Saturday, May 9, 2009

Glutamate is a salt of glutamic acid, which functions as an excitatory neurotransmitter. It is the most common excitatory neurotransmitter in the Central Nervous System. Glutamate is stored in vesicles for chemical synapses. Nerve signals activate the release of glutamate from the pre-synaptic cell. In the opposing post-synaptic cell, glutamate receptors bind glutamate. Because of its synaptic plasticity, scientists believe that glutamic acid is involved in cognitive functions like learning and memory in the brain.

Glutamate increases the flow of positive ions by opening ion-channels. Glutamate stimulation is terminated by a membrane transport system that is only used for re-absorbing glutamate & aspartate across the pre-synaptic membrane.