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In the CNS, the amino acid glutamate is released from synaptic terminals and acts on postsynaptic ionotropic
 

Summary: In the CNS, the amino acid glutamate is released from
synaptic terminals and acts on postsynaptic ionotropic
glutamate receptors (iGluRs) to mediate fast excita
tory synaptic transmission. Glutamate can also act on
metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) and exert
a variety of modulatory effects through their coupling
to G proteins and the subsequent recruitment of second
messenger systems. According to the most simplistic
view, these two families of glutamate receptors have
distinct roles in neuronal activity: direct and fast infor
mation transfer is mediated by postsynaptic iGluRs,
whereas mGluRs either tune neuronal excitability at the
postsynaptic level or control neurotransmitter release.
However, it is now clear that the situation is not this
simple and that both iGluRs and mGluRs can act presy
naptically. Although presynaptic GluRs probably control
the strength of synaptic transmission by altering the like
lihood that synaptic vesicles will be released in response
to an incoming action potential (BOX 1), the cellular and
molecular elements that are involved in the activity of

  

Source: Alford, Simon - Department of Biological Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago

 

Collections: Biology and Medicine