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Lecture 3

Lecture 3 - Neurochemistry

Course Code
Franca Placenza

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Neurotransmitter-receptor interactions
1.Receptor act as >> lock
2.Neurotransmitter >> key
Two major families
A. Ionotropic Receptors
i.Simplest receptor b/c they directly control ion channel
ii.When neurotransmitters attach to these, effects are fast-acting and
B.Fast-acting b/c only a one-step process
C.Multiple sub-units that make up receptor and channel
D.Metabotropic Receptors
i. Indirectly control ion channels via activation of G-proteins
ii.Sublet of G-protein (connected to receptor) breaks off and binds to a
channel which opens/closes the ion channel
E.Can also control ion channels through secondary messengers
i.G-protein goes to an enzyme (for example) and then a second
is sent from that
F.However the second messenger doesn't necessarily have to
an ion channel
G.Slow-acting and produce sustained activity
i.B/c more steps that need to take place
3.Other ways of classifying receptors
A.Based on the type of post-synaptic potentials they are associated with
i.Excitatory receptors
ii. Inhibitory receptors
B.Based on their specific function
i.EX = Transporters (receptors found on pre-synaptic terminal/ involved
in reuptake)
Take back up the neurotransmitter that has been released
(recycling mechanism)
Not all transmitters have transporter receptors
ii.EX = Autoreceptors (found on the pre-synaptic terminal/ makes sure
neurotransmitter levels are good)
Job is to shut down activity of terminal that has just released
the neurotransmitter so there is not too much
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Sometimes found on dendrites or cell bodies
Dendrites can release neurotransmitters also but only
in special cases
C.Based on neurotransmitters they respond to
i.EX = Glutamate receptors
3 sub-types of receptors that produce different responses when
glutamate activates them
Neurotransmitter Systems
4.Major families
B.Amino acids
Acetylcholine (Amine)
5.First discovered neurotransmitter
6.The only quaternary amines
7.Cholinergic pathways:
A.Basal forebrain
i.Medial septal nucleus (Ch1) and diagonal Band of Broca (Ch2 and
Project to hippocampus, amygdala, and cortex
Play important role in learning and memory function
ii.Nucleus basalis (Ch4)
Project to cortex
i.Pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus (Ch5) and dorsolateral
8.Cholinergic Receptors:
A.Nicotinic receptors
i.Exclusively ionotropic and excitatory
B.Muscarinic receptors
i.g-protein coupled (metabotropic)
ii.Excitatory AND inhibitory
iii.5 subtypes : M1 - M5
C.These receptors named for the exogenous chemical that binds to it
9.Behavioural Effects:
A.Muscle contraction
i.Primarily nicotinic receptors
Nicotinic receptors also found in the brain (where nicotine from
smoking binds to)
B.Found in the brain and in the periphery
C.On all skeletal muscles in the body
D.Learning and memory
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