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Lec 6 - Neurotransmitter Systems

Lec 6 - Neurotransmitter Systems - Neurotransmitter Systems...

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1 Neurotransmitter Systems Acetylcholine was the first neurotransmitter substance to be identified (by Otto Loewi in the 1920s) Now, we know of many more substances that are used as neurotransmitters in the brain. We will now consider the chemistry behind a number of these neurotransmitter systems. What things go into making up a neurotransmitter “system?” Both presynaptic and postsynaptic considerations need to be taken into account. The presynaptic components determine what neurotransmitter will be released at a particular synapse, and the postsynaptic components determine what the neurotransmitter does when it is released.
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2 Consider ACh, for example Synthesized in the motor neuron terminal by the enzyme choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) Degraded after release by extracellular enzyme, acetylcholinesterase (AChE; target of some types of nerve gas) The cycle of ACh at the synapse
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3 Another neurotransmitter class: catecholamines Catecholamines are synthesized from the amino acid tyrosine, and they derive their name from the catechol chemical structure they all share. The three catecholamine neurotransmitter substances are dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine . Catecholamine transmitters are not inactivated by degradation, like ACh. Instead, their action is terminated by reuptake into the synaptic terminal (via specific transporter molecules) catechol group Synthesis of catecholamine neurotransmitters All catecholaminergic neurons contain the enzyme tyrosine hydroxlase (TH), which carries
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