The binding of serotonin to elements from the synapse has been investigated in an attempt to develop methods for the investigation of synaptic events by biochemical methods. Chemical interactions are known to be important for the transmission of impulses across the synapse the importance of these interactions in connection with brain mechanisms is discussed. The physiology of the neurohumoral agent, serotonin, is discussed it has a role in brain function, but its exact function remains obscure. Methods of evaluating the amount of a particular binding component and its equilibrium constant are discussed these involve the measurement of the amount bound as a function of serotonin concentration. Binding components are distinguished by the association constant of the binding reaction. Functional significance is assigned to the binding components by investigation of their properties, and particularly, by examination of the effects of inhibitors on the binding component. The amount bound by a homogenate is determined by equilibrium dialysis, centrifugal separation of the macromolecule phase, and a method involving the macromolecular exclusion properties of sephadex. Nerve ending particles containing elements of the synapse have been isolated by a combination of differential and isopycknic centrifugation. Author
Technical rept., no. 6,
Rept. on Cognitive Systems Research Program. Doctoral thesis.