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Glutamic acid neurotransmitter crystals, light micrograph

Glutamic acid neurotransmitter crystals, light micrograph

C037/4354

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Credit

ANTONIO ROMERO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ANTONIO ROMERO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Polarized light micrograph of glutamic acid crystals, the major excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain and in the central nervous system in general. It is the main mediator of sensory information, motor coordination, long-term potentiation, emotions, and of cognitive functions such as learning, memory formation, and memory retrieval. Glutamic acid is used in the biosynthesis of proteins. It is also a key molecule in cellular metabolism. Glutamate is responsible for the umami taste, and is also a source of energy and an essential constituent of the bacterial peptidoglycan structure of cell walls. Excitotoxicity due to excessive glutamate is associated with stroke, autism, lathyrism, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Alzheimer's disease. Field of view size: 0.

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