Evolutionary Aspects of Transmitter Heterogeneity

  • D. A. Sakharov
Part of the Journal of Neural Transmission book series (NEURAL SUPPL, volume 11)


Different mechanisms of chemical transmission coexist in advanced nervous systems since, in the distant past, nerve cells originated many times and neurones of a particular ancestry retained a specific type of chemistry from their appearance on. Diversification of transmission mechanism within the inherited type would be an additional source of transmitter heterogeneity while a kind of selection could reduce the diversity of transmitters during evolution.

This hypothesis is explored in the article as well as the alternative view suggesting that neurones are of common phylohistogenetic origin and that they differentiated into various chemical types in the course of evolution due to functional specialization. The latter explanation is regarded as unsatisfactory.


Nerve Cell Transmission Mechanism Chemical Type Motor Neurone Evolutionary Aspect 
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(gamma-aminobutyric acid)








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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. A. Sakharov
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Developmental BiologyU.S.S.R. Academy of SciencesMoscowUSSR

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