9.15 / 9.150 Biochemistry and Pharmacology of Synaptic Transmission

Fall 2003

The neurotransmitter serotonin.
Image of the neurotransmitter serotonin. (Image courtesy of MIT's Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences.)

Course Highlights

This course features an extensive reading list.

Course Description

This course considers the process of neurotransmission, especially chemicals used in the brain and elsewhere to carry signals from nerve terminals to the structures they innervate. The class focuses on monoamine transmitters (acetylcholine; serotonin; dopamine and norepinephrine); it also examines amino acid and peptide transmitters and neuromodulators like adenosine. Macromolecules that mediate neurotransmitter synthesis, release, inactivation, and receptor-mediated actions are discussed, as well as factors that regulate their activity and the second-messenger systems they control.

*Some translations represent previous versions of courses.

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Prof. Richard J. Wurtman

Course Meeting Times

Two sessions / week
1.5 hours / session


Undergraduate / Graduate


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