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Acetylcholine - synthesized from Choline, Lecithin, and panthothenic acid (B5), or Diethylaminoethanol (DMAE)

- Arousal and orgasm

- voluntary muscular control and proper tone

- enhance energy and stamina

- memory

- long-term planning

- mental focus

Dopamine - synthesized from amino acid Levodopa

- Alertness

- Motivation

- motor control

- immune function

- Ego hardening, confidence, optimism

- Sexual Desire

- Fat gain and loss

- lean muscle gain

- Bone density

- ability to sleep soundly

- Inhibits prolactin

- thinking, planning, and problem solving

- Aggression

- Increase psychic and creative ability

- Reduction of compulsivety

- Salience and paranoia

- Processing of pain

- Increase sociability

Serotonin (5-HT) - Synthesized from amino acid L-tryptophan with co-factor Niacin (B3), through the intermediate 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP)

- Decrease thought

- Anaesthesize emotions

- Decrease Agression and anger

- Decrease Anxiety

- Promote satiety and decrease appetite

- Elevates Pain threshold

- Reduces compulsivety/impulsivety

- Decrease Sexual Desire

- Orgasm

- Thermoregulation (5-HT1A)

- Stimulate Emesis (5-HT3)

- Cerebrospinal fluid secretion (5-HT2C)

- Platelate aggregation (5-HT2A)

- Smooth muscle contraction, vasoconstriction, and vasodilation (5-HT2A)

- Release oxytocin (5-HT1A)

- Learning (5-HT2A & 5-HT4)

- Memory (5-HT4)

- Neuronal excitation (5-HT2A, 5-HT3, & 5-HT4)

- GI motility (5-HT4)

- Neuronal inhibition (5-HT1A)

- Cerebral vasoconstriction (5-HT1D)

- Pulmonary vasoconstriction (5-HT1B)

- Presynaptic inhbition (5-HT1B)

Norepinephrine - Synthesized from Dopamine with co-factor of vitamin C through the intermediate DOPAC.

- Increase physical energy

- Reduce compulsivety

- Increase heart rate

- Increase BP

- Aggression

- Alertness

- Wakefulness/sleep cycle

- Memory and learning

- Orgasm

- Decrease blood flow to extremities

- Increase heart rate

- Maintenance of attention

- Orgasm

- Cerebral plasticity

Epinephrine - Synthesized from Norepinephrine. Also know as adrenaline, acts as both neurotransmitter and hormone. Oxidizes into Adrenochrome.

- increases supply of oxygen and glucose to brain and muscles

- Surpresses digestion

- Increase heart rate and stroke volume

- Pupil dilation

- constricts arterioles in skin and GI tract

- Dilates arterioles in skeletal muscles

- Elevates blood sugar levels

GABA - synthesized from glutamate

- Reduce physical tension

- Reduce Anxiety

- Reduce Insomnia

- Elevates pain threshold

- Reduces blood pressure

- Decrease heart rate

- Reduce compulsivety


- Inhibition of Dopamine

- Decreases sex hormones - estrogen in women, testosterone in men

- Stimulates proliferation of oligodendrocyte precursor cells.

These cells differentiate into oligodendrocytes, the cells

responsible for the formation of myelin coatings on axons in the central nervous system.

Nitric oxide

- vasodilation, thins blood

- reduces platelate stickiness, blood coagulation, wound healing

- vasopressin release

- stimulation of guanyl cyclase > GTP > cGMP. GMP lays a role in the relaxation of smooth muscle (including penis to facilitate erection), the inhibition of platelet aggregation and participates in signal transduction within the nervous system. Moreover, cGMP is involved in the regulation of the water and electrolyte balance as well as in the metabolism of the bone. cGMP is also involved

in retinal phototransduction--that is the conversion of a light signal received by a nerve receptor, to an electrical signal transmitted to the brain. This might help explain transcendental vision, that is the radical increase in visual acuity and sensory perception in general.

- involved in apoptosis, and DNA breakage and mutation

- enables macrophages to kill tumor cells and bacteria

Histamine - synthesized from L-histidine with co-factors folic acid, niacin, and copper.


- Vasodilation

- Bronchoconstriction

- Smooth muscle activation

- separation of endothelial cells (responsible for hives)

- Pain and itching due to insect stings

- Allergic rhinitis

- Motion sickness


- stimulates gastric acid secretion

- Potent stimulant of cAMP production

- increases the intracellular Ca2+ concentrations and release Ca2+ from intracellular stores.


- presynaptically inhibits the release of a number of other neurotransmitters including, but probably not

limited to dopamine, histamine, GABA, acetylcholine, noradrenaline, and 5-HT. It leads to inhibition of the formation of cAMP


- H4 Receptors mediate Chemotaxis and Calcium Mobilization of Mast Cells


- Water retention

- raises blood pressure by inducing moderate vasoconstriction (AVPR1A)

- Platellate aggregation (AVPR1A)

- involved in aggression, blood pressure regulation and temperature regulation.

- It has been implicated in memory formation, including delayed reflexes, image, short- and long-term memory (controversial)

- increases peripheral vascular resistance and thus increases arterial blood pressure

- adrenocorticotropic hormone secretion in response to stress (AVPR1B)

- social interpretation of olfactory cues (AVPR1B)

- Gluconeogenesis (AVPR1A)

- Social Recognition (AVPR1A)

- Increases mental clarity and memory when used as nootropic


- spontaneous erections and orgasm

- water retention (slight)

- inhibition of adrenocorticotropic hormone, cortisol, and vasopressin

- bonding

- decreased repetitive behaviors and improved interpretation of emotions

- Maternal behaviour

- increased trust and reduced fear

- Affecting generosity by increasing empathy during perspective taking.

- inhibition of development of tolerance to various drugs (opiates, cocaine, alcohol), and reduced withdrawals.

- impair learning and memory retrieval in certain aversive memory tasks

Endocannabinoids - synthesized from an essential fatty acid. Endogenous cannabinoids include anandamine, 2-AG, Noladin Ether, NADA, and OAD

- reduce GABA release in interneurons of the basolateral amygdala, thereby helping to extinguish the fear-conditioned response.

- Memory

- Development of opiate tolerance

- control of appetite and food intake

- long term potentiation

Endogenous opioids - Include Enkephalin, Beta-endorphin, Dynorphin, Endomorphin, Nociceptin, opiorphin, and morphine. Enkephalin is the ligand for delta receptors and also has a high affinity for Mu-opioid receptors. Dynorphin is the ligand for kappa receptors. Beta-endorphin has an affinity for mostly Mu, but also delta and kappa. Endomorphin is the ligand for Mu. Nociceptin for ORL receptors. Opiorphin is found in saliva and inhibits the enzyme that breaks down Enkephalin and B-Endorphin called Enkephalinase. Little is know about the role of Morphine in the body, but speculating from the effects of exogenous morphine, it would bind to Mu-receptors.


- Supraspinal Analgesia

- Physical dependence


- Respiratory depression

- Miosis

- Euphoria

- Reduced GI motility

- Physical dependence


- Spinal Analgesia

- Sedation

- Inhibition of vasopressin release

- Miosis


- Anti-depressant effects

- Analgesia

- Physical dependence


- Depression

- Appetite

- Anxiety

- Development of tolerance to mu-agonists

Sigma Receptors - Little is know about these enigmatic receptors, but possible ligands include DHEA (sigma 1), and endogenous N, N-DMT with slight affinity for both sigma receptors. Effects of sigma receptor stimulation include:

- hypertonia (increased muscle tension)

- tachycardia

- tachypnea (increased breathing rate)

- mydriasis (pupil dilation)

- Euphoria or dysphoria

- anti-depressant effects

Other neurotransmitters include


Glutamate and Aspartate - excitatory neurotransmitters that bind to the NMDA receptor. Can be synthesized from L-glutamine, glucose, or lipids. A metabolite of tryptophan in the absence of Niacin may produce kyunerinic acid, is also an NMDA excitatory neurotransmitter.

Melatonin - Synthesized from the methylation of serotonin. Regulates circadian rhythms and has powerful anti-oxidant effects.

Trace Amines - Include tryptamine, Phenylethylamine, tyramine, octopamine, 3-iodothyronamine, and others. Bind to the TAAR receptors.

GHB - bind to GHB receptor(s), and GABAb subunit receptor.

Niacin - Also know as vitamin B3, also acts as a neurotransmitter

Orexin - Also know as hypocretin. Plays a role in wakefullness and appetite.

- Yan Niemczycki

Note: There are four criteria by which neurotransmitters are defined.

1. It must be synthesized in the presynaptic cell.

2. It must be released by the presynaptic terminal in sufficient quantities to produce a measurable effect on the postsynaptic cell.

3. When administered artificially, it mimics natural release.

4. A specific, known mechanism exists for it to be removed from the synaptic cleft.

Of all the neurochemicals listed here, the following ten actually fit this definition. The remainder are all neuromodulators.

1. Glutamate


3. Glycine

4. Epinephrine (adrenaline)

5. Norepinephrine (noradrenaline)

6. Dopamine

7. Serotonin

8. Acetylcholine

9. Histamine

10. ATP/adenosine

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13y ago
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11y ago

There are four classes of neurotransmitter. The first contains the very common and well known transmitter, acetylcholine. The nerve cells that produce acetylcholine are described as cholinergic. The second group consists of amino acids. The main ones in this group are gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), glycine and glutamate. The third group, the monoamines contains the well known transmitters noradrenaline, dopamine and serotonin. Nerve cells that produce monoamine transmitters are referred to as adrenergic. The final class is the neuropeptides, which include the endorphins.

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13y ago

The major excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain is glutamate, and the major inhibitory one is GABA (gamma amino butyric acid). Other important ones are dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine, histamine, and many, many more.

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14y ago

Norepinephrine, Dopamine and Seratonin.

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Q: List all the essential neurotransmitters
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