SYNAPTIC MODULATION OF NEURONAL COUPLING

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Abstract

Electrotonic coupling among neurons in the vertebrate, and more specifically the mammalian, brain has now been demonstrated to exist in all major brain subdivisions and in the spinal cord. For many of these brain areas, recent studies have investigated the possibilities of modulation of that coupling by synaptically released transmitters and/or neuromodulators. Reviewed here is the evidence for coupling, the synaptically related factors that play roles in up- or downregulation of this type of intercellular interaction and, to the extent that they have been investigated, the intracellular mechanisms operative in changing the extent of coupled networks in the brain. The functional significance of coupling and its modulation is discussed for some of these areas.

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