9.15 / 9.150 Biochemistry and Pharmacology of Synaptic Transmission

Fall 2007

The neurotransmitter serotonin.
Image of the neurotransmitter serotonin. (Image courtesy of MIT's Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences.)

Course Description

This course considers the process of neurotransmission, especially chemicals used in the brain and elsewhere to carry signals from nerve terminals to the structures they innervate. We focus on monoamine transmitters (acetylcholine; serotonin; dopamine and norepinephrine); we also examine amino acid and peptide transmitters and neuromodulators like adenosine. Macromolecules that mediate neurotransmitter synthesis, release, inactivation and receptor-mediated actions are discussed, as well as factors that regulate their activity and the second-messenger systems and ion fluxes that they control. The involvement of particular neurotransmitters in human diseases is considered.
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Staff

Instructor:
Prof. Richard Wurtman

Course Meeting Times

Lectures:
Two sessions / week
1.5 hours / session

Recitations:
One session / week
1.5 hours / session

Level

Undergraduate / Graduate