Pharmacology of the Cerebellum

Ito discovered that all Purkinje cells are inhibitory and use the inhibitory amino acid gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) as their neurotransmitter. Granule cells are excitatory and use the excitatory amino acid glutamate as their neurotransmitter. The inhibitory interneurons (stellate, basket, and Golgi cells) use the inhibitory amino acid GaBa as their neurotransmitter. The efferent fibers from the cerebellar nuclei are generally thought to be excitatory, and glutamate is a likely candidate. The neurotransmitter of the excitatory mossy and climbing fibers are thought to include the excitatory amino acids glutamate and aspartate. Monoaminergic fibers originate in different afferent systems and are distributed equally throughout the cerebellum. The origin of most noradrenergic fibers lies within the locus coeruleus, of serotoninergic afferents within many dorsal raphe nuclei, and of histaminergic fibers within the hypothalamus. The cerebellum has a low content of identified neuropeptides (for example calcitonin gene-related peptide and corticotropin-releasing factor), which are of unknown functional importance. y

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