REVIEW An indole alkaloid antipsychotic and antihypertensive drug that has been used for the control of high blood pressure and for the relief of psychotic symptoms. Reserpine irreversibly blocks the vesicular monoamine transporter (VMAT). This normally transports free norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine from the cytoplasm of the presynaptic nerve terminal into storage vesicles for subsequent release into the synaptic cleft (exocytosis). Unprotected neurotransmitters are metabolized by MAO (as well as by COMT) in the cytoplasm and consequently never reach the synapse.
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Ashe KM, Chiu WL, Khalifa AM, Nicolas AN, Brown BL, De Martino RR, Alexander CP, Waggener CT, Fischer-Stenger K, Stewart JK (2011). Vesicular monoamine transporter-1 (VMAT-1) mRNA and immunoreactive proteins in mouse brain. Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 32(3):253-8. PMID 21712771.