The behaviour of neurologic water during axonal and synaptic neurotransmission: An in silico study.
Water is known to take on highly organized structures to influence the reactivity of chemical and biological systems; despite this, water is often only implicitly or approximately included in theoretical studies of biochemical systems, if not omitted entirely. Many of the current models for biological processes predate an understanding of the complex behaviour of water, yet these models have not been updated. This thesis presents an exploration of how a better of water might affect the models used to describe neurotransmission. Two classes of systems are investigated, representing the two main categories of neurotransmission: that which occurs along the length of a neuron, and that which occurs between one neuron and another cell. Lipid bilayers are studied using molecular dynamics, and neurotransmitters are studied using Car-Parrinello molecular dynamics. The results indicate that water structures may play a more specific role in neurotransmission than was previously thought.