Académie royale de Médecine de Belgique

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Résumé Sylvester E. Vizi

(Séance du 25 octobre 2003)

NON-SYNAPTIC INTERACTION BETWEEN NEURONS IN THE BRAIN, AN ANALOG SYSTEM : FAR FROM CAJAL-SHERRINGTONS’S GALAXY        

par E.S. VIZI (Budapest), Président de l’Académie des Sciences de Hongrie, invité.

The functional interactions between neurons without synaptic contacts are specialized to function on a time scale of seconds (minutes) and a distance scale of hundreds of micrometers.  These nonsynaptic receptors and transporters are of high affinity and have many implications for psychiatry, for understanding e.g. depression, changes in mood, in appetite, affective illnesses, etc… It is, therefore, suggested that many drugs applied in psychiatric diseases exert their effects after diffusion through extracellular spaces and may mimic the mode, or may influence the effect of endogenous ligands.

The nonsynaptic chemical communication between neurons, and between neurons and target cells, via both pre- and post- synaptic sites, seems likely to achieve growing recognition.  This system has a similar degree of selectivity to that of synaptic circuitry but have, in addition, a domain of versatility and plasticity in “hardwired” circuitry.   

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