A neurotransmitter is a chemical substance produced in the body. It is responsible for a process called synaptic transmission or neurotransmission. In this article, we will discuss the mechanism of neurotransmission, the classification of neurotransmitters and several clinical remarks on disorders related to the excessive and lack of some neurotransmitters function.



The neurotransmitters function

Excitatory neurotransmitters, these types of neurotransmitters have a stimulating effect on the neuron, which means that they increase the probability that the neuron will trigger a potential action. Some of the major excitatory neurotransmitters include adrenaline and norepinephrine.


Inhibitory Neutralizers, these types of neurotransmitters have an inhibitory effect on the neuron; they reduce the likelihood that the neuron will activate the action potential. Some of the major inhibitory neurotransmitters include serotonin and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA).


Some neurotransmitters, such as acetylcholine and dopamine, can produce both stimulatory and inhibitory effects depending on the type of receptors present.


Neurotransmitter Modulators, these neurotransmitters, often referred to as neuromodulators, are able to affect a larger number of neurons at the same time. These neuromodulators also affect the operation of other chemical transmitters. When synaptic neurotransmitters release from the axon, it rapidly interacts with other receptor neurons, neuromodulators diffuse over a larger area and operate more slowly.


neurotransmitters function
neurotransmitters function



Types of neurotransmitters

There are many different ways to classify and categorize neurotransmitters. In some cases, they simply divide into monoamines, amino acids, and peptides.

Neurotransmitters can also  divide into one of six types:
Amino acids

Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) acts as the main, inhibitory chemical relay of the body. GABA contributes to the vision, motor control and plays a role in the regulation of anxiety. Benzodiazepines, which help to cure anxiety, work by increasing the efficiency of GABA neurotransmitters, which can increase the feeling of relaxation and peace.


Glutamate is the most abundant neurotransmitter in the nervous system in which it plays a role in cognitive functions such as memory and learning. Excessive amounts of glutamate can cause excitotoxicity resulting in cell death. This excitotoxicity causes the accumulation of glutamate connects with some diseases and brain damage, including Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, and seizures.



Oxytocin is both a hormone and a neurotransmitter. It produces from the hypothalamus and plays a role in social recognition, binding, and sexual reproduction. Synthetic oxytocin, such as Pitocin, usually use as an aid in delivery. Both oxytocin and Pitocin cause uterine contraction during delivery.


Endorphins are neurotransmitters that inhibit the transmission of pain signals and promote a sense of euphoria. These chemical transmitters produce naturally with the body in response to pain, but can also trigger with other activities such as aerobic exercise.




Epinephrine is considered to be both a hormone and a neurotransmitter. In general, adrenaline (adrenaline) is a stress hormone released by the adrenal system.

Norepinephrine is a neurotransmitter that plays an important role in vigilance and it involves in the reaction of the body or flight. Its role is to mobilize the body and brain to act in times of danger or stress. The levels of this neurotransmitter are usually the lowest during sleep and the highest during stress.


Histamine proceeds as a neurotransmitter in the brain and spinal cord. It plays a role in allergic reactions and it produces as part of the immune response to pathogens.


Dopamine plays an important role in coordinating body movements. Dopamine also participates in rewards, motivations, and supplements. Several types of addictive drugs increase the level of dopamine in the brain. Parkinson’s disease, which is a degenerative disease that causes tremors and movement anxiety disorders, is caused by the loss of neurons that generate dopamine in the brain.


Serotonin plays a necassary character in regulating and modulating mood, sleep, anxiety, sexuality, and appetite. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors usually referred to as SSRIs. The type of antidepressant usually prescribed for the treatment of depression, anxiety, panic disorder, and panic attacks. SSRIs work to balance serotonin levels by blocking serotonin reuptake in the brain, which can help improve mood and reduce feelings of anxiety.



Adenosine acts as a neuromodulator in the brain and it involves suppressing arousal and improving sleep.

Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) acts as a neurotransmitter in the central and peripheral nervous system. It plays a role in autonomic control, sensory transduction and communication with glial cells. Research suggests that it may also affect some neurological problems, including pain, injury and neurodegenerative disorders.



Nitric oxide plays a role in relieving smooth muscle, relaxing it to allow blood vessels to expand and to increase blood flow in certain areas of the body.

Carbon monoxide usually knows as colorless, odorless gas that can have toxic and potentially lethal effects when people exposed to high levels of the substance. However, it is also produced naturally by the body. It acts as a neurotransmitter that helps to modulate the body’s inflammatory response.



Acetylcholine is the only neurotransmitter in its class. Both in the central and peripheral nervous system, the main neurotransmitter connects with motor neurons.



How neurotransmitters function work

For neurons to be able to send messages throughout the body, they must be able to communicate with each other to transmit signals. However, neurons do not simply connect to each other.


At the end of each neuron has a small gap, which is the synapse, and to be able to communicate with the next cell, the signal must be able to cross this small space. This happens in a process called neurotransmission.



In most cases, the function of the neurotransmitter is released from the so-called axon end after reaching the action potential, in a place where neurons can transmit signals to each other. When the electrical signal reaches the end of the neuron, it releases the release of small bags called vesicles that contain neurotransmitters.


These bags pour their contents into the synapse, where the neurotransmitters then move through the aperture towards the neighboring cells. These cells contain receptors in which neurotransmitters can bind and cause changes in cells.


After release, the neurotransmitters function cuts through the synaptic cleft and joins the receptor site on another neuron, either by stimulating or inhibiting the receiving neuron depending on what the neurotransmitter is.


The neurotransmitters function act like a key, and the receptor site acts as a lock. To open specific locks, you need the correct key. If the neurotransmitter is skillful to work on the receptor site, it triggers changes in the receiving cell.


Sometimes neurotransmitters function can bind to receptors and cause the electrical signal to pass down the cell (stimulation). In other cases, the neurotransmitter can actually block the signal from continuing.


What happens to the neurotransmitter after work?

As soon as the neurotransmitter achieves its intended effect, its activity can be stopped by various mechanisms. It can be degraded or deactivated by enzymes may drift away from the receptor. It can be taken back through the axon of the neuron, which released it in a process known as reuptake.


Neurotransmitters play an important role in everyday life and functioning. Researchers do not yet know exactly how many neurotransmitters function exist, but over 100 chemical relays have been identified.