Amino acids appear in prebiotic period being one of the first organic molecules on Earth. For neurobiologists, it is of importance that AAs are not only representing building blocks of life, but are also the essential part of metabolism and cellular signaling. In the mammalian brain, the most common excitatory and inhibitory transmitters acting upon cellular plasmalemmal receptors are the amino acid glutamate and its derivative γ-aminobutyric acid, respectively. Other amino acids, i.e. aspartate, glycine, d-serine, and homocysteic acid, as well as the sulfonic acid taurine, are also active compounds involved in receptor-mediated brain signaling. Receptors for these amino acid-based transmitters are either ion channels, also referred to as ionotropic receptors, or metabotropic, i.e. seven transmembrane domain G-protein coupled receptors. In this mini-review, we focus our interest on amino acid-based transmitter receptors on neuroglia, astrocytes in particular. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Wien.