Despite Similarities Arousing Systems Also Display Unique Properties

There are considerable differences in the biochemical pathways through which NMTs act on target neurons. NMTs linked directly to ligand-gated mechanisms (e.g., 5HT-1 and glutamate) produce fast postsynaptic responses with short durations. In contrast, those linked to second messenger systems (ACh, NA, DA, SE, and HA) have slower onsets and longer duration. The latter systems may be further divided into classes based on the postsynaptic currents they activate. For example, muscarinic receptor stimulation causes a decrease in K+ currents, b-adrenergic receptor activation decreases Ca2 + -activated K+ currents (IAHP), and 5HT receptor stimulation causes a decrease in the voltage-sensitive K+ current IM.

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