Physiological Psychology: Lectures 8, 9, 10, 11
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What are Neurotransmitters?
substances released by one neuron that bind to receptors on the target neuron
What are Neurohormones?
released by brain or other organs, travel via bloodstream to target neurons
7 examples of neurotransmitters
What is Acetylcholine?
- First neurotransmitter discovered (in PNS)
- Most extensively studied neurotransmitter
3 Cholinergic Neurons
- Dorsolateral Pons: REM sleep
- Basolateral Forebrain: Activates cerebral cortex & facilitates learning
- Medial Septum: Controls rhythms in hippocampus
Synthesis of Acetylcholine
Produced by combining the lipid breakdown product choline with acetyl-CoA
What are enzymes?
- proteins that catalyze a reaction that might normally take a long time to occur
- If you see a word ending in “–ase” it’s an enzyme. The first word or part of the word (if it’s a one-word name) refers to what the enzyme is acting on
Two Types of ACh Receptors
What is ionotropic?
Nicotinic AChRs (fast)
What is metabotropic?
Muscarinic AChRs (slow)
Cholinergic Receptors at 2 sites
- Muscles: contain nicotinic AChRs; essential for rapid transmitter action at neuromuscular junction
- CNS: contains both types, though mostly muscarinic AChRs
Drugs that Affect Cholinergic Receptors
What is curare?
- Blocks nicotinic AChRs (or nAChRs)
- still is used by South American populations
- Used to paralyze muscles during surgery
What is atropine?
- Blocks muscarinic AChRs (or mAChRs)
- Used to treat AChE inhibitors (thus reducing the excess ACh action)
- Also used to dilate the pupils for eye exams
Toxins that Affect Cholinergic Transmission
- Botulinum toxin
- Tetanus toxin
- Black Widow Spider Venom
What is MAO and what does it do?
- Monoamine Oxidase
- destroys excess monoamines
- MAO-B is specific for dopamine
- Deprenyl is an MAO-B inhibitor (depression, Parkinson’s)
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