Dopamine induces sign reversal at mixed chemical-electrical synapses

Brain Res. 1993 Oct 15;625(1):159-64. doi: 10.1016/0006-8993(93)90149-h.


A mixed chemical/electrical synapse can generate variable output when the strength of each synaptic component is modulated. At mixed synapses of the lobster pyloric network, the chemical component is inhibitory. Without neuromodulation, the chemical component is weak or absent and the electrical component often dominates. Dopamine reverses the sign of these mixed synaptic interactions by a reduction in the strength of electrical coupling and an enhancement of chemical inhibition, including activation of silent chemical synapses. Sign reversal at mixed synapses by neuromodulators may contribute to functional rewiring of neural networks.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dopamine / pharmacology*
  • Electrochemistry
  • Ganglia, Invertebrate / drug effects
  • Ganglia, Invertebrate / metabolism
  • Ganglia, Invertebrate / physiology
  • Nephropidae
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Pylorus / innervation
  • Synapses / drug effects*
  • Synapses / metabolism
  • Synapses / physiology*


  • Dopamine