AskDefine | Define cholinergic

Dictionary Definition

cholinergic adj : releasing or activated by acetylcholine or a related compound [ant: anticholinergic]

Extensive Definition

A synapse is cholinergic if it uses acetylcholine as its neurotransmitter.
Cholinergic means "related to the neurotransmitter acetylcholine," and is typically used in a neurological perspective. The parasympathetic nervous system is entirely cholinergic. Neuromuscular junctions, preganglionic neurons of the sympathetic nervous system, the basal forebrain, and brain stem complexes are also cholinergic.
A substance is cholinergic if it is capable of producing, altering, or releasing acetylcholine ("indirect-acting") or mimicking its behaviour at one or more of the body's acetylcholine receptor types ("direct-acting").

Cholinergic drug

A cholinergic drug, also known as a cholinergic agent or a parasympathomimetic drug, is any drug that functions to enhance the effects mediated by acetylcholine in the central nervous system, the peripheral nervous system, or both. These include acetylcholine's precursors and cofactors, acetylcholine receptor agonists and cholinergic enzymes:
cholinergic in Spanish: Colinérgico
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