Project: Research project

Project Details


The objectives of this research are to investigate the
physiological role of neuro-transmitter co-localization and release
in the mammalian sympathetic nervous system and to understand the
relationship between these transmitters and the maintenance of
visceral homeostasis. The results of this study will expand our
understanding of the integrative capacity of synaptic interactions
between elements that posses a number of transmitters that may be
released under different of activity. Understanding the cellular
mechanism of ganglionic neurotransmission and the sympathetic
innervation of end-organs is essential to the design of therapies
for the treatment of gastrointestinal and vascular disorders. The
experiments described here are designed to identify the chemical
substances that are used by these sympathetic neurons as
neurotransmitters and to understand their mechanism of action.
Using dissociated cell culture, it will be possible to study the
synaptic interactions between neurons and between neurons and other
target cells in a greatly simplified situation. In the extreme
condition, it will be possible to study a single neuron grown in
isolation. Although the synaptic interactions may still be
complex, the number of interacting elements can be controlled. The
expression of neurotransmitters will be assayed using a combination
of electrophysiological, cytochemical, and biochemical techniques.
The physiological effects of these transmitters will be examined
by observing their effects when applied directly and by observing
synaptically transmitted effects. The use of pharmacological
antagonists will help to identify the transmitters being released.
the results obtained in this study will promote investigations of
cellular function in intact ganglia. A final objective of this
study is to understand the mechanism that regulate the expression
of the transmitters. This objective arises from the observation
that in vivo there are specific patterns in the distribution of co-
localized transmitters. The possibility that neurons may be
induced to express specific arrays of transmitters by their targets
will be investigated.
Effective start/end date2/1/883/31/94


  • National Institutes of Health: $85,380.00


  • Medicine(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)


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