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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Nobel Laureates: Ulf von Euler and Julius Axelrod


The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1970.

"for their discoveries concerning the humoral transmittors in the nerve terminals and the mechanism for their storage, release and inactivation"

Ulf von Euler (1905 - 1983) and Julius Axelrod (1912 - 2004) won the Noble Prize in 1970 for elucidating the role of noradrenaline (norepinephrine) in transmitting nerve impulses. Axelrad and von Euler shared the prize with Sir Bernard Katz who worked on the role of acetylcholine.

Here's the Press Release.

Nobel Laureates
Professor Ulf von Euler has discovered that the substance noradrenaline serves as neurotransmitter at the nerve terminals of the sympathetic nervous system. He has also shown how this substance is stored in small nerve granules within the nerve fibres of this system.

Dr. Julius Axelrod's discoveries concern the mechanisms which regulate the formation of this important transmitter in the nerve cells and the mechanisms which are involved in the inactivation of noradrenaline, partly under the influence of an enzyme discovered by himself.

von Euler's and Axelrod's discoveries have not only increased our knowledge about the transmission in the sympathetic nervous system, they also form the basis for the understanding of the transmission in the central nervous system and its pharmacology. Thus in a very significant way, the laureates have presented basic data about the physical and chemical mechanisms of the synaptic transmission and thus given us basic information about how the messages are mediated between nerve cells. Their discoveries concerning these regulatory mechanisms in the nervous system are fundamental in neurophysiology and neuropharmacology and have greatly stimulated the search for remedies against nervous and mental disturbances.

The images of the Nobel Prize medals are registered trademarks of the Nobel Foundation (© The Nobel Foundation). They are used here, with permission, for educational purposes only.

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