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Do We Need Zinc to Think?

Chelatable Zn2+, which is found in the synaptic vesicles of certain glutamatergic neurons in several regions of the forebrain, is released during neuronal activity. Zn2+ exhibits numerous effects on ligand-gated and voltage-dependent ion channels, and released Zn2+ is therefore likely able to modulate synaptic transmission. The physiologically relevant actions of Zn2+, however, have remained unclear. Recent research exploiting improved Zn2+-sensitive optical probes has suggested some intriguing effects for synaptically released Zn2+, including heterosynaptic regulation of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor function, and a novel role as a trans-synaptic second messenger that may enter postsynaptic neurons to modulate various signal transduction pathways.

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Classifications


Resource Type: Diagram, Illustration, Journal article/Issue, Review
Audience Level: Undergraduate upper division 15-16, Graduate, Professional (degree program)

Author and Copyright


Authors and Editors: Yang V. Li of Departments of Pharmacology, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Christopher J. Hough of Departments of Pharmacology, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, John M. Sarvey of Departments of Pharmacology, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
Publisher: American Association for the Advancement of Science
Format: application/pdf, image/gif, image/jpeg, text/html
Copyright and other restrictions: Yes
Cost: Yes

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