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Cephalopod NeurobiologyNeuroscience Studies in Squid, Octopus and Cuttlefish$
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N. Joan Abbott, Roddy Williamson, and Linda Maddock

Print publication date: 1995

Print ISBN-13: 9780198547907

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198547907.001.0001

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Chemical transmission at the squid giant synapse

Chemical transmission at the squid giant synapse

(p.283) 19 Chemical transmission at the squid giant synapse
Cephalopod Neurobiology

J. B. Messemger

A. De Santis

D. C. Ogden

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses some recent experiments suggesting that l-glutamate is very probably an endogenous transmitter at the synapse, including the first demonstration that glutamate, when abruptly released in the synaptic cleft, can elicit action potentials in the third-order giant axon. There have been several experiments implicating glutamate as a possible transmitter at the synapse. The evidence for glutamate includes depolarization of the postsynaptic membrane by iontophoretically applied l-glutamate, kainate, or quisqualate; blockade of the excitatory postsynaptic potential (EPSP) by bath application of glutamate; and irreversible blockade of the EPSP and glutamate-induced depolarization by JSTX, a toxin from Joro spider (Nephila clavata) venom. The main objection to glutamate being the endogenous transmitter has always been that the depolarization evoked by glutamate has a different reversal potential from that of the EPSP. An important difficulty here is that the postsynaptic membrane is not uniformly sensitive to iontophoretically applied glutamate or its agonists.

Keywords:   squid giant synapse, l-glutamate, iontophoretically applied l-glutamate, excitatory postsynaptic potential, Joro spider, JSTX

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