Aug 1, 1976

Biochemical plasticity of synaptic transmission: a critical review of Dale's Principle

Biological Psychiatry
H C SabelliW A Pedemonte


"Dale's Principle" states that each neuron releases one and only one synaptic transmitter. Mental disorders and behavioral drug effects are attributed to activation or blockade of one or more of these specific transmitters. A series of biochemical, electrophysiological, and behavioral studies suggests the alternative view that at each monoaminergic synapse the action of the transmitter is modulated by several metabolically related substances: amine analogs (2-phenylethylamine [PEA], p-tyramine, etc.), deaminated products (aldehydes, acids, and alcohols), and possibly also amino acid precursors. In support of this view, the authors present evidence for the presence, synthesis, metabolism, and biological activity (at the cellular level, using microelectrode techniques) of amino acid, amines, and deaminated compounds metabolically related to catecholamines and sorotonin. That neuroamino acids exert direct effects (not mediated via their amine metabolites) is illustrated by the rapid effects of microiontophoretic dopa upon cortical unit activity, and by the observation that neither the lethargic effect of 5-hydroxytryptophan (considered to support Jouvet's serotonergic theory of sleep) nor the behavioral stimulant effects of dopa (...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Metabolic Process, Cellular
Blood - Brain Barrier Anatomy
Central Nervous System Stimulant [EPC]
Central Nervous System Stimulants

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