Neurotransmitter Transporters: Regulators of Function and Functional Regulation

Neurotransmitter Transporters: Regulators of Function and Functional Regulation J. Membrane Biol. 164, 1–10 (1998) The Journal of Membrane Biology © Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1998 Topical Review 1,2 1 M.L. Beckman , M.W. Quick Department of Neurobiology, CIRC 446, 1719 Sixth Avenue South, Birmingham AL, 35294-0021, USA Medical Scientist Training Program, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham AL, 35294-0021, USA Received: 4 September 1997/Revised: 4 December 1997 Introduction Transporters Regulate Synaptic Signaling At first glance, the presence of transporters at or near the synapse, coupled with their role in transmitter removal, Reliable chemical neurotransmission requires spatial and suggests that transporters are ideally situated to affect the temporal control of neurotransmitter in the synaptic cleft. magnitude and the time course of synaptic signaling. Neurotransmitter transporters, located on neurons and However, the empirical data are few, and carrier-related glia at or near the synapse, are key participants in this effects have been subtle. One difficulty with this sim- process. Historically, neurotransmitter transporters have plified model of transporter-mediated effects on signal- been thought to participate by removing transmitter from ing comes from kinetic studies revealing that transport the synaptic cleft; exciting new data reveal that this is rates are slow: Based upon either voltage jump relaxation only one route by The Journal of Membrane Biology Springer Journals

Neurotransmitter Transporters: Regulators of Function and Functional Regulation

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Copyright © Inc. by 1998 Springer-Verlag New York
Life Sciences; Biochemistry, general; Human Physiology
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