FRANCIS LEROY & MICHAEL PIERARD, BIOCOSMOS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY FRANCIS LEROY & MICHAEL PIERARD, BIOCOSMOS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Glutamate cycle, animation. Glutamate (red dots) is the most important excitatory neurotransmitter in vertebrate nervous systems. It is synthesised inside neurons, most often from glutamine (yellow dots) by the enzyme glutaminase. Once synthesised it is packaged into vesicles. When an electrical signal reaches the neuron, glutamate is released from the cell into the synapse (space between two nerve cells). The glutamate binds with receptors on the postsynaptic cell, triggering an electrical impulse. The glutamate is then recovered by glial cells, which convert it back to glutamine, via glutamine synthetase, before transporting it back to neurons.
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