Inhibitory amino acids: GABA, glycine and taurine
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Certain amino acids found within the mammalian central nervous system (CNS) appear to fulfil many of the criteria used to define a neuro-transmitter (Chapter 1). Amino acids found in the peripheral nervous system do not conform to all the criteria, although it is possible that some serve a neurotransmitter role at autonomic ganglia. Amino acids within the brain and spinal cord have a major metabolic in addition to a neurotransmitter role. As well as being incorporated into proteins (with the exception of GABA), the amino acid neurotransmitters are closely linked to the metabolism of glucose, one of the major substrates for energy metabolism in the nervous system. Separation of metabolic and neurotransmitter function is often very difficult; indeed direct measurement of amino acid concentrations in brain regions can be a poor indicator of neurotransmitter function.
KeywordsGaba Receptor Glutamic Acid Decarboxylase Presynaptic Inhibition Pyridoxal Phosphate Succinic Semialdehyde
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