Lecture 5: Physiology of Nerve Transmission Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Lecture 5: Physiology of Nerve Transmission Deck (26)
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What are Neurons?

*Receives information and convey it to other neurons
*Receives and transmits information to other cells.
*Adult brain: 100 billion neurons.


What are Glia?

*Cells serve many supporting functions, do not convey information over large distances.
*Many functions, support Neurons in their functions.
*Smaller but more numerous than neurons.
*Many supportive functions.
*Do not transmit information across long distances.
- Astrocytes
*Help synchronize the activity of neurons.
*Remove waste material.
- Microglia
*Remove waste materials and microorganisms (viruses, fungi)
- Oligodendrocytes & Schwann cells
*Build the myelin sheaths.
- Radial Gila
*Guide the migration of neurons and the growth of their axons.
*Differentiate into neurons when development is over.


What is Soma (cell body)?

*Contains nucleus, ribosomes, mitochondria.


What is Dendrites?

*Branching, fibres, receive info via synaptic receptors.


What is Axon?

*Thin fibres of constant diameter, information sender to the neuron.


What is Myelin Sheath?

*Insulates the axon. Nodes of Ranvier: interruptions of the myelin sheath.


What is Presynaptic terminal (end bulb, bouton)?

*Point at which the axon transmits information.


What are Afferent Axons?

*Brings info into a structure.


What are Efferent Axons?

*Carries info away from a structure.


Are sensory neurons Afferent or Efferent?

*Afferent to the rest of the nervous system.


Are Motor Neurons Afferent or Efferent?

*Efferent from the nervous system.


What protects the nervous system?

*Skull (brain), backbone (spinal cord), meninges (membrane surrounding brain and spinal cord).
- Blood brain barrier
*prevents viruses, bacteria, and harmful chemicals from entering the brain.
*Depends on the endothelial cells that forms the walls of the capillaries.
- What is stopped by the barrier?
*Most viruses, bacteria, toxins, large molecules, electrically charged molecules.
*Some useful molecules e.g. fuels and amino acid, the building blocks of proteins.
- What passes the barrier?
**Passively (no expenditure of energy).
*Small uncharged molecules (o2m co2).
*Fat- soluble molecules (vitamins A and D, various drugs).
**Activity (expenditure of energy)
*Amino Acid
*Certain Vitamins


How is information transmitted in the nervous system?

*Neurons conduct information via electric impulses.


What is resting potential?

- At rest, neurons are more negative inside than outside.
*Voltage difference called the resting potential
*Typical resting potential - 7 millivolts.
- Results from an unequal distribution of negatively and positively charged particles.
**Negatively charged
*Chloride ions (CI)
**Positively charged.
*Sodium ions (Na)
*Potassium ions (k)


What 4 interacting factors maintain resting potential?

1) Concentration gradients
*Ions are in random motion.
*Move form areas of high concentration to areas of low concentration.
2) Electrical Gradient
*Accumulation of changes repels like charges and attracts unlike charges.
3) Membrane permeability at rest
*Cl and K pass
*Na+ passes with difficulty.
4) Sodium - potassium pump
*Transports Na+ out and K in
*Requires energy.


What is action potential?

*The response of a neuron to stimulation above a certain threshold.
*Resting potential prepares the neuron to respond quickly to a stimulus with an AP.
*Stimulation results in depolarization - the neuron becomes less negative.
*Stimulation that results in a depolarization beyond the threshold of excitation results in a sudden, massive depolarization.
*After the depolarization the potential returns to slightly below the RP and back to the RP value (repolarization).
*Subthreshold stimulation produces depolarization proportional to the strength of stimulation.
*Stimulation above threshold produces always a very similar AP.
- All or now law: amplitude and velocity of an AP are independent of the initiating stimulus.


What is the molecular basis of the action potential?

*Na+ enters the cell.
*K+ leaves the cell
*Na+ K+ pump restores the original ion distribution.
*Immediate after AP, membrane area cannot produce another AP.
- Refractory period.
- Absolute refractory period (1ms) - No AP can be produced.
- Relative refractory period (2-4ms) - Stronger than usual stimulus can initiate as AP.
-Na+ channels closed during the absolute refractory period, but returning to normal during the relative refractory period.
-K+ flowing out of the cells.


What is Neural Coding?

*Firing an action potential is all a neuron can do.
*1/10 system.
*How can the nervous system code for the complexity of our experience?
-Different depending on experience.
- Basic principles
~ Frequency
~ Changes in the population of neurons involved.


What is the Propagation of the Action Potential?

*Starts at the axon hillock.
*Propagates along the axon.
- slight depolarisation of adjacent areas of the membrane causes area to reach its threshold.
- AP is generated.
*Direction of propagation determined by refractory period.
*Speed depends on Axon diameter
-thin: up to 1m/s
-thick: up to 10m/s
*myelin sheath increases speed up to 100m/s
- crucial: nodes of ranvier.
- Saltatory conduction: AP jumps from node to node: increases speed & saves energy.


What is the concept of the synapse?

*Late 1800s Ramon y Cajal: existence of a gap separating one neuron from another.
*Early 1900s Charles Scott Sherrington: communication between one neuron and the next differs from communication along a single axon.
*Speed of a reflex and delayed transmission at synapse.
*Side at which the information flows from one neuron to another.
*Small gap between neurons.
* 3 main parts
- presynaptic
- Synaptic cleft or gap
- Postsynaptic neuron.


What are the events at a synapse?

*AP arrives at the presynaptic terminal
*Ca2+ enters, neurotransmitters attach to receptor and alter activity of the postsynaptic neuron.
*Neurotransmitters attach to receptor and alter the activity of the postsynaptic neuron.
Neurotransmitters separate from the receptors.
*Neurotransmitters are taken up by the presynaptic cell or diffuse away.


What is the activation of postsynaptic receptors?

*Neurotransmitters attach to postsynaptic receptors.
*Key - lock system: specific receptor for specific neurotransmitters.
*Ionotropic receptors:
-effect fast and short.
- Neurotransmitter open/closes channels directly.
- Glutamate, Gaba
- Relevant for vision, hearing (quickly changing information).
*Metabotropic receptors
-Effects slow and long
-Neurotransmitters activates G - protein within the cell.
-G - protein binds to ion channels or stimulate synthesis of second messengers.
-Relevant for hunger, thirst, fear, anger (long term changes).


What is the inactivation and reuptake of neurotransmitters?

*Break down by enzymes
*Detachment from receptor without break down.
- Neurotransmitters taken up and reused by presynaptic neuron (reuptake).


What is Temporal and Spatial summation?

*Neurons conduct information through action potentials
*Neurons communicate through synapse.
*One synapse does not initiate an action potential
-Post synaptic potentials are graded potentials (depolarisation below threshold, the more stimulation, the larger the change).
- Graded depolarisation can be depolarising (excitatory) or hyperpolarizing (inhibitory).
*The trick: action potential can be initiated by temporal or spatial summation of excitatory postsynaptic potential (EPSPs)?


What does temporal summation effect?

*summation of EPSPs from one source
*Effects depends on:
-size of EPSPs
-Time between EPSP
- Threshold of postsynaptic neuron.


What does spatial summation effect?

*Summation of several simultaneous EPSPs from separate locations.
*Effects depends on:
- Size of EPSPs
-Time between EPSP (simultaneous)
-Threshold of postsynaptic neurons.