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.Veratridine: A benzoate-cevane found in VERATRUM and Schoenocaulon. It activates SODIUM CHANNELS to stay open longer than normal.Nerve Endings: Branch-like terminations of NERVE FIBERS, sensory or motor NEURONS. Endings of sensory neurons are the beginnings of afferent pathway to the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM. Endings of motor neurons are the terminals of axons at the muscle cells. Nerve endings which release neurotransmitters are called PRESYNAPTIC TERMINALS.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.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.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.VeratrineNeurotoxins: 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.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.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.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.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.Potassium Chloride: A white crystal or crystalline powder used in BUFFERS; FERTILIZERS; and EXPLOSIVES. It can be used to replenish ELECTROLYTES and restore WATER-ELECTROLYTE BALANCE in treating HYPOKALEMIA.Potassium: An element in the alkali group of metals with an atomic symbol K, atomic number 19, and atomic weight 39.10. It is the chief cation in the intracellular fluid of muscle and other cells. Potassium ion is a strong electrolyte that plays a significant role in the regulation of fluid volume and maintenance of the WATER-ELECTROLYTE BALANCE.Botulinum Toxins: Toxic proteins produced from the species CLOSTRIDIUM BOTULINUM. The toxins are synthesized as a single peptide chain which is processed into a mature protein consisting of a heavy chain and light chain joined via a disulfide bond. The botulinum toxin light chain is a zinc-dependent protease which is released from the heavy chain upon ENDOCYTOSIS into PRESYNAPTIC NERVE ENDINGS. Once inside the cell the botulinum toxin light chain cleaves specific SNARE proteins which are essential for secretion of ACETYLCHOLINE by SYNAPTIC VESICLES. This inhibition of acetylcholine release results in muscular PARALYSIS.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)Choline: A basic constituent of lecithin that is found in many plants and animal organs. It is important as a precursor of acetylcholine, as a methyl donor in various metabolic processes, and in lipid metabolism.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.Dopamine Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins: Sodium chloride-dependent neurotransmitter symporters located primarily on the PLASMA MEMBRANE of dopaminergic neurons. They remove DOPAMINE from the EXTRACELLULAR SPACE by high affinity reuptake into PRESYNAPTIC TERMINALS and are the target of DOPAMINE UPTAKE INHIBITORS.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.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.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.Nerve Tissue ProteinsNeurotransmitter 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.Spider Venoms: Venoms of arthropods of the order Araneida of the ARACHNIDA. The venoms usually contain several protein fractions, including ENZYMES, hemolytic, neurolytic, and other TOXINS, BIOLOGICAL.Scorpion Venoms: Venoms from animals of the order Scorpionida of the class Arachnida. They contain neuro- and hemotoxins, enzymes, and various other factors that may release acetylcholine and catecholamines from nerve endings. Of the several protein toxins that have been characterized, most are immunogenic.Norepinephrine: Precursor of epinephrine that is secreted by the adrenal medulla and is a widespread central and autonomic neurotransmitter. Norepinephrine is the principal transmitter of most postganglionic sympathetic fibers and of the diffuse projection system in the brain arising from the locus ceruleus. It is also found in plants and is used pharmacologically as a sympathomimetic.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.TritiumReceptors, Phencyclidine: Specific sites or molecular structures on cell membranes or in cells with which phencyclidine reacts or to which it binds to elicit the specific response of the cell to phencyclidine. Studies have demonstrated the presence of multiple receptor sites for PCP. These are the PCP/sigma site, which binds both PCP and psychotomimetic opiates but not certain antipsychotics, and the PCP site, which selectively binds PCP analogs.Synapsins: A family of synaptic vesicle-associated proteins involved in the short-term regulation of NEUROTRANSMITTER release. Synapsin I, the predominant member of this family, links SYNAPTIC VESICLES to ACTIN FILAMENTS in the presynaptic nerve terminal. These interactions are modulated by the reversible PHOSPHORYLATION of synapsin I through various signal transduction pathways. The protein is also a substrate for cAMP- and CALCIUM-CALMODULIN-DEPENDENT PROTEIN KINASES. It is believed that these functional properties are also shared by synapsin II.gamma-Aminobutyric Acid: The most common inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system.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.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.Sodium: A member of the alkali group of metals. It has the atomic symbol Na, atomic number 11, and atomic weight 23.Marine Toxins: Toxic or poisonous substances elaborated by marine flora or fauna. They include also specific, characterized poisons or toxins for which there is no more specific heading, like those from poisonous FISHES.Brain 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.Mollusk Venoms: Venoms from mollusks, including CONUS and OCTOPUS species. The venoms contain proteins, enzymes, choline derivatives, slow-reacting substances, and several characterized polypeptide toxins that affect the nervous system. Mollusk venoms include cephalotoxin, venerupin, maculotoxin, surugatoxin, conotoxins, and murexine.Oxocins: Compounds based on an 8-membered heterocyclic ring including an oxygen. They can be considered medium ring ethers.Kinetics: The rate dynamics in chemical or physical systems.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.Carbonyl Cyanide p-Trifluoromethoxyphenylhydrazone: A proton ionophore that is commonly used as an uncoupling agent in biochemical studies.Calcium Radioisotopes: Unstable isotopes of calcium that decay or disintegrate emitting radiation. Ca atoms with atomic weights 39, 41, 45, 47, 49, and 50 are radioactive calcium isotopes.Protein Synthesis Inhibitors: Compounds which inhibit the synthesis of proteins. They are usually ANTI-BACTERIAL AGENTS or toxins. Mechanism of the action of inhibition includes the interruption of peptide-chain elongation, the blocking the A site of ribosomes, the misreading of the genetic code or the prevention of the attachment of oligosaccharide side chains to glycoproteins.Scintillation Counting: Detection and counting of scintillations produced in a fluorescent material by ionizing radiation.Cycloheximide: Antibiotic substance isolated from streptomycin-producing strains of Streptomyces griseus. It acts by inhibiting elongation during protein synthesis.Chloramphenicol: An antibiotic first isolated from cultures of Streptomyces venequelae in 1947 but now produced synthetically. It has a relatively simple structure and was the first broad-spectrum antibiotic to be discovered. It acts by interfering with bacterial protein synthesis and is mainly bacteriostatic. (From Martindale, The Extra Pharmacopoeia, 29th ed, p106)Tryptophan Hydroxylase: An enzyme that catalyzes the hydroxylation of TRYPTOPHAN to 5-HYDROXYTRYPTOPHAN in the presence of NADPH and molecular oxygen. It is important in the biosynthesis of SEROTONIN.Mephentermine: A sympathomimetic agent with specificity for alpha-1 adrenergic receptors. It is used to maintain BLOOD PRESSURE in hypotensive states such as following SPINAL ANESTHESIA.Decapitation: Traumatic or experimentally induced separation of the head from the body in an animal or human.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.Mitochondria: Semiautonomous, self-reproducing organelles that occur in the cytoplasm of all cells of most, but not all, eukaryotes. Each mitochondrion is surrounded by a double limiting membrane. The inner membrane is highly invaginated, and its projections are called cristae. Mitochondria are the sites of the reactions of oxidative phosphorylation, which result in the formation of ATP. They contain distinctive RIBOSOMES, transfer RNAs (RNA, TRANSFER); AMINO ACYL T RNA SYNTHETASES; and elongation and termination factors. Mitochondria depend upon genes within the nucleus of the cells in which they reside for many essential messenger RNAs (RNA, MESSENGER). Mitochondria are believed to have arisen from aerobic bacteria that established a symbiotic relationship with primitive protoeukaryotes. (King & Stansfield, A Dictionary of Genetics, 4th ed)Pyroglutamyl-Peptidase I: An enzyme that catalyzes the release of a N-terminal pyroglutamyl group from a polypeptide provided the next residue is not proline. It is inhibited by thiol-blocking reagents and occurs in mammalian tissues, microorganisms, and plants. (From Enzyme Nomenclature, 1992) EC Reductase: A flavoprotein that catalyzes the reduction of heme-thiolate-dependent monooxygenases and is part of the microsomal hydroxylating system. EC Reticulum: A system of cisternae in the CYTOPLASM of many cells. In places the endoplasmic reticulum is continuous with the plasma membrane (CELL MEMBRANE) or outer membrane of the nuclear envelope. If the outer surfaces of the endoplasmic reticulum membranes are coated with ribosomes, the endoplasmic reticulum is said to be rough-surfaced (ENDOPLASMIC RETICULUM, ROUGH); otherwise it is said to be smooth-surfaced (ENDOPLASMIC RETICULUM, SMOOTH). (King & Stansfield, A Dictionary of Genetics, 4th ed)