Using Caged Compounds to Map Functional Neurotransmitter Receptors

  • Diana L. Pettit
  • George J. Augustine
Part of the Methods in Pharmacology and Toxicology book series (MIPT)


As amply demonstrated by each of the chapters of this volume, location is an integral part of the physiological function of ion channels. Neurotransmitter receptors may represent an extreme example of this important concept, because these receptors must be targeted—within an accuracy of nanometers—in order to detect the release of neurotransmitters from presynaptic terminals. However, it has been challenging to visualize the location of receptors that are within the plasma membrane, as opposed to being within transport vesicles or other intracellular sites. It has been even more challenging to examine the functional properties of selected populations of receptors on the plasma membrane. Here we describe experiments that allow the use of “caged” neurotransmitters for these purposes.


Pyramidal Neuron Pyramidal Cell Axial Resolution Hippocampal Pyramidal Neuron Basal Dendrite 
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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc., Totowa, NJ 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Diana L. Pettit
    • 1
  • George J. Augustine
    • 2
  1. 1.NIEHS-NIHResearch Triangle Park
  2. 2.Department of NeurobiologyDuke University Medical CenterDurham

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