A Theory of Neuropeptides?

k p Collins kpaulc at [----------]earthlink.net
Wed Jan 7 03:13:43 EST 2004


"yan king yin" <y.k.y at lycos.com> wrote in message
news:72de81ae.0401060226.67da0596 at posting.google.com...
> Hi =)
>
> Neuropeptides (when they're located at the pre-synapse) are usually
secreted
> after intense stimulation such as tetanic trains. Is it possible that they
> represent a sort of "over-flow" situation? When the synapse runs out of
> "space", then it tries to encode information in the time domain by
releasing
> peptides? The effects of peptides are usually *long-lasting* changes in
> synaptic dynamics, such as altering the shape of later action potentials.
>
> I've read a recent article by H Markram which argues that synapses are
highly
> *dynamic* and that they may encode information in the time domain with
> internal parameters determining the degrees of facilitation / depression
in
> response to a train of spikes.
>
> I guess (I'm not sure about this) many neuropeptides evolved *after* the
> emergence of the action potential. If this is true then it makes sense
that
> neuropeptides may serve an auxiliary function (ie information "overflow").
>
> Any comments? =)
> YKY

There's one 'concern' with respect to your hypothesis [which I like,
not because I can say much with respect to it, without doing some
reading, but because it's Bold-and-Free] that has to be worked-
through.

If your hypothesis is valid, then, when does the brain 'catch-up'
from the overload condition?

There's an easy first-test with respect to this question - assay
peptide concentrations before and after episodes of sleeping
consciousness [because, if your hypothesis is valid, then the
'catching-up' would be most-easily handled during sleeping-
consciousness. And, since it's easy to look at before-and-
after-sleep peptide concentrations [well, relatively-easy, all
things considered], checking that out would be a good first
'step' to take with respect to your hypothesis.

[BTW, in my view, 'information-overload' is handled by
processing that is organized 'within' the amygdala [and,
of course, other areas that project to, and receive from,
the amygdala. So, I don't see 'information-overload' as be-
ing something that is consigned exclusively to molecular
dynamics.]

ken [k. p. collins]





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