Mary K. Worden
Primary AppointmentAssociate Professor,
Hormonal Modulation of Neuromuscular Function
The utility of the stimulus-dependent mobilization model is that it enables estimation of the number of quantal units of transmitter mobilized by each action potential, as well as the rate constant of quantal demobilization from the docking sites back to the reserve quantal store. One current line of research focuses on the cellular mechanisms by which circulating hormones, such as serotonin, potentiate neurotransmission. We are testing the hypothesis that serotonin either enhances quantal mobilization or decreases quantal demobilization, in addition to increasing the probability of quantal fusion. Future plans include examining how second messenger pathways regulate the processes of quantal mobilization and docking, and identifying the physiological roles played by synaptic proteins in the neurosecretory process.