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Monoamines

 

Explanations > Brains > Monoamines

Catecholamines | Indolamines | See also

 

Monoamines are a class of common and influential neurotransmitters. They have a similar structure and hence are largely influenced by the same types of drugs.

They are largely produced in the brain stem where neurons have axons with many terminal buttons that reach deep into the brain. They modulate many functions, increasing or decreasing them as designed.

Catecholamines

The catecholamines are a group of neurotransmitters including:

Biosynthesis

The catecholamines are created in sequence from tyrosine, with each of the lower forms bring transformed into the next molecule:

Deconstruction of the higher forms can results in them breaking down into lower forms by monoamine oxidase (MAO). MAO is found in the outer membranes of mitochondria.

Serotonin, norepinephrine, and epinephrine are broken down mostly by MAO-A. Phenethylamine is broken down by MAO-B. Both MAO forms break down dopamine.

Drugs

The antagonist alpha-methyl-p-tyrosine (AMPT) deactivates tyrosine hydroxylase and hence prevents creation of all the higher catecholamine forms.

The antagonist reserpine inhibits filling of vesicules. It comes from a plant root and has been used as a calming agent and in treatment of snakebite for thousands of years.

And

The adjective for catecholamines is catecholaminergic. Catecholaminergic neurons can have 'lumps' along their axonal branches, called axonal varicosities which they can use to connect to other neurons all along their length. As some of these neurons reach a long way through the brain, this allows them to stimulate other neurons all along the way.

Indolamines

Indolaminergic neurons are based on the indolamine molecular structure. Important indolamines include:

See also

 

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