[Brain neurons partly expressing monoaminergic phenotype: distribution, development, and functional significance].
Besides the monoaminergic neurons possessing the whole set of the enzymes of monoamine synthesis from the precursor amino acid and the monoamine membrane transporter, the neurons partly expressing monoaminergic phenotype, one of the enzymes of monoamine synthesis and/or monoamine membrane transporter, have been discovered. The monoenzymatic neurons are widely distributed through the brain being even more numerous than monoaminergic neurons suggesting their important functional role. Most numerous monoenzymatic neurons express individual enzymes of dopamine (DA), tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) or aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase (AADC). TH is enzymatically active in most monoenzymatic neurons converting L-tyrosine to L-DOPA. AADC is enzymatically active in all studied monoenzymatic neurons converting extracellular L-dihydroxyphenylalanine (L-DOPA) or 5-hydroxytryptophan captured from the extracellular space, to DA or serotonin, respectively. Monoenzymatic neurons expressing complementary enzymes of the DA synthetic pathway synthesize this neurotransmitter in cooperation. The cooperative synthesis of monoamines by non-monoaminergic neurons is believed to be a compensatory reaction under the functional insufficiency of monoaminergic neurons. In addition to monoenzymatic neurons, less numerous non-monoaminergic neurons expressing the serotonin membrane transporter but lacking all the enzymes or only rate-limiting enzymes of monoamine synthesis have been discovered. Although the functional significance of these neurons remains uncertain, they most probably represent a temporal store of serotonin captured within the brain either from the intercellular space or the cerebrospinal fluid. Thus, a substantial number of the brain neurons express partly the monoaminergic phenotype, probably, serving to compensate the functional deficiency of monoaminergic neurons.
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