What neurotransmitter is responsible for muscle contraction?


Calcium controls a wide range of cellular functions such as muscle contraction, neurotransmitter and hormone release. AnswerParty!

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neurotransmitter Biology Anatomy
Signal transduction

Signal transduction occurs when an extracellular signaling molecule activates a cell surface receptor. In turn, this receptor alters intracellular molecules creating a response. There are two stages in this process:

In either step, the signal can be amplified. Thus, one signalling molecule can cause many responses. A signal transduction functions much like a switch.]citation needed[

Muscular system

The muscular system is an organ system consisting of skeletal, smooth and cardiac muscles. It permits movement of the body, maintains posture, and circulates blood throughout the body. The muscular system in vertebrates is controlled through the nervous system, although some muscles (such as the cardiac muscle) can be completely autonomous. Together with the skeletal system it forms the musculoskeletal system, which is responsible for movement of the human body.]citation needed[

Skeletal muscle

Skeletal muscle is a form of striated muscle tissue which is under the control of the somatic nervous system; that is to say, it is voluntarily controlled. It is one of three major muscle types, the others being cardiac and smooth muscle. As their name suggests, most skeletal muscles are attached to bones by bundles of collagen fibers known as tendons.

Skeletal muscle is made up of individual components known as myocytes, or "muscle cells", sometimes colloquially called "muscle fibers". They are formed from the fusion of developmental myoblasts (a type of embryonic progenitor cell that gives rise to a muscle cell) in a process known as myogenesis. These long, cylindrical, multinucleated cells are also called myofibers.

Exercise physiology

Exercise physiology is the study of the acute responses and chronic adaptations to a wide range of physical exercise conditions. In addition, many exercise physiologists study the effect of exercise on pathology, and the mechanisms by which exercise can reduce or reverse disease progression. Accreditation programs exist with professional bodies in most developed countries, ensuring the quality and consistency of education. In Canada, one may obtain the professional certification title - Certified Exercise Physiologist for those working with clients (both clinical and non clinical) in the health and fitness industry.

An exercise physiologist's area of study may include but is not limited to biochemistry, bioenergetics, cardiopulmonary function, hematology, biomechanics, skeletal muscle physiology, neuroendocrine function, and central and peripheral nervous system function. Furthermore, exercise physiologists range from basic scientists, to clinical researchers, to clinicians, to sports trainers.

Muscle contraction

Muscle fiber generates tension during the action of actin and myosin cross-bridge cycling. While under tension, the muscle may lengthen, shorten, or remain the same. Although the term contraction implies shortening, when referring to the muscular system, it means muscle fibers generating tension with the help of motor neurons (the terms twitch tension, twitch force, and fiber contraction are also used).

Voluntary muscle contraction is controlled by the central nervous system. The brain sends signals, in the form of action potentials, through the nervous system to the motor neuron that innervates several muscle fibers. In the case of some reflexes, the signal to contract can originate in the spinal cord through a feedback loop with the grey matter. Involuntary muscles such as the heart or smooth muscles in the gut and vascular system contract as a result of non-conscious brain activity or stimuli proceeding in the body to the muscle itself.

Calcium in biology

Calcium (Ca2+) plays a pivotal role in the physiology and biochemistry of organisms and the cell. It plays an important role in signal transduction pathways, where it acts as a second messenger, in neurotransmitter release from neurons, contraction of all muscle cell types, and fertilization. Many enzymes require calcium ions as a cofactor, those of the blood-clotting cascade being notable examples. Extracellular calcium is also important for maintaining the potential difference across excitable cell membranes, as well as proper bone formation.

Calcium levels in mammals are tightly regulated, with bone acting as the major mineral storage site. Calcium ions, Ca2+, are released from bone into the bloodstream under controlled conditions. Calcium is transported through the bloodstream as dissolved ions or bound to proteins such as serum albumin. Parathyroid hormone secreted by the parathyroid gland regulates the resorption of Ca2+ from bone, reabsorption in the kidney back into circulation, and increases in the activation of 3vitamin D to Calcitriol. Calcitriol, the active form of vitamin D3, promotes absorption of calcium from the intestines and the mobilization of calcium ions from bone matrix. Calcitonin secreted from the parafollicular cells of the thyroid gland also affects calcium levels by opposing parathyroid hormone; however, its physiological significance in humans is dubious.

Second messenger system

Second messengers are molecules that relay signals from receptors on the cell surface to target molecules inside the cell, in the cytoplasm or nucleus. They relay the signals of hormones like epinephrine (adrenaline), growth factors, and others, and cause some kind of change in the activity of the cell. They greatly amplify the strength of the signal. Secondary messengers are a component of signal transduction cascades.

Earl Wilbur Sutherland, Jr., discovered second messengers, for which he won the 1971 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Sutherland saw that epinephrine would stimulate the liver to convert glycogen to glucose (sugar) in liver cells, but epinephrine alone would not convert glycogen to glucose. He found that epinephrine had to trigger a second messenger, cyclic AMP, for the liver to convert glycogen to glucose. The mechanisms were worked out in detail by Martin Rodbell and Alfred G. Gilman, who won the 1994 Nobel prize.



The Cav2.1 P/Q voltage-dependent calcium channel is encoded by the CACNA1A gene.

Science of drugs including their origin, composition, pharmacokinetics,
pharmacodynamics, therapeutic use, and toxicology.

Pharmacology (from Greek φάρμακον, pharmakon, "poison" in classic Greek; "drug" in modern Greek; and -λογία, -logia "study of", "knowledge of") is the branch of medicine and biology concerned with the study of drug action, where a drug can be broadly defined as any man-made, natural, or endogenous (within the body) molecule which exerts a biochemical and/or physiological effect on the cell, tissue, organ, or organism. More specifically, it is the study of the interactions that occur between a living organism and chemicals that affect normal or abnormal biochemical function. If substances have medicinal properties, they are considered pharmaceuticals.


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