The mysterious trace amines: Protean neuromodulators of synaptic transmission in mammalian brain

  title={The mysterious trace amines: Protean neuromodulators of synaptic transmission in mammalian brain},
  author={Scott A. Burchett and T. Philip Hicks},
  journal={Progress in Neurobiology},

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Electrophysiological Effects of Trace Amines on Mesencephalic Dopaminergic Neurons
Three important new aspects of TAs action have recently emerged: inhibition of firing due to increased release of dopamine; reduction of D2 and GABAB receptor-mediated inhibitory responses (excitatory effects due to disinhibition); and a direct activation of GIRK channels by TA1 receptors which produce cell membrane hyperpolarization.
Trace Amines and the Trace Amine-Associated Receptor 1: Pharmacology, Neurochemistry, and Clinical Implications
TAAR1 is uniquely positioned to exert direct control over DA and 5-HT neuronal firing and release, which has profound implications for understanding the pathophysiology of, and therefore designing more efficacious therapeutic interventions for, a range of neuropsychiatric disorders that involve aminergic dysregulation.
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Trace Amines and Their Relevance to Psychiatry and Neurology: A Brief Overview
There has been a resurgence of interest in these amines in the past decade with the discovery and cloning of a unique family of G-protein-coupled receptors, some of which are selectively activated by trace amines; these receptors have been termed trace amine, associated receptors (TAARs).
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The molecular biological confirmation of the presence of TAAR1 and the pharmacological findings regarding the effects of TAs in rat aortic rings might explain their hypertensive effects and their role in coronary heart disease and migraine headache.
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  • K. Broadley
  • Biology, Chemistry
    Pharmacology & therapeutics
  • 2010


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Previous studies showing responses to physiologically relevant concentrations of trace amines are reviewed, along with those showing a reciprocal relationship between trace amine levels and fluctuations in basal monoaminergic tone, and it is hypothesized that the traceAmines function as endogenous neuromodulators of classical monoamine neurotransmitters.
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Using a degenerate PCR approach, 15 G protein-coupled receptors (GPCR) from human and rodent tissues are identified and it is demonstrated that two of these receptors bind and/or are activated by trace amines.
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Amphetamine, 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, lysergic acid diethylamide, and metabolites of the catecholamine neurotransmitters are agonists of a rat trace amine receptor.
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