What are some neurotransmitters like serotonin

Neurotransmitters are heterogeneous biochemical substances that pass information from one nerve cell to another via the contact point of the nerve cells, the synapse. Electrical impulses (action potentials) entering the synapse cause the chemical messenger substances to be released from their storage locations, the synaptic vesicles. This happens through an exocytotic mechanism. As a result of the fusion of the vesicle membrane with the membrane of the presynaptic nerve endings, the transmitter molecules reach the synaptic gap, through which they diffuse to the receptors of the post-synaptic neuron connected downstream. After their release, the neurotransmitters are deactivated and / or broken down in various ways.

The most important excitatory transmitter in the central nervous system (CNS) is glutamate. The most important inhibitory transmitters in the CNS are gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and glycine. Other known transmitters are noradrenaline or acetylcholine, dopamine, serotonin.

The effect of the neurotransmitters is often modulated by other substances, one speaks of so-called neuromodulators.

The doctrine that messenger substances are only released at the synapses is questioned in a "Nature Neuroscience" article. An experiment on rats by the Bonn neuroscientists Dirk Dietrich, Maria Kukley and Estibaliz Capetillo-Zarate suggests that the messenger substances could be released over the entire length of the nerve cell extensions.


The neurotransmitters can be divided into different types according to substance classes. The most important neurotransmitters are:

Biogenic amines


amino acids

Soluble gases

See also

Category: Neurotransmitters