Neurotransmitters, Receptors, Signal Transduction, and Second Messengers
in Psychiatric Disorders: Introduction | What Are Neurotransmitters? | Receptors | Neurotransmitter and Neuropeptide Systems | Purinergic Neurotransmission: Focus on Adenosine | Peptidergic Neurotransmission | Neurotrophins | Cytokines and JAK/STAT–Coupled Receptors | Nuclear Hormones: Focus on Steroids | Unconventional Transmitters: Focus on Gases | Signal Transduction Pathways | Conclusion | References
This chapter serves as a primer on the recent
advances in our understanding of neural function both in health
and in disease. It is beyond the scope of this chapter to cover these
important areas in extensive detail, and readers are referred to
outstanding textbooks that are entirely devoted to the topic (Cooper et al. 2001; Kandel et al. 2000; Nestler et al. 2001; Squire et al. 2003). Here, we focus
on the principles of neurotransmission and second-messenger generation
that we believe are critical for an understanding of the biological
bases of major psychiatric disorders, as well as the mechanisms
by which effective treatments may exert their beneficial effects.
In particular, it is our goal to lay the groundwork for the subsequent
chapters, which focus on individual disorders and their treatments.