Describe Catecholaminergic Neurons

Describe Catecholaminergic Neurons

The human brain comprises several functions that are supposed to aid in normalizing the system to handle various activities. However, there are specific tasks that can only be achieved by some parts. The catecholaminergic neurons help in controlling movement, attention, mood, and visceral functions. The aforementioned responsibilities are supposed to ensure that the body does not fall short achieving its maximum objectives. The Central Nervous System is the hub of the body. Hence, anything disrupts normalcy would inhibit most of the areas that have been mentioned above. For example, an individual can be faced with irregular mood shifts if a specific catecholaminergic has an issue.

Explain the role of tyrosine

Tyrosine is the precursor for all the three amine neurotransmitters. It would be impossible to achieve some level of fitness or health if this specific element is absent in the CNS. When stress strikes and the neurotransmitter stores are depleted, tyrosine steps up and aids in their replenishment. Therefore, an individual gets the chance to be sharper for extended periods because of its intervention. Such situations tend to arise when a person is under intense pressure.

Explain the structure of 3 catecholamine neurotransmitters

  1. Dopamine

Dopamine is a derivative of Tyrosine. Further, it is the precursor for both Norepinephrine and Epinephrine. Additionally, it is considered as a crucial transmitter in the brain’s extrapyramidal system that regulates movement. Its chemical formula gives a clue as to why it is a critical component in the neurons (C8H11NO2). It is a monoamine compound that has a positive inotropic activity.


  1. Norepinephrine

Norepinephrine follows Dopamine. Therefore, it is the holding element that is further broken down into Epinephrine in the final stages. It differs from Epinephrine because the latter has a methyl group that is attached to its Nitrogen. As a Catecholamine, it has a crucial role in the CNS. The extra OH factor that it harbors further differentiates it from Dopamine. Its molecular formula is C8H11NO2.

  1. Epinephrine

It is also known as adrenaline. Epinephrine causes gastrointestinal relaxation, systemic vasoconstriction, and aids in the dilation of the heart. C9H13NO3 is its molecular formula. Hence, there is a clear difference that can be deduced when compared to both Dopamine and Norepinephrine.

Describe serotonergic neurons

Serotonergic neurons are responsible for the synthesis of serotonin (5-HT) that exists in the gastrointestinal tract. It also exists in the CNS and blood platelets. However, in the CNS, the neurons are found in a region called Raphe Nuclei. The medulla, midbrain, and pons are the places that harbor them.

Describe the 2 steps needed for serotonin synthesis

Serotonin synthesis tends to be a complicated procedure. First, 5-HTP is derived from Tryphontan after action by Tryptophan hydroxylase. The second step that yields serotonin happens when the 5-HTP is broken down by –HTP decarboxylase (Huether et al., 1999). The phases that have been mentioned ascertain that the resultant product performs its tasks without any internal hindrances. The existence of the two hormones that are involved in the process ought to be guaranteed for everything to happen without any noticeable difficulties.

Explain the mechanism of action of selective serotonin inhibitors (SSRIs)

SSRIs aid in the reduction of depression by channelling extra serotonin to the brain. This task is achieved once the reuptake of serotonin has been blocked. Therefore, they can be used as antidepressants in situations where some shifts in moods have been noticed by the system. There are also chemical supplements that can be provided to trigger a similar reaction.




Huether, G.,  Huether, G.,  Kochen, W.,  Simat, T. J., & In Steinhart, H. (1999). Tryptophan,        Serotonin, and Melatonin: Basic Aspects and Applications.

Do you need high quality Custom Essay Writing Services?

Custom Essay writing Service