Torpedo: A genus of the Torpedinidae family consisting of several species. Members of this family have powerful electric organs and are commonly called electric rays.Electric Organ: In about 250 species of electric fishes, modified muscle fibers forming disklike multinucleate plates arranged in stacks like batteries in series and embedded in a gelatinous matrix. A large torpedo ray may have half a million plates. Muscles in different parts of the body may be modified, i.e., the trunk and tail in the electric eel, the hyobranchial apparatus in the electric ray, and extrinsic eye muscles in the stargazers. Powerful electric organs emit pulses in brief bursts several times a second. They serve to stun prey and ward off predators. A large torpedo ray can produce of shock of more than 200 volts, capable of stunning a human. (Storer et al., General Zoology, 6th ed, p672)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.Receptors, Nicotinic: One of the two major classes of cholinergic receptors. Nicotinic receptors were originally distinguished by their preference for NICOTINE over MUSCARINE. They are generally divided into muscle-type and neuronal-type (previously ganglionic) based on pharmacology, and subunit composition of the receptors.Acetylcholinesterase: An enzyme that catalyzes the hydrolysis of ACETYLCHOLINE to CHOLINE and acetate. In the CNS, this enzyme plays a role in the function of peripheral neuromuscular junctions. EC 220.127.116.11.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.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.Amphibian Venoms: Venoms produced by frogs, toads, salamanders, etc. The venom glands are usually on the skin of the back and contain cardiotoxic glycosides, cholinolytics, and a number of other bioactive materials, many of which have been characterized. The venoms have been used as arrow poisons and include bufogenin, bufotoxin, bufagin, bufotalin, histrionicotoxins, and pumiliotoxin.Fishes: A group of cold-blooded, aquatic vertebrates having gills, fins, a cartilaginous or bony endoskeleton, and elongated bodies covered with scales.Cobra Neurotoxin Proteins: Toxins, contained in cobra (Naja) venom that block cholinergic receptors; two specific proteins have been described, the small (short, Type I) and the large (long, Type II) which also exist in other Elapid venoms.Electrophorus: A genus of fish, in the family GYMNOTIFORMES, capable of producing an electric shock that immobilizes fish and other prey. The species Electrophorus electricus is also known as the electric eel, though it is not a true eel.Decamethonium Compounds: Compounds that contain the decamethylenebis(trimethyl)ammonium radical. These compounds frequently act as neuromuscular depolarizing agents.Acetylcholine: A neurotransmitter found at neuromuscular junctions, autonomic ganglia, parasympathetic effector junctions, a subset of sympathetic effector junctions, and at many sites in the central nervous system.Azirines: Unsaturated azacyclopropane compounds that are three-membered heterocycles of a nitrogen and two carbon atoms.Photoaffinity Labels: Biologically active molecules which are covalently bound to the enzymes or binding proteins normally acting on them. Binding occurs due to activation of the label by ultraviolet light. These labels are used primarily to identify binding sites on proteins.Diazonium CompoundsTubocurarine: A neuromuscular blocker and active ingredient in CURARE; plant based alkaloid of Menispermaceae.Macromolecular Substances: Compounds and molecular complexes that consist of very large numbers of atoms and are generally over 500 kDa in size. In biological systems macromolecular substances usually can be visualized using ELECTRON MICROSCOPY and are distinguished from ORGANELLES by the lack of a membrane structure.Myasthenia Gravis: A disorder of neuromuscular transmission characterized by weakness of cranial and skeletal muscles. Autoantibodies directed against acetylcholine receptors damage the motor endplate portion of the NEUROMUSCULAR JUNCTION, impairing the transmission of impulses to skeletal muscles. Clinical manifestations may include diplopia, ptosis, and weakness of facial, bulbar, respiratory, and proximal limb muscles. The disease may remain limited to the ocular muscles. THYMOMA is commonly associated with this condition. (Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p1459)Proadifen: An inhibitor of drug metabolism and CYTOCHROME P-450 ENZYME SYSTEM activity.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.Phencyclidine: A hallucinogen formerly used as a veterinary anesthetic, and briefly as a general anesthetic for humans. Phencyclidine is similar to KETAMINE in structure and in many of its effects. Like ketamine, it can produce a dissociative state. It exerts its pharmacological action through inhibition of NMDA receptors (RECEPTORS, N-METHYL-D-ASPARTATE). As a drug of abuse, it is known as PCP and Angel Dust.Affinity Labels: Analogs of those substrates or compounds which bind naturally at the active sites of proteins, enzymes, antibodies, steroids, or physiological receptors. These analogs form a stable covalent bond at the binding site, thereby acting as inhibitors of the proteins or steroids.Nicotinic Antagonists: Drugs that bind to nicotinic cholinergic receptors (RECEPTORS, NICOTINIC) and block the actions of acetylcholine or cholinergic agonists. Nicotinic antagonists block synaptic transmission at autonomic ganglia, the skeletal neuromuscular junction, and at central nervous system nicotinic synapses.Cholinesterase Inhibitors: Drugs that inhibit cholinesterases. The neurotransmitter ACETYLCHOLINE is rapidly hydrolyzed, and thereby inactivated, by cholinesterases. When cholinesterases are inhibited, the action of endogenously released acetylcholine at cholinergic synapses is potentiated. Cholinesterase inhibitors are widely used clinically for their potentiation of cholinergic inputs to the gastrointestinal tract and urinary bladder, the eye, and skeletal muscles; they are also used for their effects on the heart and the central nervous system.Essential Tremor: A relatively common disorder characterized by a fairly specific pattern of tremors which are most prominent in the upper extremities and neck, inducing titubations of the head. The tremor is usually mild, but when severe may be disabling. An autosomal dominant pattern of inheritance may occur in some families (i.e., familial tremor). (Mov Disord 1988;13(1):5-10)Tacrine: A cholinesterase inhibitor that crosses the blood-brain barrier. Tacrine has been used to counter the effects of muscle relaxants, as a respiratory stimulant, and in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease and other central nervous system disorders.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.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.Endoplasmic Reticulum, Smooth: A type of endoplasmic reticulum lacking associated ribosomes on the membrane surface. It exhibits a wide range of specialized metabolic functions including supplying enzymes for steroid synthesis, detoxification, and glycogen breakdown. In muscle cells, smooth endoplasmic reticulum is called SARCOPLASMIC RETICULUM.
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