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NMDA,Af-methyl-D-aspartate;AMPA, a-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-isoxazole-4-proprionic acid;1S,3R-ACPD, L-amino-cyclopentane-1S,3R-dicarboxylic acid; IP3, inosine triphosphate

NMDA,Af-methyl-D-aspartate;AMPA, a-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-isoxazole-4-proprionic acid;1S,3R-ACPD, L-amino-cyclopentane-1S,3R-dicarboxylic acid; IP3, inosine triphosphate been around for many years and were named according to their known effects when they were discovered. Examples are gastrin and cholecystokinin (CCK), compounds that were historically known as gut hormones. It is important, therefore, to realize that the names of the neuroactive peptides may bear no resemblance to their function in the brain. Many of the neuroactive peptides exist as families of chemically related compounds or occur within larger precursor molecules (or propeptides). However, several forms may be "active," and several slightly different structures may confer subtle changes in selectivity. Many neuroactive peptides appear to coexist and be released along with one or more of the "traditional" neurotransmitters, such as ACh, dop-amine, or serotonin.

More than two dozen peptides are being studied as probable central neurotransmitters, and likely many more compounds remain to be discovered. Therefore, this chapter makes no attempt to cover them all. A few of the most important peptide transmitters are discussed briefly, with still others listed in Table 24.2. For additional information, see the supplemental reading list at the end of this chapter.

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