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2

 Functional Assessment of Urinary Neuro-biogenic Amines—A COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE

Nerve cell

cells by the passage of charged miner-

al elements, or ions, into and out of the

cell. A lack of mineral elements may af-

fect the function of nerve cells, and pre-

vent proper electrical signaling.

In general, a neurotransmitter is syn-

thesized by the nerve cell, then, stored

in a

vesicle

until it is needed. There is al-

ways a small amount of neuro-biogenic

amines leaking out of vesicles into the

synapses; in a healthy nervous system

this neurotransmitter released is either

taken back into the nerve cell and ves-

icle or metabolized by enzymes in the

synapse or nerve cell. Some nerve cell

metabolites may act like neurobiogenic

amines or neuromodulators. Other me-

tabolites have no known function and

are simply excreted from the body by

the liver and kidneys. Normal levels of

neurotransmitters are essential for nerve

cell function in the central and peripher-

al nervous system.

The central nervous system (CNS)

consists of the brain and spinal cord

(Figure 2). The peripheral nervous sys-

tem consists of all the nerve fibers that

branch off from the spinal cord and ex-

tend to all parts of the body. The CNS

is separated from the peripheral nervous

system by the blood-brain barrier (BBB),

a single cell lining around the brain’s

blood vessels and capillaries (Figure 2).

The semi-permeable membrane barri-

er limits blood circulation access to the

brain and spinal cord. The BBB is meant

to protect the brain from foreign sub-

stances and infectious agents, to main-

tain a constant supportive environment

for the brain, and to keep out hormones

and neurotransmitters released into

circulation.

FIGURE 1.

NERVE SYNAPSE

The image demonstrates the components of a single

neural synapse. Each nerve cell has many synapses

with other neurons:

A : Presynaptic Neuron (Axon)

B : Post-synaptic Neuron (Dendrite)

1. Nerve cell mitochondria

2. Synaptic

vesicle

full of neuro-biogenic amine

3. Autoreceptor

4.

Synapse

5. Neurotransmitter

receptor

6. Calcium Channel

7. Fused vesicle releasing neurotransmitter

8. Neurotransmitter

re-uptake

pump

Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. Synapse drawn by fr:Utilisateur:Dake with

Inkscape 0.42. Used with permission.