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Small molecules involved in the propagation of a nerve signal across the synapses.

Classes of neurotransmitters include:

  1. Amino acid and derivatives: Glutamate, Glycine, GABA, Epinephrine, Dopamine, Serotonin, etc.
  2. Acetylcholine
  3. Opioids: Endorphin, Enkephalin
  4. Peptides: Neuropeptide-Y, Oxytocin, Vasopressin, etc.
  5. Cannabinoid: Anandamide
  6. Gaseous: Nitric Oxide

Neurotransmitters are not repressive or activating per-se as their effects on the postsynaptic cell are due to different receptors.

Neurotransmitter receptors are of two types:

  • Ionotropic: Ligand-gated ion channels that open up or close upon binding to neurotransmitter.
  • Metabotropic: Receptors that transduce the signal through secondary messengers upon neurotransmitter binding