The interactions of the agonists and antagonists of neurotransmitters with their receptors are helping to elucidate the mechanisms of action of neurotransmitters in synaptic transmission. In many cases, the agonist 'sites' differ from the antagonists 'sites' on a receptor the actual site occupied by a molecule affects the 'state' of the receptor and therefore its function. Local ionic concentrations can also have further effects on the control exerted by the receptor on synaptic transmission. Hence for research workers in this field the problem is no longer: Will a substance bind to a receptor? Now it is: What is the consequence of the substance binding? Sol Snyder reviews our present state of progress in answering these questions.
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