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Neurotransmitter

1. Neurotransmitter Synthesis and Storage: – Neurotransmitters are synthesized from precursor molecules found in neurons. – Classes of neurotransmitters include amino acids, monoamines, peptides, and […]

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1. Neurotransmitter Synthesis and Storage:
– Neurotransmitters are synthesized from precursor molecules found in neurons.
– Classes of neurotransmitters include amino acids, monoamines, peptides, and purines like ATP.
– Serotonin is derived from tryptophan.
– Some neurotransmitters like ATP are derived from nucleic acids.
– Neurotransmitters are stored in synaptic vesicles close to the axon terminal.
– Carbon monoxide and nitric oxide can act as neurotransmitters and may be synthesized and released immediately.
– Peptide transmitters are protein transmitters that modulate effects.

2. Neurotransmitter Release and Receptor Interaction:
– Neurotransmitters are released in response to an electrical signal.
– Low-level baseline release can occur without electrical stimulation.
– Released neurotransmitters bind to receptors on the postsynaptic neuron.
– Neurotransmitters diffuse across the synapse to interact with receptors on the target cell.
– The effect of a neurotransmitter depends on the receptors present on the target cell.
– Binding of neurotransmitters can cause excitation, inhibition, or modulation of the postsynaptic neuron.

3. Neurotransmitter Actions and Modulation:
– Neurons communicate through synapses, which are specialized contact points.
– Action potential triggers neurotransmitter release.
– Excitatory influences lead to action potential generation, while inhibitory influences can prevent it.
– Neurotransmitters can be excitatory, inhibitory, or modulatory.
– Effects depend on receptors at the postsynaptic membrane.
– Excitatory neurotransmitters increase ion flow, while inhibitory neurotransmitters decrease it.

4. Neurotransmitter Transmission and Integration:
– Action potentials transmit signals, facilitated by neurotransmitters.
– Information flows through neural networks.
– Receptors on the postsynaptic membrane determine effects.
– Excitatory influences can trigger action potentials, while inhibitory influences can prevent them.
– Modulatory effects can alter neural activity.
– The balance of excitatory and inhibitory influences is crucial.

5. Neural Network Formation and Plasticity:
– Neural networks form through information transmission and synaptic connections.
– Connections strengthen with repeated transmission, enabling complex networks for higher brain functions.
– Neural plasticity allows for network adaptation.
– Networks underlie cognitive processes.

Neurotransmitter (Wikipedia)

A neurotransmitter is a signaling molecule secreted by a neuron to affect another cell across a synapse. The cell receiving the signal, or target cell, may be another neuron, but could also be a gland or muscle cell.

Neurotransmitters are released from synaptic vesicles into the synaptic cleft where they are able to interact with neurotransmitter receptors on the target cell. The neurotransmitter's effect on the target cell is determined by the receptor it binds to. Many neurotransmitters are synthesized from simple and plentiful precursors such as amino acids, which are readily available and often require a small number of biosynthetic steps for conversion.

Neurotransmitters are essential to the function of complex neural systems. The exact number of unique neurotransmitters in humans is unknown, but more than 100 have been identified. Common neurotransmitters include glutamate, GABA, acetylcholine, glycine and norepinephrine.

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