Synaptic Membranes: Cell membranes associated with synapses. Both presynaptic and postsynaptic membranes are included along with their integral or tightly associated specializations for the release or reception of transmitters.Membranes: Thin layers of tissue which cover parts of the body, separate adjacent cavities, or connect adjacent structures.Synaptosomes: Pinched-off nerve endings and their contents of vesicles and cytoplasm together with the attached subsynaptic area of the membrane of the post-synaptic cell. They are largely artificial structures produced by fractionation after selective centrifugation of nervous tissue homogenates.Cell Membrane: The lipid- and protein-containing, selectively permeable membrane that surrounds the cytoplasm in prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells.Membrane Lipids: Lipids, predominantly phospholipids, cholesterol and small amounts of glycolipids found in membranes including cellular and intracellular membranes. These lipids may be arranged in bilayers in the membranes with integral proteins between the layers and peripheral proteins attached to the outside. Membrane lipids are required for active transport, several enzymatic activities and membrane formation.Intracellular Membranes: Thin structures that encapsulate subcellular structures or ORGANELLES in EUKARYOTIC CELLS. They include a variety of membranes associated with the CELL NUCLEUS; the MITOCHONDRIA; the GOLGI APPARATUS; the ENDOPLASMIC RETICULUM; LYSOSOMES; PLASTIDS; and VACUOLES.Receptors, Neurotransmitter: Cell surface receptors that bind signalling molecules released by neurons and convert these signals into intracellular changes influencing the behavior of cells. Neurotransmitter is used here in its most general sense, including not only messengers that act to regulate ion channels, but also those which act on second messenger systems and those which may act at a distance from their release sites. Included are receptors for neuromodulators, neuroregulators, neuromediators, and neurohumors, whether or not located at synapses.Enkephalin, Leucine: One of the endogenous pentapeptides with morphine-like activity. It differs from MET-ENKEPHALIN in the LEUCINE at position 5. Its first four amino acid sequence is identical to the tetrapeptide sequence at the N-terminal of BETA-ENDORPHIN.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).Membranes, Artificial: Artificially produced membranes, such as semipermeable membranes used in artificial kidney dialysis (RENAL DIALYSIS), monomolecular and bimolecular membranes used as models to simulate biological CELL MEMBRANES. These membranes are also used in the process of GUIDED TISSUE REGENERATION.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.Arthropod Venoms: Venoms from animals of the phylum Arthropoda. Those most investigated are from scorpions and spiders of the class Arachnidae and from ant, bee, and wasp families of the Insecta order Hymenoptera. The venoms contain protein toxins, enzymes, and other bioactive substances and may be lethal to man.Neprilysin: Enzyme that is a major constituent of kidney brush-border membranes and is also present to a lesser degree in the brain and other tissues. It preferentially catalyzes cleavage at the amino group of hydrophobic residues of the B-chain of insulin as well as opioid peptides and other biologically active peptides. The enzyme is inhibited primarily by EDTA, phosphoramidon, and thiorphan and is reactivated by zinc. Neprilysin is identical to common acute lymphoblastic leukemia antigen (CALLA Antigen), an important marker in the diagnosis of human acute lymphocytic leukemia. There is no relationship with CALLA PLANT.Synaptic Vesicles: Membrane-bound compartments which contain transmitter molecules. Synaptic vesicles are concentrated at presynaptic terminals. They actively sequester transmitter molecules from the cytoplasm. In at least some synapses, transmitter release occurs by fusion of these vesicles with the presynaptic membrane, followed by exocytosis of their contents.Erythrocyte Membrane: The semi-permeable outer structure of a red blood cell. It is known as a red cell 'ghost' after HEMOLYSIS.Rats, Inbred Strains: Genetically identical individuals developed from brother and sister matings which have been carried out for twenty or more generations or by parent x offspring matings carried out with certain restrictions. This also includes animals with a long history of closed colony breeding.Membrane Fluidity: The motion of phospholipid molecules within the lipid bilayer, dependent on the classes of phospholipids present, their fatty acid composition and degree of unsaturation of the acyl chains, the cholesterol concentration, and temperature.Glutamates: Derivatives of GLUTAMIC ACID. Included under this heading are a broad variety of acid forms, salts, esters, and amides that contain the 2-aminopentanedioic acid structure.Nerve Tissue ProteinsBrain Chemistry: Changes in the amounts of various chemicals (neurotransmitters, receptors, enzymes, and other metabolites) specific to the area of the central nervous system contained within the head. These are monitored over time, during sensory stimulation, or under different disease states.Elapid Venoms: Venoms from snakes of the family Elapidae, including cobras, kraits, mambas, coral, tiger, and Australian snakes. The venoms contain polypeptide toxins of various kinds, cytolytic, hemolytic, and neurotoxic factors, but fewer enzymes than viper or crotalid venoms. Many of the toxins have been characterized.Microscopy, Electron: Microscopy using an electron beam, instead of light, to visualize the sample, thereby allowing much greater magnification. The interactions of ELECTRONS with specimens are used to provide information about the fine structure of that specimen. In TRANSMISSION ELECTRON MICROSCOPY the reactions of the electrons that are transmitted through the specimen are imaged. In SCANNING ELECTRON MICROSCOPY an electron beam falls at a non-normal angle on the specimen and the image is derived from the reactions occurring above the plane of the specimen.Cell Membrane Permeability: A quality of cell membranes which permits the passage of solvents and solutes into and out of cells.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.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.Basement Membrane: A darkly stained mat-like EXTRACELLULAR MATRIX (ECM) that separates cell layers, such as EPITHELIUM from ENDOTHELIUM or a layer of CONNECTIVE TISSUE. The ECM layer that supports an overlying EPITHELIUM or ENDOTHELIUM is called basal lamina. Basement membrane (BM) can be formed by the fusion of either two adjacent basal laminae or a basal lamina with an adjacent reticular lamina of connective tissue. BM, composed mainly of TYPE IV COLLAGEN; glycoprotein LAMININ; and PROTEOGLYCAN, provides barriers as well as channels between interacting cell layers.Kinetics: The rate dynamics in chemical or physical systems.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.Subcellular Fractions: Components of a cell produced by various separation techniques which, though they disrupt the delicate anatomy of a cell, preserve the structure and physiology of its functioning constituents for biochemical and ultrastructural analysis. (From Alberts et al., Molecular Biology of the Cell, 2d ed, p163)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.Protein Transport: The process of moving proteins from one cellular compartment (including extracellular) to another by various sorting and transport mechanisms such as gated transport, protein translocation, and vesicular transport.Flunitrazepam: A benzodiazepine with pharmacologic actions similar to those of DIAZEPAM that can cause ANTEROGRADE AMNESIA. Some reports indicate that it is used as a date rape drug and suggest that it may precipitate violent behavior. The United States Government has banned the importation of this drug.Calcium Chloride: A salt used to replenish calcium levels, as an acid-producing diuretic, and as an antidote for magnesium poisoning.Carrier Proteins: Transport proteins that carry specific substances in the blood or across cell membranes.Molecular Weight: The sum of the weight of all the atoms in a molecule.Protein Binding: The process in which substances, either endogenous or exogenous, bind to proteins, peptides, enzymes, protein precursors, or allied compounds. Specific protein-binding measures are often used as assays in diagnostic assessments.Binding, Competitive: The interaction of two or more substrates or ligands with the same binding site. The displacement of one by the other is used in quantitative and selective affinity measurements.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.Receptors, Cholinergic: Cell surface proteins that bind acetylcholine with high affinity and trigger intracellular changes influencing the behavior of cells. Cholinergic receptors are divided into two major classes, muscarinic and nicotinic, based originally on their affinity for nicotine and muscarine. Each group is further subdivided based on pharmacology, location, mode of action, and/or molecular biology.Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel: Electrophoresis in which a polyacrylamide gel is used as the diffusion medium.Endopeptidases: A subclass of PEPTIDE HYDROLASES that catalyze the internal cleavage of PEPTIDES or PROTEINS.Amino Acid Sequence: The order of amino acids as they occur in a polypeptide chain. This is referred to as the primary structure of proteins. It is of fundamental importance in determining PROTEIN CONFORMATION.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).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.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.Membrane Transport Proteins: Membrane proteins whose primary function is to facilitate the transport of molecules across a biological membrane. Included in this broad category are proteins involved in active transport (BIOLOGICAL TRANSPORT, ACTIVE), facilitated transport and ION CHANNELS.Oleic Acids: A group of fatty acids that contain 18 carbon atoms and a double bond at the omega 9 carbon.Bungarotoxins: Neurotoxic proteins from the venom of the banded or Formosan krait (Bungarus multicinctus, an elapid snake). alpha-Bungarotoxin blocks nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and has been used to isolate and study them; beta- and gamma-bungarotoxins act presynaptically causing acetylcholine release and depletion. Both alpha and beta forms have been characterized, the alpha being similar to the large, long or Type II neurotoxins from other elapid venoms.Phospholipases: A class of enzymes that catalyze the hydrolysis of phosphoglycerides or glycerophosphatidates. EC 3.1.-.Membrane Glycoproteins: Glycoproteins found on the membrane or surface of cells.Binding Sites: The parts of a macromolecule that directly participate in its specific combination with another molecule.Glycopeptides: Proteins which contain carbohydrate groups attached covalently to the polypeptide chain. The protein moiety is the predominant group with the carbohydrate making up only a small percentage of the total weight.Lipid Bilayers: Layers of lipid molecules which are two molecules thick. Bilayer systems are frequently studied as models of biological membranes.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.Polyethylene Glycols: Polymers of ETHYLENE OXIDE and water, and their ethers. They vary in consistency from liquid to solid depending on the molecular weight indicated by a number following the name. They are used as SURFACTANTS, dispersing agents, solvents, ointment and suppository bases, vehicles, and tablet excipients. Some specific groups are NONOXYNOLS, OCTOXYNOLS, and POLOXAMERS.Molecular Sequence Data: Descriptions of specific amino acid, carbohydrate, or nucleotide sequences which have appeared in the published literature and/or are deposited in and maintained by databanks such as GENBANK, European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), National Biomedical Research Foundation (NBRF), or other sequence repositories.Receptors, Cell Surface: Cell surface proteins that bind signalling molecules external to the cell with high affinity and convert this extracellular event into one or more intracellular signals that alter the behavior of the target cell (From Alberts, Molecular Biology of the Cell, 2nd ed, pp693-5). Cell surface receptors, unlike enzymes, do not chemically alter their ligands.Magnesium: A metallic element that has the atomic symbol Mg, atomic number 12, and atomic weight 24.31. It is important for the activity of many enzymes, especially those involved in OXIDATIVE PHOSPHORYLATION.Membrane Proteins: Proteins which are found in membranes including cellular and intracellular membranes. They consist of two types, peripheral and integral proteins. They include most membrane-associated enzymes, antigenic proteins, transport proteins, and drug, hormone, and lectin receptors.Mitochondrial Membranes: The two lipoprotein layers in the MITOCHONDRION. The outer membrane encloses the entire mitochondrion and contains channels with TRANSPORT PROTEINS to move molecules and ions in and out of the organelle. The inner membrane folds into cristae and contains many ENZYMES important to cell METABOLISM and energy production (MITOCHONDRIAL ATP SYNTHASE).Guinea Pigs: A common name used for the genus Cavia. The most common species is Cavia porcellus which is the domesticated guinea pig used for pets and biomedical research.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.Radioligand Assay: Quantitative determination of receptor (binding) proteins in body fluids or tissue using radioactively labeled binding reagents (e.g., antibodies, intracellular receptors, plasma binders).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.Adenosine Triphosphate: An adenine nucleotide containing three phosphate groups esterified to the sugar moiety. In addition to its crucial roles in metabolism adenosine triphosphate is a neurotransmitter.gamma-Aminobutyric Acid: The most common inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system.Cattle: Domesticated bovine animals of the genus Bos, usually kept on a farm or ranch and used for the production of meat or dairy products or for heavy labor.Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid: Liquid chromatographic techniques which feature high inlet pressures, high sensitivity, and high speed.Swine: Any of various animals that constitute the family Suidae and comprise stout-bodied, short-legged omnivorous mammals with thick skin, usually covered with coarse bristles, a rather long mobile snout, and small tail. Included are the genera Babyrousa, Phacochoerus (wart hogs), and Sus, the latter containing the domestic pig (see SUS SCROFA).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.Hydrolysis: The process of cleaving a chemical compound by the addition of a molecule of water.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.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.Protease Inhibitors: Compounds which inhibit or antagonize biosynthesis or actions of proteases (ENDOPEPTIDASES).Tissue Distribution: Accumulation of a drug or chemical substance in various organs (including those not relevant to its pharmacologic or therapeutic action). This distribution depends on the blood flow or perfusion rate of the organ, the ability of the drug to penetrate organ membranes, tissue specificity, protein binding. The distribution is usually expressed as tissue to plasma ratios.Oligopeptides: Peptides composed of between two and twelve amino acids.Cell Line: Established cell cultures that have the potential to propagate indefinitely.Liposomes: Artificial, single or multilaminar vesicles (made from lecithins or other lipids) that are used for the delivery of a variety of biological molecules or molecular complexes to cells, for example, drug delivery and gene transfer. They are also used to study membranes and membrane proteins.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.Models, Biological: Theoretical representations that simulate the behavior or activity of biological processes or diseases. For disease models in living animals, DISEASE MODELS, ANIMAL is available. Biological models include the use of mathematical equations, computers, and other electronic equipment.Cell Fractionation: Techniques to partition various components of the cell into SUBCELLULAR FRACTIONS.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.Protein Structure, Tertiary: The level of protein structure in which combinations of secondary protein structures (alpha helices, beta sheets, loop regions, and motifs) pack together to form folded shapes called domains. Disulfide bridges between cysteines in two different parts of the polypeptide chain along with other interactions between the chains play a role in the formation and stabilization of tertiary structure. Small proteins usually consist of only one domain but larger proteins may contain a number of domains connected by segments of polypeptide chain which lack regular secondary structure.Extraembryonic Membranes: The thin layers of tissue that surround the developing embryo. There are four extra-embryonic membranes commonly found in VERTEBRATES, such as REPTILES; BIRDS; and MAMMALS. They are the YOLK SAC, the ALLANTOIS, the AMNION, and the CHORION. These membranes provide protection and means to transport nutrients and wastes.Hydrogen-Ion Concentration: The normality of a solution with respect to HYDROGEN ions; H+. It is related to acidity measurements in most cases by pH = log 1/2[1/(H+)], where (H+) is the hydrogen ion concentration in gram equivalents per liter of solution. (McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 6th ed)Detergents: Purifying or cleansing agents, usually salts of long-chain aliphatic bases or acids, that exert cleansing (oil-dissolving) and antimicrobial effects through a surface action that depends on possessing both hydrophilic and hydrophobic properties.
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