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Cephalopod NeurobiologyNeuroscience Studies in Squid, Octopus and Cuttlefish$
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N. Joan Abbott, Roddy Williamson, and Linda Maddock

Print publication date: 1995

Print ISBN-13: 9780198547907

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198547907.001.0001

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Chemical transmission at the squid giant synapse

Chemical transmission at the squid giant synapse

Chapter:
(p.283) 19 Chemical transmission at the squid giant synapse
Source:
Cephalopod Neurobiology
Author(s):

J. B. Messemger

A. De Santis

D. C. Ogden

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198547907.003.0192

This chapter discusses some recent experiments suggesting that l-glutamate is very probably an endogenous transmitter at the synapse, including the first demonstration that glutamate, when abruptly released in the synaptic cleft, can elicit action potentials in the third-order giant axon. There have been several experiments implicating glutamate as a possible transmitter at the synapse. The evidence for glutamate includes depolarization of the postsynaptic membrane by iontophoretically applied l-glutamate, kainate, or quisqualate; blockade of the excitatory postsynaptic potential (EPSP) by bath application of glutamate; and irreversible blockade of the EPSP and glutamate-induced depolarization by JSTX, a toxin from Joro spider (Nephila clavata) venom. The main objection to glutamate being the endogenous transmitter has always been that the depolarization evoked by glutamate has a different reversal potential from that of the EPSP. An important difficulty here is that the postsynaptic membrane is not uniformly sensitive to iontophoretically applied glutamate or its agonists.

Keywords:   squid giant synapse, l-glutamate, iontophoretically applied l-glutamate, excitatory postsynaptic potential, Joro spider, JSTX

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