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NIDA

Addiction Science: From Molecules to Managed Care

Neurotransmission

How neurotransmission works specifically for dopamine, illustration of synapse showing dopamine stored in a vessicle, and the receptor on the other side of the synapse

This image and the one that follows show how neurotransmission works specifically for dopamine. What is schematically illustrated in this image is a nerve terminal (top), the synaptic cleft or space between the neurons, and the post-synaptic or receiving portion of a dendrite on a neighboring neuron. Dopamine is contained in vesicles (round storage sites) in the nerve terminal; dopamine receptors are present on the receiving (bottom) neuron.

This page was last updated July 2008