Nigel W. Daw, William J. Brunken, I and David Parkinson Department of Cell Biology and Physiology, Washington University Medical School, St. Louis, Missouri 63110 A large number of different synaptic transmitter types are found within the central nervous system. They include acetylcholine, excitatory amino acids (glutamate and aspartate), inhibitory amino acids (y-aminobutyric acid and glycine), several monoamines, and numerous peptides. Clearly one can no longer think of the function of these transmitters simply in terms of excitatory and inhibitory actions, or even direct and modulatory actions. More revealing generalizations are required. To develop such generalizaÂ tions about neurotransmitter function, one needs to examine the problem of transmitter diversity in a tissue in which all these transmitters are present, the physiology of the cells is well understood, and the anatomical connections of cells containing the transmitters are worked out. The retina is such a tissue (Dowling 1987), and we will argue that generalizations about the function of transmitters can be made from it and successfully extended to other parts of the central nervous system. Two aspects of the retina make it a particularly appropriate tissue for such a study. First, considerable processing of information takes place in the retina,
Annual Review of Neuroscience – Annual Reviews
Published: Mar 1, 1989
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