Inhibitory amino acids: GABA, glycine and taurine

  • Zygmunt L. Kruk
  • Christopher J. Pycock


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.


Gaba Receptor Glutamic Acid Decarboxylase Presynaptic Inhibition Pyridoxal Phosphate Succinic Semialdehyde 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Further Reading

  1. Bormann, J. (1988) Electrophysiology of GABAA and GABAB receptor subtypes, Trends Neurosci., 11, 111–112.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bowery, N. (1989) GABAB receptors and their significance in mammalian pharmacology. TIPS, 10, No. 10.Google Scholar
  3. Lader, M. (1987) Clinical pharmacology of benzodiazepines. Ann. Rev. Med. 38, 19–28.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Lal, H., Fielding, S., Malick, J., Robert, E., Shah, N. and Usdin, E. (eds) (1980) GABA Neurotransmission: Current Developments in Physiology and Neurochemistry. Ankho Int., New York.Google Scholar
  5. Meldrum, B. (1987) Classification of GABA and benzodiazepine receptors. J. Psychopharmacol., 1, 1–5.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Reynolds, E.H. (1990) Vigabatrin. Brit. Med. J., 300, 277–278.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Roberts, E., Chase, T.N. and Tower, D.B. (eds) (1976) GABA in Nervous System function. Raven Press, New York.Google Scholar
  8. Sieghart, W. (1989) Multiplicity of GABAA-benzodiazepine receptors. TIPS, 10, No. 10.Google Scholar
  9. Tallmann, J.F. and Gallager, D.W. (1985) The GABAergic system: a locus of benzodiazepine action. Ann. Rev. Neurosci., 8, 21–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Zygmunt L. Kruk and Christopher J. Pycock 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zygmunt L. Kruk
    • 1
  • Christopher J. Pycock
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Pharmacology Queen Mary and Westfield CollegeUniversity of LondonUK
  2. 2.Derriford HospitalPlymouthUK

Personalised recommendations