Neurotransmitter receptors are membrane proteins of excitable cells responsible for the transduction of chemical signals (e.g., neurotransmitters, neurohormones) into ion- and/or second messengers-mediated signaling cascades, namely ionotropic and metabotropic neurotransmitter receptors, respectively. Thus, while metabotropic receptors are coupled to G proteins (i.e. GPCRs, G protein-coupled receptors), ionotropic receptors are in fact ligand-gated ion channels. Concomitantly with their pivotal role in neuronal physiology, neuropathological conditions are often a result of either primary or secondary alterations of neurotransmitter receptor dysfunctions. Many neurodevelopmental, neuropsychiatric, and neurodegenerative disorders are strongly associated with neurotransmitter receptors activity disturbance. Accordingly, neurotransmitter receptor activity both in health and disease is a hot research topic in molecular, structural, and pharmacological neurology. In recent years, the study of neurotransmitter receptors has emerged, as a result of the integration of a growing number of structural data (crystal structures of neurotransmitter receptors), genetic data (de novo variants affecting neurotransmitter receptors), and molecular pharmacology. Overall, the mechanistic knowledge of neurotransmitter receptors is expanding, making it possible to define and evaluate precision therapeutic tools for clinical practice.
This Special Issue will provide the reader with a flavor of the investigations focused on neurotransmitter receptors, both from fundamental and clinical angles. Submission of original research manuscripts describing molecular, physiological, neuropathological, and pharmacological advances related to neurotransmitter receptors, are welcome. In addition, manuscripts describing new pharmacological tools/approaches for the study of neurotransmitter receptor function, perspectives on therapeutic approaches for neurotransmitter receptors, and reviews will be also taken into consideration. Finally, authors are encouraged to propose topics that will be evaluated accordingly. Overall, we hope that this issue summarizing the current knowledge of neurotransmitter receptors in health and disease will be of interest to a wide range of readers of the journal.
Dr. Xavier Altafaj
Prof. Dr. Francisco Ciruela