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  • Neurotransmitters are endogenous chemicals that transmit signals across a synapse from one neuron to another 'target' neuron. Neurotransmitters are packaged into synaptic vesicles clustered beneath the membrane in the axon terminal, on the presynaptic side of a synapse. Neurotransmitters are released into and diffuse across the synaptic cleft, where they bind to specific receptors in the membrane on the postsynaptic side of the synapse. Many neurotransmitters are synthesized from plentiful and simple precursors, such as amino acids, which are readily available from the diet and which require only a small number of biosynthetic steps to convert. Most neurotransmitters are about the size of a single amino acid, but some neurotransmitters may be the size of larger proteins or peptides. A neurotransmitter is available only briefly – before rapid deactivation – to bind to the postsynaptic receptors. Deactivation may occur due to: the removal of neurotransmitter by re-uptake into the presynaptic terminal; or degradative enzymes in the synaptic cleft. Nevertheless, short-term exposure of the receptor to neurotransmitter is typically sufficient for causing a postsynaptic response by way of synaptic transmission. Wikipedia

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