Agonist means "contestant". It refers to a substance or structure that is regarding to a specific action the causative agent, for instance a muscle that mediates a specific movement.
The opposite of an agonist is an antagonist.
see also: superagonist
A substance that mimics the action of a neurotransmitter by binding to its specific receptor and thereby causes equivalent effects. The principle of agonism is used in drugs that are used as substitutes when there is shortage in a body’s own transmitter (e.g. L-DOPA in dopamine deficiency).
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