Excitatory amino acids: L-glutamic acid and L-aspartic acid

  • Zygmunt L. Kruk
  • Christopher J. Pycock


There have recently been major research advances to support the neurotransmitter roles for both L-glutamic acid and L-aspartic acid within the mammalian nervous system. Prior to this development it has long been known that glutamic acid has excitatory electrophysiological actions on central neurones, and its neurotransmitter status in the invertebrate nervous system remains unchallenged. Recent studies have convincingly demonstrated selective actions for these compounds on mammalian cells and this has led to the classification of excitatory amino acid receptor sub-types. The possible functional roles of these receptor sub-groups remain to be fully elucidated, but initial observations have suggested novel associations and potentially close involvement with the aetiology of a number of neurodegenerative disorders.


NMDA Receptor Excitatory Amino Acid Kainate Receptor Excitatory Amino Acid Receptor Oxaloacetic Acid 
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Further Reading

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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

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