Overview and Perspective


in Excitatory Amino Acid Transmission in Health and Disease

Published in print October 2005 | ISBN: 9780195150025
Published online January 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199865079 | DOI:
Overview and Perspective

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L-Glutamate (Glu) is the most prevalent neurotransmitter in the mammalian central nervous system (CNS) and is responsible for mediating the majority of its excitatory signaling. From the start, glutamate characterization as an excitatory transmitter was complicated considerably by its almost universal presence in CNS cells, as well as by its many roles in intermediary metabolism. This chapter discusses the basic principles of glutamate as an excitatory amino acid (EAA) neurotransmitter in the context of their historical roots, along with the effect of glutamate on CNS neurons, demonstrations of calcium-dependent glutamate release, identification of agonists and antagonists with which to delineate the three ionotropic receptor classes, participation of EAA ionotropic receptors in excitotoxicity, role of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors in long-term potentiation, cloning of the ionotropic glutamate receptors, delineation of metabotropic glutamate receptors, postsynaptic molecular organization at the excitatory synapse, and structural changes underlying gating of ionotropic glutamate receptor channels and activation of metabotropic glutamate receptors.

Keywords: glutamate; central nervous system; excitatory amino acids; neurotransmitters; neurons; excitotoxicity; long-term potentiation; metabotropic glutamate receptors; ionotropic glutamate receptors; excitatory synapses

Chapter.  5608 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuroscience

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