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In pharmacology, synaptic pharmacology is the study of drugs that act on the synapses. It deals with the composition, uses, and effects of drugs that may enhance (receptor) or diminish (blocker) activity at the synapse, which is the junction across which a nerve impulse passes from an axon terminal to a neuron, muscle cell, or gland cell.

A partial list of pharmacological agents that act at synapses follows.

Synaptic pharmacology
Channel, Receptor, or Phenomenon Antagonist or Blocker
adenosine DCPGX, ZM241385, anoxinine
AMPA-R desensitization cyclothiazide (CTZ)
cannabinoid AM-251
GABAA bicuculline[1], gabazine[1]
glycine strychnine
kainate R ..
metabotropic GluR, broad MCPG[2], pertussis toxin, NEM
muscarinic AChR atropine, Scopolamine
nicotinic AChR bungarotoxin, curare, DhBe

See alsoEdit


  1. 1.0 1.1 Ueno S, Bracamontes J, Zorumski C, Weiss DS, Steinbach JH (15 January 1997). Bicuculline and gabazine are allosteric inhibitors of channel opening of the GABAA receptor. J. Neurosci. 17 (2): 625–34.
  2. Frenguelli BG, Potier B, Slater NT, Alford S, Collingridge GL (November 1993). Metabotropic glutamate receptors and calcium signalling in dendrites of hippocampal CA1 neurones. Neuropharmacology 32 (11): 1229–37.
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