted in Chapter 3, it is useful to distinguish between two general classes of receptors: those linked to or part of ion channels (ionophore-linked) and those coupled to second messenger-generating systems (second messenger-linked). These will be considered separately.


NMDA Receptor Excitatory Amino Acid Glycine Receptor Phosphatidyl Inositol Perforant Path 
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Supplemental Reading


  1. McGeer PL, Eecles JC, McGeer EG (1987) Molecular Neurobiology of the Mammalian Brain. New York, Plenum PressGoogle Scholar

Ionophore-Linked Receptors

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Second Messenger Cascades

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Second Messengers and Functional Modifications

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Long-term Potentiation

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Cellular Mechanisms of Receptor Synthesis and Turnover

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Oswald Steward
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of NeuroscienceUniversity of Virginia, School of MedicineCharlottesvilleUSA

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