Cholinergic Stimulation

Human anatomy > Autonomic Nervous System > Cholinergic Stimulation

Cholinergic stimulation is the response of the somatic motor neurons when a stimulus is present. It reacts by releasing acetylcholine from the synaptic vesicles found in the neurons. The chemical neurotransmitter is crucial for the propagation of nerve impulse. It crosses the synapse to stimulate the contraction of muscles such as the heart. Here are the things you must understand about it. 

Cholinergic stimulation

The Action of Acetylcholine

When a stimulus is present, the presynaptic vesicles release the chemical in the synapse, causing the calcium channels to open. The binding of the chemical with the acetylcholine receptor leads to the influx of sodium in the cytoplasm of the muscle fiber. When the original stimulus ceases, cholinergic stimulation stops through the degradation of the chemical. The enzyme acetylcholine esterase splits the substance into two; namely, the acetyl and choline. Separately, they cannot stimulate the muscles to contract. 

Interaction with the Receptors

Cholinergic stimulation occurs when the receptor sites interact with the chemical neurotransmitter. The interaction is possible because of the ionic attraction between the charged particles in the substance. If you use artificial drugs for cholinergic stimulation, the action can either be direct or indirect. The direct acting agents mimic the effects of the acetylcholine while the indirect action prevents the enzymes from hydrolyzing the chemical. The action allows the buildup of the acetylcholine, resulting to a longer activation in the site. 

The Artificial Stimulators

Physicians use the action of cholinergic stimulation to achieve different processes in the body. The action can lead to dilation of the blood vessels, bradycardia or slow heart rate, constriction of the lower respiratory tract and the secretion of more mucous, increased salivation, increased activity of the sweat glands and lacrimal gland, and the constriction of the pupils of the eye. 

Your physician will prescribe any of the drugs known to cause cholinergic stimulation. However, be cautious in taking them as an overdose can lead to fatal effects.

© Copyright 2010-2011