AMPA (2-amino-3-(3-hydroxy-5-methyl-isoxazol-4-yl)propanoic acid) is a compound that is a specific agonist for the AMPA receptor, where it mimics the effects of the neurotransmitter glutamate.

There are two types of Ionotropic glutamate receptors that are ligand gated ion channels whose agonists include AMPA, kainic acid and N-methyl--aspartic acid (NMDA). In the synapse, these two classes of receptors serve very different purposes. AMPA can be used experimentally to distinguish the activity of one receptor from the other in order to understand their differing functions. AMPA generates fast excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSP). AMPA activates AMPA receptors that are non-selective cationic channels allowing the passage of Na+ and K+ and therefore have an equilibrium potential near 0 mV.