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32 terms

3.2-Chemical Events at the Synapse

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Neurotransmitters
Chemical released by neurons that affects other neurons
Amino acids
Acids containing an amine group
Neuropeptides
Chemical formed of a chain of amino acids; released by a neuron to diffuse widely, affecting many other neurons
Acetylcholine
Chemical similar to an amino acid, except that the NH2 group has been replaces by an N(CH3)3 group; a neurotransmitter
Monoamines
Nonacidic neurotransmitter containing an amine group (NH2), formed by a metabolic change of certain amino acids
Purines
Category of chemicals including adenosine
Gases
One of the categories of neurotransmitters, including nitric oxide and possibly others
Nitric oxide
Gas released by many small neurons; alters blood flow as well as neuronal activity
Catecholamines
Compounds such as dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine that contain both catechil and an amine
Vesicles
Tiny, nearly spherical packets near the axon terminals filled with the neurotransmitter
MAO (monoamine oxidase)
Enzyme that converts catecholamines and serotonin into synaptically inactive forms
Exocytosis
Excretion of neurotransmitters through the membrane of a presynaptic terminal and into the synaptic cleft between the presynaptic and postsynaptic neurons
Ionotropic effects
Synaptic effect that depends on the rapid opening of some kind of gate in the membrane
Transmitter-gated / Ligand-gated
Ion channel that opens temporarily when a neurotransmitter binds to it
Metabotropic effects
Effect at a synapse that produces a relatively slow but long-lasting effect through metabolic reactions
G-protein
Protein coupled to GTP
Second messenger
Chemical within a neuron that, when activated by a neurotransmitter, initiates process that carry messages to several areas within the neuron
Hormone
Chemicals secreted by glands and conveyed by the blood to other organs
Endocrine glands
Structure that releases hormones into the blood
Protein hormones
Hormone composed of a long chain of amino acids
Peptide hormones
Hormone composed of a short chain of amino acids
Pituitary gland
Endocrine gland attached to the base of the hypothalamus
Anterior pituitary
Portion of the pituitary gland, composed of glandular tissue
Posterior pituitary
Portion of the pituitary gland, which releases hormones synthesized by the hypothalamus
Oxytocin
Hormone released by the posterior pituitary; also a neurotransmitter; important for sexual and parental behaviors
Vasopressin (antidiuretuc hormone)
Pituitary hormone that raises blood pressure and enables the kidneys to reabsorb water and therefore to secrete highly concentrated urine
Releasing hormones
Hormone released by the hypothalamus that flows through the blood to the anterior pituitary
Acetylcholinesterase
Enzyme that breaks acetylcholine into acetate and choline
Reuptake
Reabsorption of a neurotransmitter by the presynaptic terminal
Transporters
Membrane protein responsible for the reuptake of a neurotransmitter after its release
COMT(catechol-o-methyltransferase)
Enzyme that converts catecholamines into synaptically inactive forms
Autoreceptors
Presynaptic receptor that is stimulated by the neurotransmitter released by the presynaptic cell itself, feeding back to decrease further release of the transmitter