Chemical messenger molecules released by neurons into the synaptic cleft.
Neurotransmitter molecules may be small molecules such as glutamate, γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), acetylcholine, dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine), and glycine. These are referred to as classic neurotransmitters. A neuron generally releases only one type of small classic neurotransmitter.
Neurotransmitters may also be peptide molecules, such as substance P, opioids, and somatostatin. These are referred to as neuropeptides.
Gas molecules, such as nitric oxide (NO), may also act as neurotransmitters.
Posted: Thursday, January 2, 2014 Last updated: Thursday, January 2, 2014