Neurons: The basic cellular units of nervous tissue. Each neuron consists of a body, an axon, and dendrites. Their purpose is to receive, conduct, and transmit impulses in the NERVOUS SYSTEM.Neurons, Afferent: Neurons which conduct NERVE IMPULSES to the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM.Motor Neurons: Neurons which activate MUSCLE CELLS.Action Potentials: Abrupt changes in the membrane potential that sweep along the CELL MEMBRANE of excitable cells in response to excitation stimuli.Dopaminergic Neurons: Neurons whose primary neurotransmitter is DOPAMINE.GABAergic Neurons: Neurons whose primary neurotransmitter is GAMMA-AMINOBUTYRIC ACID.Patch-Clamp Techniques: An electrophysiologic technique for studying cells, cell membranes, and occasionally isolated organelles. All patch-clamp methods rely on a very high-resistance seal between a micropipette and a membrane; the seal is usually attained by gentle suction. The four most common variants include on-cell patch, inside-out patch, outside-out patch, and whole-cell clamp. Patch-clamp methods are commonly used to voltage clamp, that is control the voltage across the membrane and measure current flow, but current-clamp methods, in which the current is controlled and the voltage is measured, are also used.Electrophysiology: The study of the generation and behavior of electrical charges in living organisms particularly the nervous system and the effects of electricity on living organisms.Hippocampus: A curved elevation of GRAY MATTER extending the entire length of the floor of the TEMPORAL HORN of the LATERAL VENTRICLE (see also TEMPORAL LOBE). The hippocampus proper, subiculum, and DENTATE GYRUS constitute the hippocampal formation. Sometimes authors include the ENTORHINAL CORTEX in the hippocampal formation.Synapses: Specialized junctions at which a neuron communicates with a target cell. At classical synapses, a neuron's presynaptic terminal releases a chemical transmitter stored in synaptic vesicles which diffuses across a narrow synaptic cleft and activates receptors on the postsynaptic membrane of the target cell. The target may be a dendrite, cell body, or axon of another neuron, or a specialized region of a muscle or secretory cell. Neurons may also communicate via direct electrical coupling with ELECTRICAL SYNAPSES. Several other non-synaptic chemical or electric signal transmitting processes occur via extracellular mediated interactions.Ganglia, Spinal: Sensory ganglia located on the dorsal spinal roots within the vertebral column. The spinal ganglion cells are pseudounipolar. The single primary branch bifurcates sending a peripheral process to carry sensory information from the periphery and a central branch which relays that information to the spinal cord or brain.Axons: Nerve fibers that are capable of rapidly conducting impulses away from the neuron cell body.Cells, Cultured: Cells propagated in vitro in special media conducive to their growth. Cultured cells are used to study developmental, morphologic, metabolic, physiologic, and genetic processes, among others.Synaptic Transmission: The communication from a NEURON to a target (neuron, muscle, or secretory cell) across a SYNAPSE. In chemical synaptic transmission, the presynaptic neuron releases a NEUROTRANSMITTER that diffuses across the synaptic cleft and binds to specific synaptic receptors, activating them. The activated receptors modulate specific ion channels and/or second-messenger systems in the postsynaptic cell. In electrical synaptic transmission, electrical signals are communicated as an ionic current flow across ELECTRICAL SYNAPSES.Dendrites: Extensions of the nerve cell body. They are short and branched and receive stimuli from other NEURONS.Sensory Receptor Cells: Specialized afferent neurons capable of transducing sensory stimuli into NERVE IMPULSES to be transmitted to the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM. Sometimes sensory receptors for external stimuli are called exteroceptors; for internal stimuli are called interoceptors and proprioceptors.Olfactory Receptor Neurons: Neurons in the OLFACTORY EPITHELIUM with proteins (RECEPTORS, ODORANT) that bind, and thus detect, odorants. These neurons send their DENDRITES to the surface of the epithelium with the odorant receptors residing in the apical non-motile cilia. Their unmyelinated AXONS synapse in the OLFACTORY BULB of the BRAIN.Electric Stimulation: Use of electric potential or currents to elicit biological responses.Nerve Tissue ProteinsCholinergic Neurons: Neurons whose primary neurotransmitter is ACETYLCHOLINE.Spinal Cord: A cylindrical column of tissue that lies within the vertebral canal. It is composed of WHITE MATTER and GRAY MATTER.Cerebral Cortex: The thin layer of GRAY MATTER on the surface of the CEREBRAL HEMISPHERES that develops from the TELENCEPHALON and folds into gyri and sulchi. It reaches its highest development in humans and is responsible for intellectual faculties and higher mental functions.gamma-Aminobutyric Acid: The most common inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system.Membrane Potentials: The voltage differences across a membrane. For cellular membranes they are computed by subtracting the voltage measured outside the membrane from the voltage measured inside the membrane. They result from differences of inside versus outside concentration of potassium, sodium, chloride, and other ions across cells' or ORGANELLES membranes. For excitable cells, the resting membrane potentials range between -30 and -100 millivolts. Physical, chemical, or electrical stimuli can make a membrane potential more negative (hyperpolarization), or less negative (depolarization).Neural Inhibition: The function of opposing or restraining the excitation of neurons or their target excitable cells.Neurons, Efferent: Neurons which send impulses peripherally to activate muscles or secretory cells.Motor Neuron Disease: Diseases characterized by a selective degeneration of the motor neurons of the spinal cord, brainstem, or motor cortex. Clinical subtypes are distinguished by the major site of degeneration. In AMYOTROPHIC LATERAL SCLEROSIS there is involvement of upper, lower, and brainstem motor neurons. In progressive muscular atrophy and related syndromes (see MUSCULAR ATROPHY, SPINAL) the motor neurons in the spinal cord are primarily affected. With progressive bulbar palsy (BULBAR PALSY, PROGRESSIVE), the initial degeneration occurs in the brainstem. In primary lateral sclerosis, the cortical neurons are affected in isolation. (Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p1089)Models, Neurological: Theoretical representations that simulate the behavior or activity of the neurological system, processes or phenomena; includes the use of mathematical equations, computers, and other electronic equipment.Animals, Newborn: Refers to animals in the period of time just after birth.Pyramidal Cells: Projection neurons in the CEREBRAL CORTEX and the HIPPOCAMPUS. Pyramidal cells have a pyramid-shaped soma with the apex and an apical dendrite pointed toward the pial surface and other dendrites and an axon emerging from the base. The axons may have local collaterals but also project outside their cortical region.Immunohistochemistry: Histochemical localization of immunoreactive substances using labeled antibodies as reagents.Medulla Oblongata: The lower portion of the BRAIN STEM. It is inferior to the PONS and anterior to the CEREBELLUM. Medulla oblongata serves as a relay station between the brain and the spinal cord, and contains centers for regulating respiratory, vasomotor, cardiac, and reflex activities.Dopamine: One of the catecholamine NEUROTRANSMITTERS in the brain. It is derived from TYROSINE and is the precursor to NOREPINEPHRINE and EPINEPHRINE. Dopamine is a major transmitter in the extrapyramidal system of the brain, and important in regulating movement. A family of receptors (RECEPTORS, DOPAMINE) mediate its action.Excitatory Postsynaptic Potentials: Depolarization of membrane potentials at the SYNAPTIC MEMBRANES of target neurons during neurotransmission. Excitatory postsynaptic potentials can singly or in summation reach the trigger threshold for ACTION POTENTIALS.Interneurons: Most generally any NEURONS which are not motor or sensory. Interneurons may also refer to neurons whose AXONS remain within a particular brain region in contrast to projection neurons, which have axons projecting to other brain regions.Mesencephalon: The middle of the three primitive cerebral vesicles of the embryonic brain. Without further subdivision, midbrain develops into a short, constricted portion connecting the PONS and the DIENCEPHALON. Midbrain contains two major parts, the dorsal TECTUM MESENCEPHALI and the ventral TEGMENTUM MESENCEPHALI, housing components of auditory, visual, and other sensorimoter systems.Brain: The part of CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM that is contained within the skull (CRANIUM). Arising from the NEURAL TUBE, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including PROSENCEPHALON (the forebrain); MESENCEPHALON (the midbrain); and RHOMBENCEPHALON (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of CEREBRUM; CEREBELLUM; and other structures in the BRAIN STEM.Neuropeptides: Peptides released by NEURONS as intercellular messengers. Many neuropeptides are also hormones released by non-neuronal cells.Serotonergic Neurons: Neurons whose primary neurotransmitter is SEROTONIN.Cats: The domestic cat, Felis catus, of the carnivore family FELIDAE, comprising over 30 different breeds. The domestic cat is descended primarily from the wild cat of Africa and extreme southwestern Asia. Though probably present in towns in Palestine as long ago as 7000 years, actual domestication occurred in Egypt about 4000 years ago. (From Walker's Mammals of the World, 6th ed, p801)Rats, Wistar: A strain of albino rat developed at the Wistar Institute that has spread widely at other institutions. This has markedly diluted the original strain.Glutamic Acid: A non-essential amino acid naturally occurring in the L-form. Glutamic acid is the most common excitatory neurotransmitter in the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM.Time Factors: Elements of limited time intervals, contributing to particular results or situations.Tetrodotoxin: An aminoperhydroquinazoline poison found mainly in the liver and ovaries of fishes in the order TETRAODONTIFORMES, which are eaten. The toxin causes paresthesia and paralysis through interference with neuromuscular conduction.Brain Stem: The part of the brain that connects the CEREBRAL HEMISPHERES with the SPINAL CORD. It consists of the MESENCEPHALON; PONS; and MEDULLA OBLONGATA.Tyrosine 3-Monooxygenase: An enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of L-tyrosine, tetrahydrobiopterin, and oxygen to 3,4-dihydroxy-L-phenylalanine, dihydrobiopterin, and water. EC 22.214.171.124.Ganglia, Invertebrate: Clusters of neuronal cell bodies in invertebrates. Invertebrate ganglia may also contain neuronal processes and non-neuronal supporting cells. Many invertebrate ganglia are favorable subjects for research because they have small numbers of functional neuronal types which can be identified from one animal to another.Nerve Net: A meshlike structure composed of interconnecting nerve cells that are separated at the synaptic junction or joined to one another by cytoplasmic processes. In invertebrates, for example, the nerve net allows nerve impulses to spread over a wide area of the net because synapses can pass information in any direction.Afferent Pathways: Nerve structures through which impulses are conducted from a peripheral part toward a nerve center.Mice, Inbred C57BLMice, Transgenic: Laboratory mice that have been produced from a genetically manipulated EGG or EMBRYO, MAMMALIAN.Neurites: In tissue culture, hairlike projections of neurons stimulated by growth factors and other molecules. These projections may go on to form a branched tree of dendrites or a single axon or they may be reabsorbed at a later stage of development. "Neurite" may refer to any filamentous or pointed outgrowth of an embryonal or tissue-culture neural cell.Nitrergic Neurons: Nerve cells where transmission is mediated by NITRIC OXIDE.Adrenergic Neurons: Neurons whose primary neurotransmitter is EPINEPHRINE.Cell Count: The number of CELLS of a specific kind, usually measured per unit volume or area of sample.Ganglia: Clusters of multipolar neurons surrounded by a capsule of loosely organized CONNECTIVE TISSUE located outside the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM.Calcium: A basic element found in nearly all organized tissues. It is a member of the alkaline earth family of metals with the atomic symbol Ca, atomic number 20, and atomic weight 40. Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body and combines with phosphorus to form calcium phosphate in the bones and teeth. It is essential for the normal functioning of nerves and muscles and plays a role in blood coagulation (as factor IV) and in many enzymatic processes.Neurogenesis: Formation of NEURONS which involves the differentiation and division of STEM CELLS in which one or both of the daughter cells become neurons.Neuronal Plasticity: The capacity of the NERVOUS SYSTEM to change its reactivity as the result of successive activations.Substantia Nigra: The black substance in the ventral midbrain or the nucleus of cells containing the black substance. These cells produce DOPAMINE, an important neurotransmitter in regulation of the sensorimotor system and mood. The dark colored MELANIN is a by-product of dopamine synthesis.Neuroglia: The non-neuronal cells of the nervous system. They not only provide physical support, but also respond to injury, regulate the ionic and chemical composition of the extracellular milieu, participate in the BLOOD-BRAIN BARRIER and BLOOD-RETINAL BARRIER, form the myelin insulation of nervous pathways, guide neuronal migration during development, and exchange metabolites with neurons. Neuroglia have high-affinity transmitter uptake systems, voltage-dependent and transmitter-gated ion channels, and can release transmitters, but their role in signaling (as in many other functions) is unclear.Ganglia, Sympathetic: Ganglia of the sympathetic nervous system including the paravertebral and the prevertebral ganglia. Among these are the sympathetic chain ganglia, the superior, middle, and inferior cervical ganglia, and the aorticorenal, celiac, and stellate ganglia.Thalamus: Paired bodies containing mostly GRAY MATTER and forming part of the lateral wall of the THIRD VENTRICLE of the brain.Cerebellum: The part of brain that lies behind the BRAIN STEM in the posterior base of skull (CRANIAL FOSSA, POSTERIOR). It is also known as the "little brain" with convolutions similar to those of CEREBRAL CORTEX, inner white matter, and deep cerebellar nuclei. Its function is to coordinate voluntary movements, maintain balance, and learn motor skills.Evoked Potentials: Electrical responses recorded from nerve, muscle, SENSORY RECEPTOR, or area of the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM following stimulation. They range from less than a microvolt to several microvolts. The evoked potential can be auditory (EVOKED POTENTIALS, AUDITORY), somatosensory (EVOKED POTENTIALS, SOMATOSENSORY), visual (EVOKED POTENTIALS, VISUAL), or motor (EVOKED POTENTIALS, MOTOR), or other modalities that have been reported.Physical Stimulation: Act of eliciting a response from a person or organism through physical contact.Nerve Degeneration: Loss of functional activity and trophic degeneration of nerve axons and their terminal arborizations following the destruction of their cells of origin or interruption of their continuity with these cells. The pathology is characteristic of neurodegenerative diseases. Often the process of nerve degeneration is studied in research on neuroanatomical localization and correlation of the neurophysiology of neural pathways.Nerve Growth Factors: Factors which enhance the growth potentialities of sensory and sympathetic nerve cells.Nociceptors: Peripheral AFFERENT NEURONS which are sensitive to injuries or pain, usually caused by extreme thermal exposures, mechanical forces, or other noxious stimuli. Their cell bodies reside in the DORSAL ROOT GANGLIA. Their peripheral terminals (NERVE ENDINGS) innervate target tissues and transduce noxious stimuli via axons to the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM.Behavior, Animal: The observable response an animal makes to any situation.Green Fluorescent Proteins: Protein analogs and derivatives of the Aequorea victoria green fluorescent protein that emit light (FLUORESCENCE) when excited with ULTRAVIOLET RAYS. They are used in REPORTER GENES in doing GENETIC TECHNIQUES. Numerous mutants have been made to emit other colors or be sensitive to pH.Prosencephalon: The anterior of the three primitive cerebral vesicles of the embryonic brain arising from the NEURAL TUBE. It subdivides to form DIENCEPHALON and TELENCEPHALON. (Stedmans Medical Dictionary, 27th ed)Serotonin: A biochemical messenger and regulator, synthesized from the essential amino acid L-TRYPTOPHAN. In humans it is found primarily in the central nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, and blood platelets. Serotonin mediates several important physiological functions including neurotransmission, gastrointestinal motility, hemostasis, and cardiovascular integrity. Multiple receptor families (RECEPTORS, SEROTONIN) explain the broad physiological actions and distribution of this biochemical mediator.Choline O-Acetyltransferase: An enzyme that catalyzes the formation of acetylcholine from acetyl-CoA and choline. EC 126.96.36.199.Neocortex: The largest portion of the CEREBRAL CORTEX in which the NEURONS are arranged in six layers in the mammalian brain: molecular, external granular, external pyramidal, internal granular, internal pyramidal and multiform layers.Superior Cervical Ganglion: The largest and uppermost of the paravertebral sympathetic ganglia.Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate: A class of ionotropic glutamate receptors characterized by affinity for N-methyl-D-aspartate. NMDA receptors have an allosteric binding site for glycine which must be occupied for the channel to open efficiently and a site within the channel itself to which magnesium ions bind in a voltage-dependent manner. The positive voltage dependence of channel conductance and the high permeability of the conducting channel to calcium ions (as well as to monovalent cations) are important in excitotoxicity and neuronal plasticity.GABA Antagonists: Drugs that bind to but do not activate GABA RECEPTORS, thereby blocking the actions of endogenous GAMMA-AMINOBUTYRIC ACID and GABA RECEPTOR AGONISTS.Aplysia: An opisthobranch mollusk of the order Anaspidea. It is used frequently in studies of nervous system development because of its large identifiable neurons. Aplysiatoxin and its derivatives are not biosynthesized by Aplysia, but acquired by ingestion of Lyngbya (seaweed) species.Macaca mulatta: A species of the genus MACACA inhabiting India, China, and other parts of Asia. The species is used extensively in biomedical research and adapts very well to living with humans.Corpus Striatum: Striped GRAY MATTER and WHITE MATTER consisting of the NEOSTRIATUM and paleostriatum (GLOBUS PALLIDUS). It is located in front of and lateral to the THALAMUS in each cerebral hemisphere. The gray substance is made up of the CAUDATE NUCLEUS and the lentiform nucleus (the latter consisting of the GLOBUS PALLIDUS and PUTAMEN). The WHITE MATTER is the INTERNAL CAPSULE.Excitatory Amino Acid Antagonists: Drugs that bind to but do not activate excitatory amino acid receptors, thereby blocking the actions of agonists.Nodose Ganglion: The inferior (caudal) ganglion of the vagus (10th cranial) nerve. The unipolar nodose ganglion cells are sensory cells with central projections to the medulla and peripheral processes traveling in various branches of the vagus nerve.Mice, Knockout: Strains of mice in which certain GENES of their GENOMES have been disrupted, or "knocked-out". To produce knockouts, using RECOMBINANT DNA technology, the normal DNA sequence of the gene being studied is altered to prevent synthesis of a normal gene product. Cloned cells in which this DNA alteration is successful are then injected into mouse EMBRYOS to produce chimeric mice. The chimeric mice are then bred to yield a strain in which all the cells of the mouse contain the disrupted gene. Knockout mice are used as EXPERIMENTAL ANIMAL MODELS for diseases (DISEASE MODELS, ANIMAL) and to clarify the functions of the genes.N-Methylaspartate: An amino acid that, as the D-isomer, is the defining agonist for the NMDA receptor subtype of glutamate receptors (RECEPTORS, NMDA).Rats, Sprague-Dawley: A strain of albino rat used widely for experimental purposes because of its calmness and ease of handling. It was developed by the Sprague-Dawley Animal Company.Reaction Time: The time from the onset of a stimulus until a response is observed.Vestibular Nuclei: The four cellular masses in the floor of the fourth ventricle giving rise to a widely dispersed special sensory system. Included is the superior, medial, inferior, and LATERAL VESTIBULAR NUCLEUS. (From Dorland, 27th ed)Stilbamidines: STILBENES with AMIDINES attached.Microelectrodes: Electrodes with an extremely small tip, used in a voltage clamp or other apparatus to stimulate or record bioelectric potentials of single cells intracellularly or extracellularly. (Dorland, 28th ed)Presynaptic Terminals: The distal terminations of axons which are specialized for the release of neurotransmitters. Also included are varicosities along the course of axons which have similar specializations and also release transmitters. Presynaptic terminals in both the central and peripheral nervous systems are included.Visual Cortex: Area of the OCCIPITAL LOBE concerned with the processing of visual information relayed via VISUAL PATHWAYS.Neurotransmitter Agents: Substances used for their pharmacological actions on any aspect of neurotransmitter systems. Neurotransmitter agents include agonists, antagonists, degradation inhibitors, uptake inhibitors, depleters, precursors, and modulators of receptor function.Raphe Nuclei: Collections of small neurons centrally scattered among many fibers from the level of the TROCHLEAR NUCLEUS in the midbrain to the hypoglossal area in the MEDULLA OBLONGATA.Posterior Horn Cells: Neurons in the SPINAL CORD DORSAL HORN whose cell bodies and processes are confined entirely to the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM. They receive collateral or direct terminations of dorsal root fibers. They send their axons either directly to ANTERIOR HORN CELLS or to the WHITE MATTER ascending and descending longitudinal fibers.Retinal Neurons: Nerve cells of the RETINA in the pathway of transmitting light signals to the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM. They include the outer layer of PHOTORECEPTOR CELLS, the intermediate layer of RETINAL BIPOLAR CELLS and AMACRINE CELLS, and the internal layer of RETINAL GANGLION CELLS.Signal Transduction: The intracellular transfer of information (biological activation/inhibition) through a signal pathway. In each signal transduction system, an activation/inhibition signal from a biologically active molecule (hormone, neurotransmitter) is mediated via the coupling of a receptor/enzyme to a second messenger system or to an ion channel. Signal transduction plays an important role in activating cellular functions, cell differentiation, and cell proliferation. Examples of signal transduction systems are the GAMMA-AMINOBUTYRIC ACID-postsynaptic receptor-calcium ion channel system, the receptor-mediated T-cell activation pathway, and the receptor-mediated activation of phospholipases. Those coupled to membrane depolarization or intracellular release of calcium include the receptor-mediated activation of cytotoxic functions in granulocytes and the synaptic potentiation of protein kinase activation. Some signal transduction pathways may be part of larger signal transduction pathways; for example, protein kinase activation is part of the platelet activation signal pathway.Photic Stimulation: Investigative technique commonly used during ELECTROENCEPHALOGRAPHY in which a series of bright light flashes or visual patterns are used to elicit brain activity.Astrocytes: A class of large neuroglial (macroglial) cells in the central nervous system - the largest and most numerous neuroglial cells in the brain and spinal cord. Astrocytes (from "star" cells) are irregularly shaped with many long processes, including those with "end feet" which form the glial (limiting) membrane and directly and indirectly contribute to the BLOOD-BRAIN BARRIER. They regulate the extracellular ionic and chemical environment, and "reactive astrocytes" (along with MICROGLIA) respond to injury.Locus Coeruleus: Bluish-colored region in the superior angle of the FOURTH VENTRICLE floor, corresponding to melanin-like pigmented nerve cells which lie lateral to the PERIAQUEDUCTAL GRAY.Pons: The front part of the hindbrain (RHOMBENCEPHALON) that lies between the MEDULLA and the midbrain (MESENCEPHALON) ventral to the cerebellum. It is composed of two parts, the dorsal and the ventral. The pons serves as a relay station for neural pathways between the CEREBELLUM to the CEREBRUM.Bicuculline: An isoquinoline alkaloid obtained from Dicentra cucullaria and other plants. It is a competitive antagonist for GABA-A receptors.Central Nervous System: The main information-processing organs of the nervous system, consisting of the brain, spinal cord, and meninges.Survival of Motor Neuron 1 Protein: A SMN complex protein that is essential for the function of the SMN protein complex. In humans the protein is encoded by a single gene found near the inversion telomere of a large inverted region of CHROMOSOME 5. Mutations in the gene coding for survival of motor neuron 1 protein may result in SPINAL MUSCULAR ATROPHIES OF CHILDHOOD.Myenteric Plexus: One of two ganglionated neural networks which together form the ENTERIC NERVOUS SYSTEM. The myenteric (Auerbach's) plexus is located between the longitudinal and circular muscle layers of the gut. Its neurons project to the circular muscle, to other myenteric ganglia, to submucosal ganglia, or directly to the epithelium, and play an important role in regulating and patterning gut motility. (From FASEB J 1989;3:127-38)Trigeminal Ganglion: The semilunar-shaped ganglion containing the cells of origin of most of the sensory fibers of the trigeminal nerve. It is situated within the dural cleft on the cerebral surface of the petrous portion of the temporal bone and gives off the ophthalmic, maxillary, and part of the mandibular nerves.Cell Differentiation: Progressive restriction of the developmental potential and increasing specialization of function that leads to the formation of specialized cells, tissues, and organs.Glutamate Decarboxylase: A pyridoxal-phosphate protein that catalyzes the alpha-decarboxylation of L-glutamic acid to form gamma-aminobutyric acid and carbon dioxide. The enzyme is found in bacteria and in invertebrate and vertebrate nervous systems. It is the rate-limiting enzyme in determining GAMMA-AMINOBUTYRIC ACID levels in normal nervous tissues. The brain enzyme also acts on L-cysteate, L-cysteine sulfinate, and L-aspartate. EC 188.8.131.52.Ganglia, Parasympathetic: Ganglia of the parasympathetic nervous system, including the ciliary, pterygopalatine, submandibular, and otic ganglia in the cranial region and intrinsic (terminal) ganglia associated with target organs in the thorax and abdomen.Inhibitory Postsynaptic Potentials: Hyperpolarization of membrane potentials at the SYNAPTIC MEMBRANES of target neurons during NEUROTRANSMISSION. They are local changes which diminish responsiveness to excitatory signals.Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental: Any of the processes by which nuclear, cytoplasmic, or intercellular factors influence the differential control of gene action during the developmental stages of an organism.In Situ Hybridization: A technique that localizes specific nucleic acid sequences within intact chromosomes, eukaryotic cells, or bacterial cells through the use of specific nucleic acid-labeled probes.Axonal Transport: The directed transport of ORGANELLES and molecules along nerve cell AXONS. Transport can be anterograde (from the cell body) or retrograde (toward the cell body). (Alberts et al., Molecular Biology of the Cell, 3d ed, pG3)Periodicity: The tendency of a phenomenon to recur at regular intervals; in biological systems, the recurrence of certain activities (including hormonal, cellular, neural) may be annual, seasonal, monthly, daily, or more frequently (ultradian).Reticular Formation: A region extending from the PONS & MEDULLA OBLONGATA through the MESENCEPHALON, characterized by a diversity of neurons of various sizes and shapes, arranged in different aggregations and enmeshed in a complicated fiber network.Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor: A member of the nerve growth factor family of trophic factors. In the brain BDNF has a trophic action on retinal, cholinergic, and dopaminergic neurons, and in the peripheral nervous system it acts on both motor and sensory neurons. (From Kendrew, The Encyclopedia of Molecular Biology, 1994)Analysis of Variance: A statistical technique that isolates and assesses the contributions of categorical independent variables to variation in the mean of a continuous dependent variable.Sodium Channels: Ion channels that specifically allow the passage of SODIUM ions. A variety of specific sodium channel subtypes are involved in serving specialized functions such as neuronal signaling, CARDIAC MUSCLE contraction, and KIDNEY function.Cell Survival: The span of viability of a cell characterized by the capacity to perform certain functions such as metabolism, growth, reproduction, some form of responsiveness, and adaptability.Animals, Genetically Modified: ANIMALS whose GENOME has been altered by GENETIC ENGINEERING, or their offspring.Organ Culture Techniques: A technique for maintenance or growth of animal organs in vitro. It refers to three-dimensional cultures of undisaggregated tissue retaining some or all of the histological features of the tissue in vivo. (Freshney, Culture of Animal Cells, 3d ed, p1)Receptors, GABA-A: Cell surface proteins which bind GAMMA-AMINOBUTYRIC ACID and contain an integral membrane chloride channel. Each receptor is assembled as a pentamer from a pool of at least 19 different possible subunits. The receptors belong to a superfamily that share a common CYSTEINE loop.Cell Death: The termination of the cell's ability to carry out vital functions such as metabolism, growth, reproduction, responsiveness, and adaptability.Ventral Tegmental Area: A region in the MESENCEPHALON which is dorsomedial to the SUBSTANTIA NIGRA and ventral to the RED NUCLEUS. The mesocortical and mesolimbic dopaminergic systems originate here, including an important projection to the NUCLEUS ACCUMBENS. Overactivity of the cells in this area has been suspected to contribute to the positive symptoms of SCHIZOPHRENIA.Dose-Response Relationship, Drug: The relationship between the dose of an administered drug and the response of the organism to the drug.Electrophysiological Phenomena: The electrical properties, characteristics of living organisms, and the processes of organisms or their parts that are involved in generating and responding to electrical charges.Capsaicin: An alkylamide found in CAPSICUM that acts at TRPV CATION CHANNELS.Olfactory Bulb: Ovoid body resting on the CRIBRIFORM PLATE of the ethmoid bone where the OLFACTORY NERVE terminates. The olfactory bulb contains several types of nerve cells including the mitral cells, on whose DENDRITES the olfactory nerve synapses, forming the olfactory glomeruli. The accessory olfactory bulb, which receives the projection from the VOMERONASAL ORGAN via the vomeronasal nerve, is also included here.6-Cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione: A potent excitatory amino acid antagonist with a preference for non-NMDA iontropic receptors. It is used primarily as a research tool.Receptors, AMPA: A class of ionotropic glutamate receptors characterized by their affinity for the agonist AMPA (alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid).Arcuate Nucleus: A nucleus located in the middle hypothalamus in the most ventral part of the third ventricle near the entrance of the infundibular recess. Its small cells are in close contact with the ependyma.Iontophoresis: Therapeutic introduction of ions of soluble salts into tissues by means of electric current. In medical literature it is commonly used to indicate the process of increasing the penetration of drugs into surface tissues by the application of electric current. It has nothing to do with ION EXCHANGE; AIR IONIZATION nor PHONOPHORESIS, none of which requires current.Mechanoreceptors: Cells specialized to transduce mechanical stimuli and relay that information centrally in the nervous system. Mechanoreceptor cells include the INNER EAR hair cells, which mediate hearing and balance, and the various somatosensory receptors, often with non-neural accessory structures.Disease Models, Animal: Naturally occurring or experimentally induced animal diseases with pathological processes sufficiently similar to those of human diseases. They are used as study models for human diseases.RNA, Messenger: RNA sequences that serve as templates for protein synthesis. Bacterial mRNAs are generally primary transcripts in that they do not require post-transcriptional processing. Eukaryotic mRNA is synthesized in the nucleus and must be exported to the cytoplasm for translation. Most eukaryotic mRNAs have a sequence of polyadenylic acid at the 3' end, referred to as the poly(A) tail. The function of this tail is not known for certain, but it may play a role in the export of mature mRNA from the nucleus as well as in helping stabilize some mRNA molecules by retarding their degradation in the cytoplasm.Embryo, Mammalian: The entity of a developing mammal (MAMMALS), generally from the cleavage of a ZYGOTE to the end of embryonic differentiation of basic structures. For the human embryo, this represents the first two months of intrauterine development preceding the stages of the FETUS.Visual Pathways: Set of cell bodies and nerve fibers conducting impulses from the eyes to the cerebral cortex. It includes the RETINA; OPTIC NERVE; optic tract; and geniculocalcarine tract.S100 Calcium Binding Protein G: A calbindin protein found in many mammalian tissues, including the UTERUS, PLACENTA, BONE, PITUITARY GLAND, and KIDNEYS. In intestinal ENTEROCYTES it mediates intracellular calcium transport from apical to basolateral membranes via calcium binding at two EF-HAND MOTIFS. Expression is regulated in some tissues by VITAMIN D.Thalamic Nuclei: Several groups of nuclei in the thalamus that serve as the major relay centers for sensory impulses in the brain.Auditory Pathways: NEURAL PATHWAYS and connections within the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM, beginning at the hair cells of the ORGAN OF CORTI, continuing along the eighth cranial nerve, and terminating at the AUDITORY CORTEX.Leeches: Annelids of the class Hirudinea. Some species, the bloodsuckers, may become temporarily parasitic upon animals, including man. Medicinal leeches (HIRUDO MEDICINALIS) have been used therapeutically for drawing blood since ancient times.Excitatory Amino Acid Agonists: Drugs that bind to and activate excitatory amino acid receptors.Supraoptic Nucleus: Hypothalamic nucleus overlying the beginning of the OPTIC TRACT.Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-fos: Cellular DNA-binding proteins encoded by the c-fos genes (GENES, FOS). They are involved in growth-related transcriptional control. c-fos combines with c-jun (PROTO-ONCOGENE PROTEINS C-JUN) to form a c-fos/c-jun heterodimer (TRANSCRIPTION FACTOR AP-1) that binds to the TRE (TPA-responsive element) in promoters of certain genes.Neurotoxins: Toxic substances from microorganisms, plants or animals that interfere with the functions of the nervous system. Most venoms contain neurotoxic substances. Myotoxins are included in this concept.Rats, Long-Evans: An outbred strain of rats developed in 1915 by crossing several Wistar Institute white females with a wild gray male. Inbred strains have been derived from this original outbred strain, including Long-Evans cinnamon rats (RATS, INBRED LEC) and Otsuka-Long-Evans-Tokushima Fatty rats (RATS, INBRED OLETF), which are models for Wilson's disease and non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus, respectively.Potassium Channels: Cell membrane glycoproteins that are selectively permeable to potassium ions. At least eight major groups of K channels exist and they are made up of dozens of different subunits.Parvalbumins: Low molecular weight, calcium binding muscle proteins. Their physiological function is possibly related to the contractile process.Paraventricular Hypothalamic Nucleus: Nucleus in the anterior part of the HYPOTHALAMUS.Electric Conductivity: The ability of a substrate to allow the passage of ELECTRONS.Acoustic Stimulation: Use of sound to elicit a response in the nervous system.Sodium Channel Blockers: A class of drugs that act by inhibition of sodium influx through cell membranes. Blockade of sodium channels slows the rate and amplitude of initial rapid depolarization, reduces cell excitability, and reduces conduction velocity.Vesicular Glutamate Transport Protein 2: A vesicular glutamate transporter protein that is predominately expressed in the DIENCEPHALON and lower brainstem regions of the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM.Axotomy: Transection or severing of an axon. This type of denervation is used often in experimental studies on neuronal physiology and neuronal death or survival, toward an understanding of nervous system disease.Substance P: An eleven-amino acid neurotransmitter that appears in both the central and peripheral nervous systems. It is involved in transmission of PAIN, causes rapid contractions of the gastrointestinal smooth muscle, and modulates inflammatory and immune responses.Hypothalamic Area, Lateral: Area in the hypothalamus bounded medially by the mammillothalamic tract and the anterior column of the FORNIX (BRAIN). The medial edge of the INTERNAL CAPSULE and the subthalamic region form its lateral boundary. It contains the lateral hypothalamic nucleus, tuberomammillary nucleus, lateral tuberal nuclei, and fibers of the MEDIAL FOREBRAIN BUNDLE.Calbindins: Calcium-binding proteins that are found in DISTAL KIDNEY TUBULES, INTESTINES, BRAIN, and other tissues where they bind, buffer and transport cytoplasmic calcium. Calbindins possess a variable number of EF-HAND MOTIFS which contain calcium-binding sites. Some isoforms are regulated by VITAMIN D.Neuroprotective Agents: Drugs intended to prevent damage to the brain or spinal cord from ischemia, stroke, convulsions, or trauma. Some must be administered before the event, but others may be effective for some time after. They act by a variety of mechanisms, but often directly or indirectly minimize the damage produced by endogenous excitatory amino acids.Calbindin 2: A calbindin protein that is differentially expressed in distinct populations of NEURONS throughout the vertebrate and invertebrate NERVOUS SYSTEM, and modulates intrinsic neuronal excitability and influences LONG-TERM POTENTIATION. It is also found in LUNG, TESTIS, OVARY, KIDNEY, and BREAST, and is expressed in many tumor types found in these tissues. It is often used as an immunohistochemical marker for MESOTHELIOMA.Neural Conduction: The propagation of the NERVE IMPULSE along the nerve away from the site of an excitation stimulus.Somatosensory Cortex: Area of the parietal lobe concerned with receiving sensations such as movement, pain, pressure, position, temperature, touch, and vibration. It lies posterior to the central sulcus.Dendritic Spines: Spiny processes on DENDRITES, each of which receives excitatory input from one nerve ending (NERVE ENDINGS). They are commonly found on PURKINJE CELLS and PYRAMIDAL CELLS.Calcium Channels: Voltage-dependent cell membrane glycoproteins selectively permeable to calcium ions. They are categorized as L-, T-, N-, P-, Q-, and R-types based on the activation and inactivation kinetics, ion specificity, and sensitivity to drugs and toxins. The L- and T-types are present throughout the cardiovascular and central nervous systems and the N-, P-, Q-, & R-types are located in neuronal tissue.Vagus Nerve: The 10th cranial nerve. The vagus is a mixed nerve which contains somatic afferents (from skin in back of the ear and the external auditory meatus), visceral afferents (from the pharynx, larynx, thorax, and abdomen), parasympathetic efferents (to the thorax and abdomen), and efferents to striated muscle (of the larynx and pharynx).Respiratory Center: Part of the brain located in the MEDULLA OBLONGATA and PONS. It receives neural, chemical and hormonal signals, and controls the rate and depth of respiratory movements of the DIAPHRAGM and other respiratory muscles.Macaca fascicularis: A species of the genus MACACA which typically lives near the coast in tidal creeks and mangrove swamps primarily on the islands of the Malay peninsula.Chick Embryo: The developmental entity of a fertilized chicken egg (ZYGOTE). The developmental process begins about 24 h before the egg is laid at the BLASTODISC, a small whitish spot on the surface of the EGG YOLK. After 21 days of incubation, the embryo is fully developed before hatching.Ganglia, Sensory: Clusters of neurons in the somatic peripheral nervous system which contain the cell bodies of sensory nerve axons. Sensory ganglia may also have intrinsic interneurons and non-neuronal supporting cells.Enteric Nervous System: Two ganglionated neural plexuses in the gut wall which form one of the three major divisions of the autonomic nervous system. The enteric nervous system innervates the gastrointestinal tract, the pancreas, and the gallbladder. It contains sensory neurons, interneurons, and motor neurons. Thus the circuitry can autonomously sense the tension and the chemical environment in the gut and regulate blood vessel tone, motility, secretions, and fluid transport. The system is itself governed by the central nervous system and receives both parasympathetic and sympathetic innervation. (From Kandel, Schwartz, and Jessel, Principles of Neural Science, 3d ed, p766)Cholinergic Fibers: Nerve fibers liberating acetylcholine at the synapse after an impulse.Macaca: A genus of the subfamily CERCOPITHECINAE, family CERCOPITHECIDAE, consisting of 16 species inhabiting forests of Africa, Asia, and the islands of Borneo, Philippines, and Celebes.Kainic Acid: (2S-(2 alpha,3 beta,4 beta))-2-Carboxy-4-(1-methylethenyl)-3-pyrrolidineacetic acid. Ascaricide obtained from the red alga Digenea simplex. It is a potent excitatory amino acid agonist at some types of excitatory amino acid receptors and has been used to discriminate among receptor types. Like many excitatory amino acid agonists it can cause neurotoxicity and has been used experimentally for that purpose.Inferior Colliculi: The posterior pair of the quadrigeminal bodies which contain centers for auditory function.Gene Expression Regulation: Any of the processes by which nuclear, cytoplasmic, or intercellular factors influence the differential control (induction or repression) of gene action at the level of transcription or translation.Nervous System: The entire nerve apparatus, composed of a central part, the brain and spinal cord, and a peripheral part, the cranial and spinal nerves, autonomic ganglia, and plexuses. (Stedman, 26th ed)Purkinje Cells: The output neurons of the cerebellar cortex.Biological Clocks: The physiological mechanisms that govern the rhythmic occurrence of certain biochemical, physiological, and behavioral phenomena.Receptors, Glutamate: Cell-surface proteins that bind glutamate and trigger changes which influence the behavior of cells. Glutamate receptors include ionotropic receptors (AMPA, kainate, and N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors), which directly control ion channels, and metabotropic receptors which act through second messenger systems. Glutamate receptors are the most common mediators of fast excitatory synaptic transmission in the central nervous system. They have also been implicated in the mechanisms of memory and of many diseases.Nerve Regeneration: Renewal or physiological repair of damaged nerve tissue.Neurofilament Proteins: Type III intermediate filament proteins that assemble into neurofilaments, the major cytoskeletal element in nerve axons and dendrites. They consist of three distinct polypeptides, the neurofilament triplet. Types I, II, and IV intermediate filament proteins form other cytoskeletal elements such as keratins and lamins. It appears that the metabolism of neurofilaments is disturbed in Alzheimer's disease, as indicated by the presence of neurofilament epitopes in the neurofibrillary tangles, as well as by the severe reduction of the expression of the gene for the light neurofilament subunit of the neurofilament triplet in brains of Alzheimer's patients. (Can J Neurol Sci 1990 Aug;17(3):302)Microscopy, Confocal: A light microscopic technique in which only a small spot is illuminated and observed at a time. An image is constructed through point-by-point scanning of the field in this manner. Light sources may be conventional or laser, and fluorescence or transmitted observations are possible.Neuropeptide Y: A 36-amino acid peptide present in many organs and in many sympathetic noradrenergic neurons. It has vasoconstrictor and natriuretic activity and regulates local blood flow, glandular secretion, and smooth muscle activity. The peptide also stimulates feeding and drinking behavior and influences secretion of pituitary hormones.Superior Colliculi: The anterior pair of the quadrigeminal bodies which coordinate the general behavioral orienting responses to visual stimuli, such as whole-body turning, and reaching.Synaptic Potentials: The voltages across pre- or post-SYNAPTIC MEMBRANES.Olivary Nucleus: A part of the MEDULLA OBLONGATA situated in the olivary body. It is involved with motor control and is a major source of sensory input to the CEREBELLUM.Mirror Neurons: Neurons that fire when an animal acts or observes the same action of another thus coding the motor response. They were originally discovered in the premotor and parietal cortex of the monkey and studies have shown that neurons that have a similar mechanism are present in humans. Mirror neurons are theorized to be related to social cognition.Odors: The volatile portions of substances perceptible by the sense of smell. (Grant & Hackh's Chemical Dictionary, 5th ed)Preoptic Area: Region of hypothalamus between the ANTERIOR COMMISSURE and OPTIC CHIASM.Nerve Growth Factor: NERVE GROWTH FACTOR is the first of a series of neurotrophic factors that were found to influence the growth and differentiation of sympathetic and sensory neurons. It is comprised of alpha, beta, and gamma subunits. The beta subunit is responsible for its growth stimulating activity.Neostriatum: The phylogenetically newer part of the CORPUS STRIATUM consisting of the CAUDATE NUCLEUS and PUTAMEN. It is often called simply the striatum.Nerve Fibers: Slender processes of NEURONS, including the AXONS and their glial envelopes (MYELIN SHEATH). Nerve fibers conduct nerve impulses to and from the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM.Fluorescent Dyes: Agents that emit light after excitation by light. The wave length of the emitted light is usually longer than that of the incident light. Fluorochromes are substances that cause fluorescence in other substances, i.e., dyes used to mark or label other compounds with fluorescent tags.Ion Channels: Gated, ion-selective glycoproteins that traverse membranes. The stimulus for ION CHANNEL GATING can be due to a variety of stimuli such as LIGANDS, a TRANSMEMBRANE POTENTIAL DIFFERENCE, mechanical deformation or through INTRACELLULAR SIGNALING PEPTIDES AND PROTEINS.Smell: The ability to detect scents or odors, such as the function of OLFACTORY RECEPTOR NEURONS.Brain Mapping: Imaging techniques used to colocalize sites of brain functions or physiological activity with brain structures.Calcium Signaling: Signal transduction mechanisms whereby calcium mobilization (from outside the cell or from intracellular storage pools) to the cytoplasm is triggered by external stimuli. Calcium signals are often seen to propagate as waves, oscillations, spikes, sparks, or puffs. The calcium acts as an intracellular messenger by activating calcium-responsive proteins.Trigeminal Nerve: The 5th and largest cranial nerve. The trigeminal nerve is a mixed motor and sensory nerve. The larger sensory part forms the ophthalmic, mandibular, and maxillary nerves which carry afferents sensitive to external or internal stimuli from the skin, muscles, and joints of the face and mouth and from the teeth. Most of these fibers originate from cells of the TRIGEMINAL GANGLION and project to the TRIGEMINAL NUCLEUS of the brain stem. The smaller motor part arises from the brain stem trigeminal motor nucleus and innervates the muscles of mastication.GABA Agonists: Endogenous compounds and drugs that bind to and activate GAMMA-AMINOBUTYRIC ACID receptors (RECEPTORS, GABA).Grasshoppers: Plant-eating orthopterans having hindlegs adapted for jumping. There are two main families: Acrididae and Romaleidae. Some of the more common genera are: Melanoplus, the most common grasshopper; Conocephalus, the eastern meadow grasshopper; and Pterophylla, the true katydid.Mutation: Any detectable and heritable change in the genetic material that causes a change in the GENOTYPE and which is transmitted to daughter cells and to succeeding generations.Trigeminal Nuclei: Nuclei of the trigeminal nerve situated in the brain stem. They include the nucleus of the spinal trigeminal tract (TRIGEMINAL NUCLEUS, SPINAL), the principal sensory nucleus, the mesencephalic nucleus, and the motor nucleus.