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Caged Compounds

Caged compounds are small molecules that have been chemically protected with a photolabile group, which renders the compound biologically inactive. Activation with light removes the protective group, releasing the active compound adjacent to its target.


Chemogenetic compounds enable the control of excitable cell activity via small molecules that selectively target genetically modified GPCRs (DREADDs and DREADD ligands) or engineered chimeric ion channels (PSAMs and PSEMs). DREADD ligands can also be used to investigate signaling pathways downstream of GPCR activation. View DREADD Ligands and PSEMs Ranges at

Ion Channel Modulators

Ion channels are classified based on their gating mechanism and their ion selectivity. The distribution of ions across a cell membrane determines the membrane potential, and small molecule and peptide ion channel modulators, including toxins, are commonly used in electrophysiology to manipulate ion flow. View full product ranges at

GPCR Ligands

G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) are membrane proteins that mediate downstream signaling of many peptides, hormones and neurotransmitters. Compounds acting at GPCRs enable manipulation of signaling pathways and associated biological responses. 

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Neurotransmitter Transporter Inhibitors

Neurotransmitter transporters carry neurotransmitters across biological membranes, and are found in high concentrations in synaptic clefts where they terminate the effect of a neurotransmitter. They often rely on an electrochemical gradient across the membrane to provide energy for transport.

Fluorescence Imaging

Fluorescent dyes and probes enable imaging of proteins and cellular structures in live and fixed cells. Our range includes microtubule probes, cell membrane stains, and neuron and astrocyte probes. 

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Tocris 5911-ffn200

Image Synaptic Activity with FFNs

False Fluorescent Neurotransmitters (FFNs) are fluorescent substrates for neurotransmitter transporters such as VMAT2 and NET. They label neurons and synaptic vesicles expressing a transporter and enable imaging and tracking of neurotransmitter release and exocytotic events from synaptic vesicles in cultured neurons and in vivo.

FFN 200 (Cat. No. 5911) used to image vesicle clusters in the axons of cultured dopaminerigc neurons, and exocytosis of vesicles on high potassium stimulation (time lapse at 12 images/min).

Electrophysiology Resources at

Chemogenetics Research Bulletin

Chemogenetics Research Bulletin

Produced by our in-house experts, the Chemogenetics Research Bulletin provides an introduction to chemogenetics methods to manipulate neuronal activity in vitro and in vivo. The development of genetically modified receptors and ion channels, including RASSLs, DREADDs and PSAMs, as well as the use of chemogenetic compounds is discussed.

Tocris Neurotransmission Product Guide

Neurotransmission Product Guide

The Neurotransmission product guide outlines how small molecules and peptides can be used in the study of synaptic transmission. Included are over 250 products for the study of neurotransmission, including tools for:

  • Dopaminergic Transmission
  • Glutamatergic Transmission
  • Opioid Peptide Transmission
  • Serotonergic Transmission
  • Chemogenetics

Associated Products

RNAscope® ISH Technology

Visualize Multiple Markers Simultaneously in Tissue.

Detect, characterize and localize mRNA in the nervous system with RNAscope® ISH.

Cell Culture Reagents

Bio-Techne offers a comprehensive portfolio of reagents for cell culture including classic media, balanced salt solutions, FBS, supplements, and basement membrane extracts.

GPCR Antibodies

Despite being the largest family of integral membrane proteins and having a key role in signal transduction, developing antibodies to detect GPCRs is notoriously difficult. Trust the industry-leading expertise of R&D Systems for your GPCR antibodies.

Background Information