5 and 6 - Synaptic Transmission Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in 5 and 6 - Synaptic Transmission Deck (120):
1

What is an electrical synapse?

A conductive link between two neurons that is formed at a narrow gap between the pre and post synaptic neurons, known as the gap junction

2

What is the morphology of an electrical synapse?

Each cell contributes a "half channel" called a connexon

3

What is a connexon formed by?

Six protein subunits called connexoins

4

What is a gap junction?

A connection between two cells that is formed by the connexon channels

A signal is passed from cell to cell via connexon channels

5

Is synaptic transmission bidirectional or unidirectional?

Mostly bidirectional, but it can be unidirectional

6

What is the function of a gap junction?

Rapid transmission of a signal with little or no delay

7

Groups of neurons that are interconnected by gap junctions have ___________ activity

Synchronous

8

What is a chemical synapse?

- Specialized junctions through which neurons signal to each other and to non-neuronal cells such as those in muscles or glands.
- Allow for the formation of circuits with the CNS (muscle control, perception, etc.)

9

What is the morphology of a CNS chemical synapse?

A synaptic cleft forms (10-20 nm space)
- Pre-synaptic density (docking complex)
- Postsynaptic density
- Active zone

10

What is the active zone?

Part of the presynaptic membrane that is specialized for vesicular release of the transmitter

11

What is the morphology of a CNS neuromuscular junction?

A synapse between a motor neuron and a muscle fiber
- presynaptic structure
- postsynaptic membrane

12

Describe the presynaptic structure of a neuromuscular junction

The motor neuron axon approaches its termination, loses its myelin sheath and divides into a number of terminal "boutons"

13

Describe the postsynaptic membrane of a neuromuscular junction

You will find junctional folds and the motor end plate

14

What is a synapse?

The site of functional apposition between neurons where an impulse is transmitted from one neuron to another

15

What is a pre-synaptic neuron?

A neuron before or proximal to the synapse

16

What is a post-synaptic neuron?

A neuron after a synapse

17

What does "one-way conduction" mean?

Signals are transmitted from pre-synaptic neurons to post-synaptic neurons ONLY - never vice versa

18

Describe the mechanism by which an action potential causes transmitter release

- Action potential causes depolarization of the membrane of the pre-synaptic terminal
- This action potential causes Ca++ channels to open
- Ca++ flows into the cell
- This increases the probability that the synaptic vesicles in the active zone will fuse with the pre-synaptic membrane
- Once synaptic vesicles fuse, they release the transmitter

19

What is the role of SNARE proteins?

- A transmembrane protein that comes together with other SNAREs to form a helical docking complex
- Located on the presynaptic neuron and holds the synaptic vesicle to the membrane until Ca++ release
- Upon Ca++ release the vesicle fuses to the membrane to release the neurotransmitter

20

What is the SNARE protein of clinical relevance?

It is a vulnerable target for neurotransmitter inhibitors (medications/drugs)

21

What is the active zone of a chemical synapse?

Part of the presynaptic membrane that specializes in vesicular release of the transmitter

22

What is the docking complex?

The high concentration of vesicles that "dock" at the tip of the presynaptic neuron

23

Where does the SNARE complex function?

Near the docking complex because it holds the vesicles close to the membrane so they can be easily released upon Ca++ signaling

24

What is a synaptic delay?

A pause in the transmission of a signal

25

What are the three things that can cause a synaptic delay?

1 - Fusion of a synaptic vesicle with the presynaptic membrane
2 - Diffusion of a transmitter across the cleft
3 - Activation of the post-synaptic channels

26

What type of receptors are associated with short delay times? Ionotropic or metabotropic receptors?

Ionotropic receptors

27

Is the synaptic delay shorter at chemical synapses or electrical synapses?

Shorter at chemical synapses

(think chem = fast)

28

What are the three mechanisms of removing neurotransmitters from the synaptic cleft?

1 - Diffusion away from the cleft
2 - Destruction of the neurotransmitters by enzymes
3 - Transmitter re-uptake either into the synaptic bouton or adjacent astrogilia

29

What is the first step in the transmission of a neuromuscular signal?

- Pre-synaptic terminal is depolarized
- Ca++ rushes into the cell
- Synaptic vesicles fuse and release Ach

30

What is the effect of Ach release?

- Ach diffuses across the cleft and binds to Ach receptors at the end plate

31

What happens once Ach binds to its receptor on the end plate?

- The Ach receptor channel is permeable to Na+ and K+, but more Na+ flows in than K+ flows out

32

What is the result of uneven ion flow?

Depolarization

Depolarization of the end plate occurs (EPP - end plate potential)

33

What happens when the depolarization spreads?

- Depolarization spreads to skeletal muscle membranes and causes an action potential to fire

34

How is the end plate potential (EPP) (AKA depolarization) terminated?

- The EPP is terminated by hydrolysis of Ach by AchE (acetylcholinesterase)

35

What is the role of AchE?

Cleave Ach - it is an enzyme that gets rid of the neurotransmitter to prevent continual stimulation (need some checks and balances)

36

Once the Ach is cleaved by Ach, choline still remains in the extracellular space. What happens to it?

It gets taken up into the motor neuron

37

What is ESPS?

ESPS = excitatory postsynaptic potential

38

What does ESPS mean?

The neurotransmitter will have an excitatory response when it binds to the receptor because it is an excitatory-type receptor

39

What is the significance of the ionotropic glutamate receptor?

- The major excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain and spinal cord is glutamate
- Ionotropic means that when the neurotransmitter binds, it directly changes ion permeabilities
- Sooooo.... This is an excitatory receptor that changes ion permeability

40

What ion permeabilities are affected by the ionotropic glutamate receptor?

- The receptors are permeable to both Na+ and K+, but far more permeable to Na+
- Once glutamate has bound to the receptor, the channel is opened and the larger permeability to Na+ results in a net influx of Na+ down its electrochemical gradient

41

What is the effect of this net influx of Na+ down its electrochemical gradient?

Depolarization of the membrane - ESPS (excitatory post-synaptic potential), which is a LOCAL potential

42

What is ISPS?

ISPS = inhibitory post-synaptic potential

43

What does ISPS mean?

The neurotransmitter will have an inhibitory response when it binds to the receptor because it is an inhibitory-type receptor

44

What is the significance of GABA?

GABA = the major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain and spinal cord

45

What are GABA receptors permeable to?

Cl- and K+

46

What happens when GABA binds to an inotropic GABA receptor?

- In most neurons, the potential for Cl- is more negative than the membrane potential
- Binding to the receptor causes an increase in the Cl- permeability
- Cl- flows into the cell
- The membrane becomes hyperpolarized (opposite direction of depolarized and therefore not excitatory, but inhibitory)

47

What else can happen when GABA binds?

K+ can flow out of the cell, hyperpolarizing it, moving it farther away from threshold and therefore exhibiting an inhibitory function

48

What is temporal summation?

Occurs when a single presynaptic terminal has two or more action potnetials in rapid succession

The first postsynaptic potential has not died away when the next one occurs - this temporal overlap enables the potentials to sum

49

What is spatial summation?

Occurs when two or more separate postsynaptic potentials reach the initial segment simultaneously

The initial segment is usually the most electrically exitable part of the neuron (with the lowest threshold for action potential generation)

50

What are the two types of receptors that acetylcholine can bind to?

1 - Nicotinic receptors
2 - Muscarinic receptors

51

What are the three neurotransmitters that are considered to be biogenic amines?

1 - Catecholamines
2 - Indoleamine
3 - Imidazoleamine

52

What are the three types of catecholamine neurotransmitters?

1 - Dopamine
2 - Norepinephrine
3 - Epinephrine

53

What type of receptor does dopamine bind to?

A dopamine receptor

54

What type of receptor does norepinephrine bind to?

An adrenergic receptor or a noradrenergic receptor

55

What type of receptor does epinephrine bind to

An adrenergic receptor or a noradrenergic receptor

56

There is only one type of indoleamine. What is it?

Serotonin

57

What type of receptor does serotonin bind to?

5-HT receptors

58

There is only one type of imidazoleamine. What is it?

Histamine

59

What type of receptor does histamine bind to?

Histamine receptor (subtypes H1, H2, H3, H4)

60

There are three types of amino-acid neurotransmitters. What are they?

GABA
Glycine
Excitatory amino acids (glutamate and aspartate)

61

What does GABA stand for?

Gamma-aminobutyric acid

62

What type of receptor does GABA bind to?

There are two... GABAa and GABAb

63

How are the GABAa and GABAb receptors different?

GABAa is a Cl- gated channel
GABAb is a K+/Ca++ channel

64

What is unique about GABA?

It is present in high concentrations throughout the CNS and is the MAIN CNS inhibitory transmitter

65

What is important about glycine?

It is the simplest amino acid

66

What type of receptor does glycine bind to?

An ionotropic receptor that opens Cl- gated channels

67

What type of an effect does glycine have?

Inhibitory

68

What are the two excitatory amio acids?

Glutamate and aspartate

69

What are the receptors for glutamate?

mGluRs (8+ of this type)
AMPA
Kinate
NMDA

70

What does exocitoxicity mean?

Neurons can be overexcited and destroyed by unusually high amounts of glutamate - causes neuronal damage from oxygen deprivation

Occurs when glutamate and aspartate build up in the extracellular space

71

What is another name for amino acid neurotransmitters?

Small molecule neurotransmitters

72

What are the three small molecule transmitters again?

GABA
Glycine
Excitatory (glutamate, aspartate)

73

What type of transmitters are formed from purines?

Purinergic neurotransmitters and neuromodulators

74

What is an example of a purinergic neuromodulator?

Adenosine

75

How does adenosine function as a modulator?

It is part of ATP, which is present in the release of synaptic vesicles

It is able to bind to purinergic or adenosine receptors and act as a depressant in the CNS

76

What is the receptor for adonosine called?

Purinergic receptors, AKA adenosine receptors

77

How would you block adenosine receptors?

Since adenosine is a depressant in the CNS, it can be blocked by caffine, theophyline (found in tea) and theobromine (chocolate)

78

What type of an effect do adenosine receptor blockers have on the CNS?

Stimulatory effect

79

What are neuroactive peptides?

Peptides that can act as hormones or neurotransmitters or neuromodulators

80

What are the different types of neuropeptides?

- Opioid peptides
- Substance P
- Vasopressin
- Oxytocin
- VIP-related peptides

81

What are the three types of opioids that are endogenous (natural)?

Endorphins, enkephalins and dynorphins

82

What is the only gaseous neurotransmitter?

Nitric oxide - NO

83

What is unique about the synthesis and release of NO?

Once it is produced, it cannot be contained in synaptic vesicles, so it is released as soon as its made... It will diffuse out of the cell and affect nearby cells

84

How is NO controlled and stopped?

It decays spontaneously by reacting with oxygen so it is very short lived

85

What are two examples of endocannabinoid transmitters?

- Anandamide
- 2-arachidonylglycerol (2-AG)

86

How are endocannabinoids produced?

By the degradation of membrane lipids

87

How is the transmitter action of endocannabinoids ended?

It is ended by reuptake

88

What are the two endocannabinoid receptors?

CB1 and CB2

89

What is the most common type of G-coupled receptor in the brain?

CB1

90

What does the THC (active portion) of marijuana bind to in the brain?

Both CB1 and CB2 receptors

91

How do neuropeptides differ from small molecule neurotransmitters in synthesis and release mechanisms?

Neuropeptides
- Synthesized by the nucleus
- Transported down the axon in vesicles
- Reach the nerve terminal for release

Small molecule neurotransmitters
- Synthesized directly in the nerve terminal
- No vesicles or transport before release from the nerve terminal

92

What is the usual effect (excitatory or inhibatory) of glycine?

Inhibitory

93

What is the usual effect (excitatory or inhibatory) of GABA

Inhibitory

94

What is the usual effect (excitatory or inhibatory) of glutamate?

Excitatory

95

What is the usual effect (excitatory or inhibatory) of aspartate?

Excitatory

96

Which type of receptor (ionotropic or metabotropic) is faster?

Ionotropic

97

Which type of receptor (ionotropic or metabotropic) is a ligand-gated ion channel receptor?

Ionotropic

98

Which type of receptor (ionotropic or metabotropic) is a G-protein coupled receptor?

Metabotropic

99

What is the effect of a G-protein coupled receptor being activated?

(Metabotropic receptor)

The G-protein can affect the conductance of a channel by opening or closing the ion channel

100

What is the effect of a ligand-gated ion channel receptor being activated?

(Ionotropic receptor)

Binding of the neurotransmitter directly changes the channel's permeability to ions (doesn't have to first activate the G-protein)

This is why Ionotropic is faster - it is a more direct method

101

Can a postsynaptic neuron have receptors for more than one kind of neurotransmitter?

***YES***

102

What does the excitatory or inhibitory effect of a neurotransmitter depend on?

The TYPE of receptors found on the postsynaptic cell

103

What is myasthenia gravis?

An autoimmune disease that results in muscle weakness and paralysis

104

What does the autoimmune response attack?

Nicotinic Ach receptors

105

Is myasthenia gravis a problem with the pre or postsynaptic process?

Postsynaptic - it is a receptor problem

106

Symptoms of myasthenia gravis tend to worsen with ___________

Activity

107

In myasthenia gravis, why is the lowered number of nicotinic Ach receptors detremental?

The end-plate potential (EPP) is smaller than normal and so the skeletal muscle cells are not able to generate an action potential

108

What is Eaton-Lambert syndrome?

An autoimmune disease that results in muscle weakness or paralysis and is commonly seen in cancer patients

109

What type of cancer patients are at risk for developing Eaton-Lambert syndrome?

Lung and breast cancer patients (small cell carcinoma)

110

What does the autoimmune response attack?

The voltage gated Ca++ channels

111

Is Eaton-Lambert Syndrome a problem with the pre or post synaptic process?

Presynaptic - it is a voltage gated channel problem

112

What is the effect of the botulinum toxin on the body?

Botulinum toxin interferes with the release of neurotransmitters and causes muscle weakness that can cause paralysis of respiratory muscles

113

What is the molecular mechanism of the botulinum toxin?

It cleaves SNARE proteins on the PREsynaptic terminal which interferes with the release of neurotransmitters

114

What is alpha-bungarotoxin?

A component of snake venom

115

What is the molecular mechanism of alpha-bungarotoxin?

It is a neurotoxic protein that is known to bind irreversibly and competitively to the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor found at the neuromuscular junction

116

What is the effect of alpha-bungarotoxin on the body?

Causes paralysis, respiratory failure and death in the victim

117

Does the alpha-bungarotoxin affect the pre or post synaptic terminal?

It is a receptor blocker - POST synaptic

118

Which of the four clinical conditions are considered to be autoimmune disorders?

Myasthenia gravis
Eaton-Lambert Syndrome

119

Which of the four clinical conditions act on the presynaptic terminal?

Eaton-Lambert (voltage gated Ca++ channel)
Botulinum toxin (SNARE proteins)

120

Which of the four clinical conditions act on the postsynaptic terminal?

Myasthenia gravis (nicotinic Ach receptor)
Alpha-bungarotoxin (nicotinic Ach receptor)