Synaptic Function Monitored Using Chemobiomolecular Indicators
Central neurons form extensive neural networks for information processing. Neurons transmit electrical signals to other neurons at specialized structures called synapses. Therefore, a full understanding of the synaptic transmission of information is essential for understanding how neural networks function in the brain. Glutamate is the major excitatory neurotransmitter in the vertebrate brain. Presynaptic glutamate release activates the ionotropic glutamate receptors on the postsynaptic membrane to induce excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs), transmitting electrical signals across the synapse. In addition to electrical signal transmission, synapses transmit nonelectrical signals from the presynaptic terminal to the postsynaptic cell, or vice versa, in an activity-dependent manner. Such nonelectrical signaling is thought to be important for the regulation, maintenance, and plastic changes observed during synaptic function. Therefore, detailed analyses of the transmission of synaptic information are warranted.
KeywordsNitric Oxide Green Fluorescent Protein Ionotropic Glutamate Receptor Pleckstrin Homology Domain Postsynaptic Cell