Washington, M. Todd Department of Biochemistry, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa.
Last reviewed:October 2018
Show previous versions
- Release from neurons
- Role in behavior
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
A catecholamine neurotransmitter (C8H11NO2) released by the brain that sends signals to other nerve cells. Dopamine (C8H11NO2; Fig. 1) is an important neurotransmitter that is synthesized by certain neurons (nerve cells) in the brain and that interacts with specific receptor sites on target neurons. It is an intermediate in the biological synthesis of two other significant neurotransmitters, epinephrine and norepinephrine, and is the decarboxylation product of l-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (l-DOPA). Dopamine plays a role in a number of neurobiological and behavioral functions (including motivation, memory, and movement regulation) and is active in the reward centers of the brain. Notably, patients with Parkinson's disease are afflicted by a deficiency in dopamine. Dopaminergic neurotransmission also has been implicated in mechanisms underlying schizophrenia, drug addiction, alcoholism, and pathological gambling. See also: Addiction and addictive disorders; Alcoholism; Brain; Epinephrine; Memory; Motivation; Neurobiology; Noradrenergic system; Pathological gambling
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Its dedicated editorial team is led by Sagan Award winner John Rennie. Contributors include more than 9000 highly qualified scientists and 42 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8500 articles and Research Reviews covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 17,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information