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[Neuroscience] Re: What exactly are neuromodulators?

Jeff kidsdoc2000 at hotmail.com
Sun May 14 10:46:31 EST 2006

"Bill" <connelly.bill at gmail.com> wrote in message 
news:1147389213.146338.145210 at i40g2000cwc.googlegroups.com...
> As far as I am aware, the idea of neuromodulator comes from the fact,
> that early electrophysiologists, could see classical, fast, synaptic
> transmission, mediated by glutamate, gaba and glycine etc, working on
> ligand gated ion channels to rapidly modulate resting membrane
> potential. But neuromodulators, like dopamine, serotonin or histamine
> didn't have these same kind of actions. They might decrease the release
> of the classical fast synaptic neurotransmitters, or enhance them.
> The differentiation between neurotransmitters and neuromodulators isn't
> as common anymore, and I certainly don't encourage it, as a
> neurotransmitter can also act like a neuromodulator (GABA working on
> GABA-A and GABA-B receptors).
> Most "neuromodulators" are released in the exact same fashion as
> neurotransmitters, (calcium influx caused by the action potential,
> leading to neurotransmitter release), though there are some exceptions.
> The have effects of ion channels and gene transcription. On short term,
> there effects are mediated through kinases and other intracellular
> messengers, leading to alterations in membrane resistance, resting
> potential and calcium flux.
> This is a pretty simplistic view, but it serves most purposes

That is pretty accurate. You can find a lot more about neuromdolaters by 
googling neuromodulators and reading the various web sites. And it is a lot 
faster than waiting for people to respond, too.


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