Neurotransmission, or synaptic transmission, involves the passage of signals by electrical or chemical means from one neuron to another. It allows communication between nerve cells for the propagation of electrical impulses to and from the central nervous system leading to the co-ordination of secretion, muscle contraction and organ function.

Research Areas
Literature (11)

Neurotransmission usually requires the release of endogenous chemicals, 'neurotransmitters', at synapses between neighbouring neurons. Neurotransmitters are synthesized and stored in the axons of neurons and release upon an increase of intracellular Ca2+, caused by an action potential. This releases neurotransmitters into the synapse where they can exert effects at postsynaptic neurons. They do this by binding to receptors (usually ligand-gated ion channels or GPCRs) and exerting an effect by causing ion influxes which depolarize the post-synaptic membrane, or by initiating a complex signaling cascade. Both these effects initiate an action potential at the postsynaptic neuron, propagating waves of energy downstream. Synaptic signals and action potentials are integral for all the information processing capabilities of the brain.

Neurotransmission and the strength of a connection between neurons can depend on a variety of factors. This includes; the number of synaptic contacts between 2 neurons, the size of post-synaptic depolarization elicited by neurotransmitters and the probability of neurotransmitter release. Many neurological diseases can occur due to defective flow of neurotransmitters at neuronal synapses. This may result in no impulse reaching the post-synaptic neuron and therefore no responses are exerted by the neurotransmitter downstream. Some examples of diseases with altered neurotransmission include; schizophrenia, depression, ADHD, anxiety disorder and Alzheimer's. Changes in neurotransmission have also been related to drug addiction.

Literature for Neurotransmission

Tocris offers the following scientific literature for Neurotransmission to showcase our products. We invite you to request* or download your copy today!

*Please note that Tocris will only send literature to established scientific business / institute addresses.


GPCR Product Listing

A collection of over 450 products for G protein-coupled receptors, the listing includes research tools for the study of:

  • Rhodopsin-like Receptors
  • Glutamate Receptors
  • Frizzled Receptors
  • GPCR Signaling

Neurotransmission Product Guide

A collection of over 250 products for neurotransmission research, the guide includes research tools for the study of:

  • Dopaminergic Transmission
  • Glutamatergic Transmission
  • Opioid Peptide Transmission
  • Serotonergic Transmission
  • Chemogenetics
5-HT Receptors

5-HT Receptors Scientific Review

Written by Nicholas M. Barnes and John F. Neumaier, this review summarizes the various serotonin receptor subtypes and their importance in mediating the role of serotonin in numerous physiological and pharmacological processes. Compounds available from Tocris are listed.

Cannabinoid Receptor Ligands

Cannabinoid Receptor Ligands Scientific Review

Written by Roger Pertwee, this review discusses compounds which affect the activity of the endocannabinoid system, focusing particularly on ligands that are most widely used as experimental tools and denotes compounds available from Tocris.

Dopamine Receptors

Dopamine Receptors Scientific Review

Written by Phillip Strange and revised by Kim Neve in 2013, this review summarizes the history of the dopamine receptors and provides an overview of individual receptor subtype properties, their distribution and identifies ligands which act at each receptor subtype. Compounds available from Tocris are listed.

Metabotropic Glutamate Receptors

Metabotropic Glutamate Receptors Scientific Review

Written by Francine Acher, this review discusses the pharmacology and therapeutic potential of mGlu receptors, and the compounds acting upon them; compounds available from Tocris are listed.

Nicotinic ACh Receptors

Nicotinic ACh Receptors Scientific Review

Updated in 2014, this review by Sue Wonnacott summarizes the diverse structure and function of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and gives an in-depth review of the ligands available for nAChR research. Compounds available from Tocris are listed.

P2X and P2Y Receptors

P2X and P2Y Receptors Scientific Review

Written by Kenneth Jacobson, this review provides an overview of the different subtypes and structures of the P2 receptor families, as well as the pharmacological probes used to study them; compounds available from Tocris are listed.


Depression Poster

Major depressive disorder is characterized by depressed mood and a loss of interest and/or pleasure. Updated in 2015 this poster highlights presynaptic and postsynaptic targets for the potential treatment of major depressive disorder, as well as outlining the pharmacology of currently approved antidepressant drugs.


Parkinson's Poster

Parkinson's disease (PD) causes chronic disability and is the second most common neurodegenerative condition. This poster outlines the neurobiology of the disease, as well as highlighting current therapeutic treatments for symptomatic PD, and emerging therapeutic strategies to delay PD onset and progression.


Schizophrenia Poster

Schizophrenia is a debilitating psychiatric disorder that affects 1% of the worldwide population. This poster describes the neurobiology of Schizophrenia, as well as highlighting the genetic and environmental factors that play a fundamental role in the etiology of the disease. The current and emerging drug targets are also discussed.