This chapter considers how the release of glutamate from presynaptic terminals in the hippocampus and its action on various glutamatergic receptors mediate excitatory synaptic transmission. It discusses the essential role of inhibitory synaptic transmission at GABAergic synapses. It describes the intricate molecular machinery responsible for the mobilization of glutamate-containing vesicles, the exocytotic release machinery for glutamate, and its postsynaptic actions. It outlines the various ligand-binding and modulatory sites on these receptors, the insights coming from the relatively new work on receptor subunits afforded by molecular biology and the mechanisms responsible for transmitter uptake. The chapter touches on the topic of neuromodulatory transmitters in the hippocampus, such as acetylcholine, norepinephrine, 5-hydroxytryptamine, dopamine, and peptides such as dynorphin and somatostatin. It also discusses how the many neuromodulatory systems influence the traditional synaptic processes and the mechanisms by which they are mediated.
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