What are metabotropic receptors?
This is one class of neurotransmitter receptors, which are G-protein coupled receptors, with a seven-transmembrane domain.
What is a membrane-delimited pathway of ligand-receptor interactions? What is the alternative?
This is a type of metabotropic receptor mechanism. The signalling is entirely limited to the membrane, i.e. a very small area. For example, a ligand binds to a G-protein-linked receptor, which directly opens an ion channel, all within the plane of the cell membrane. This is as opposed to signalling pathways that make use of diffusible second messengers, such as when adenylyl cyclase generates cAMP which acts as a second messenger over considerable distances, to modulate an ion channel elsewhere.
Apart from metabotropic receptors, what is the other class of neurotransmitter receptors?
Ionotropic receptors (also called ligand-gated ion channels)
With regard to the resting membrane potential of the post-synaptic membrane, what is the effect of an excitatory signal? What is the effect of an inhibitory signal?
An excitatory signal will slightly depolarize the membrane, bringing the membrane potential closer to the threshold potential. An inhibitory signal will slightly hyperpolarize the membrane, making the membrane potential more negative, and less likely to have an action potential.
GABA is sometimes referred to as an amino acid. What are the other two amino acids that act as neurotransmitters in the CNS?
Glycine and Glutamate.
Why is GABA sometimes referred to as an amino acid? What is the basic chemical structure of GABA?
Gamma-aminobutyric acid is basically an amino acid without an R-group. It is a small hydrocarbon chain (only 4 carbon atoms) with an amine group at one end (NH2) and a carboxyl group at the other end (COOH).
Is glutamate excitatory or inhibitory?
Does glutamate act on ionotropic or metabotropic receptors?
Give a basic explanation of what happens to glutamate after it has exerted its effect on the post-synaptic membrane.
It is taken up into nearby glial cells and converted to glutamine by Glutamine synthetase. This glutamine can then go back into the pre-synaptic terminal to be converted back to glutamate (by Glutaminase).
GABA and glycine: Are they inhibitory or excitatory neurotransmitters?
GABAA receptors are different from GABAB receptors - which ones are ionotropic and which ones are metabotropic?
GABAA are ionotropic. GABAB are metabotropic.
What are the two basic classes of receptors that Acetylcholine acts on?
Muscarinic and Nicotinic.
Name the three monoamines in the CNS.
Dopamine, Noradrenaline, Serotonin (5-Hydroxytryptamine)
Apart from one (very sparsely-distributed) serotonin receptor subtype, all monoamine receptors are: Metabotropic or Ionotropic?