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Addiction Science: From Molecules to Managed Care

Neurotransmission (continued)

How neurotransmission works specifically for dopamine, illustration shows dopamine being released into the synapse, some bonding with receptors and some being transported back into the neuron

When a signal comes down the axon, dopamine (shown in orange) is released into the synapse. It then crosses the synaptic cleft to the second neuron, where it binds to and stimulates dopamine receptors (shown in blue), generating a signal in the second neuron. The dopamine is then released from the receptor and crosses back to the first neuron where it is picked up by dopamine transporters (reuptake molecules; shown in purple) for re-use.

This page was last updated July 2008