Excitatory Amino Acid Receptors in the Rat Cochlear Nucleus
The neurotransmitters of the cochlear nucleus (CN) have received considerable attention, but probably the most important class of neurotransmitters, the excitatory amino acids (EAAs), is also the least understood not only in the CN, but throughout the central nervous system. They have been difficult to study on essentially all levels, including measurement of the amino acids themselves, their biosynthesis and degradation, release, and postsynaptic receptors. With the exception of neuropeptides, EAAs appear to be the last major class of neurotransmitters to be identified even though it is now commonly believed that most excitatory synapses in the central nervous system use an EAA as a neurotransmitter. Many attempts were made to identify a marker that could be used for selectively localizing EAA releasing neurons. Several useful markers were identified, including glutamate and aspartate themselves, uptake of radioactive EAAs, and enzymes in the metabolism of glutamate and aspartate, but no reliable method, which worked in all cases, was found.
KeywordsGranule Cell Auditory Nerve Cochlear Nucleus Dorsal Cochlear Nucleus Excitatory Amino Acid Receptor
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