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Transmitter Molecule Derived From Site of Synthesis Acetylcholine Choline CNS parasympathetic nerves Serotonin 5-Hydroxytryptamine 5-HT Tryptophan CNS chromaffin cells of the gut enteric cells GABA Glutamate CNS Glutamate CNS Aspartate CNS Glycine spinal cord Histamine Histidine hypothalamus Epinephrine synthesis pathway Tyrosine adrenal medulla some CNS cells Norpinephrine synthesis pathway Tyrosine CNS sympathetic nerves Dopamine synthesis pathway Tyrosine CNS Adenosine ATP CNS periperal nerves ATP sympathetic sensory and enteric nerves Nitric oxide NO Arginine CNS gastrointestinal tract Many other neurotransmitters are derived from precursor proteins the so-called peptide neurotransmitters As many as 50 different peptides have been shown to exert their effects on neural cell function Several of these peptide transmitters are derived from the larger protein pre-opiomelanocortin POMC Neuropeptides are responsible for mediating sensory and emotional responses including hunger thirst sex drive pleasure and pain back to the top -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Synaptic Transmission Synaptic transmission refers to the propagation of nerve impulses from one nerve cell to another This occurs at a specialized cellular structure known as the synapse--- a junction at which the axon of the presynaptic neuron terminates at some location upon the postsynaptic neuron The end of a presynaptic axon where it is juxtaposed to the postsynaptic neuron is enlarged and forms a structure known as the terminal button An axon can make contact anywhere along the second neuron on the dendrites an axodendritic synapse the cell body an axosomatic synapse or the axons an axo-axonal synapse Nerve impulses are transmitted at synapses by the release of chemicals called neurotransmitters As a nerve impulse or action potential reaches the end of a presynaptic axon molecules of neurotransmitter are released into the synaptic space The neurotransmitters are a diverse group of chemical compounds ranging from simple amines such as dopamine and amino acids such as g-aminobutyrate GABA to polypeptides such as the enkephalins The mechanisms by which they elicit responses in both presynaptic and postsynaptic neurons are as diverse as the mechanisms employed by
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