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Freebase Commons Common /common

  • 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. Neurotransmitters play a major role in shaping everyday life and functions. Scientists do not yet know exactly how many neurotransmitters exist, but more than 100 chemical messengers have been identified. Most neurotransmitters are about the size of a single amino acid, but some neurotransmitters may be the size of larger proteins or peptides.

Freebase Commons Chemistry /chemistry

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