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cAMP is cyclic adenosine 3',5'-monophosphate; a prototypical second messenger involved in intracellular communication



Cyclic AMP is synthesized by adenylyl cyclase under the control of many GPCRs; stimulation is mediated by Gs; inhibition, by Gi.


Cyclic AMP is metabolized by a phosphodiesterase. This phosphodiesterase is inhibited by methylxanthines such as caffeine and theophylline; consequently, these compounds augment hormonal and transmitter effects mediated via cAMP.

Mechanism of Action

In most cases, cyclic AMP functions by activating the isoforms of cyclic AMP–dependent protein kinase (PKA).


  1. Goodman LS, Gilman A, Brunton LL, Lazo JS, Parker KL. Goodman & Gilman's the pharmacological basis of therapeutics. 11th / ed. New York: McGraw-Hill; 2006.
  2. Katzung BG. Basic & clinical pharmacology. 10th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Medical; 2007.
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