Biochemistry of Glycine, Taurine, Glutamate, and Aspartate

  • Graham A. R. Johnston
Part of the Handbook of Psychopharmacology book series (HBKPS, volume 4)


Until comparatively recently, the biochemistry of amino acids in the brain has been investigated largely from the standpoint of their general involvement in intermediary metabolism. During the last decade, it has become apparent that certain amino acids are in fact synaptic transmitters of major significance in the central nervous system (for review, see Curtis and Johnston, 1974) and increasing attention is being paid to the synaptic biochemistry of amino acids (Snyder et al., 1973). The amino acids currently being investigated as central synaptic transmitters include the synaptic inhibitors GABA, glycine, and taurine and the excitants glutamate and aspartate. The biochemistry of GABA is discussed in Chapter 1 of this volume. Other amino acids which may be involved in synaptic transmission in the CNS include α- and β-alanine, γ-aminobutyrylcholine, cystathionine, hypotaurine, imidazole-4-acetate, proline, and serine.


Free Amino Acid Brain Slice Amino Acid Transport Glutamate Uptake Amino Acid Uptake 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • Graham A. R. Johnston
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Pharmacology, John Curtin School of Medical ResearchAustralian National UniversityCanberraAustralia

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