Neurotransmitters

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Neurotransmitters are chemical substances produced by the cell body of the neurons. Then they are transported to the terminal ends of the neuron, axon teledendria buttons where they are stored. Neurotransmitters allow the movement of information from one neuron to the next, across the synaptic gaps between axons and dendrite. This phisiological phenomenom is called synapse. The neurotransmitters diffuse across the gap to bind with receptors on the postsynaptic cell membrane and cause electrical changes in that neuron.

The most important neurotransmitters are: acetylcholine, dopamine, serotonin, noradrenaline, endorphin, glutamate, and gamma aminobutyric acid. Neurotransmitter are broken down once it reaches the post-synaptic cell to avoid further excitatory or inhibitory signal transduction. Acetylcholine, which is an excitatory neurotransmitter, is broken down by acetylcholinesterase. Choline is taken up and recycled by the pre-synaptic neuron to synthesize more acetylcholine. Other neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, diffuse away from their targeted synaptic junctions and are eliminated from the body via the kidneys, or destroyed in the liver.