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Chapter 48 Neurons, Synapses, and Signaling

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 48 Neurons, Synapses, and Signaling"— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 48 Neurons, Synapses, and Signaling

2 Information Processing
Sensory neurons – Interneurons – Motor neurons – Central vs. Peripheral NS --

3 Neuron Structure and Function
Cell Body – Dendrites – Axon – Axon hillock – Synapse – Synaptic terminal – Neurotransmitters – Presynaptic cell – Postsynaptic cell --


5 I. Nerve Signals and Their Transmission
A. Resting Potential – maintained by the Sodium Potassium Pump 1. Cells pump 3 Sodium ions (3Na+) out Potassium ions (2K+) in a. Cell is more negative inside than out b. This makes the cell like a battery B. How do the ions get “pumped” in/out? 1. An integral protein (enzyme) uses ATP a. its name is ATPase b. it “countertransports” – pumping two things in opposite directions c. it is also referred to as an electrogenic pump because it generates an electrical charge

6 C. Now that the electrical gradient is established, how is it used?
1. Cell’s “resting membrane potential” is -70mV 2. Depolarizing a cell: 1. enables us to use the charge in our cell membrane 2. There are sodium channels in our membrane. They open when we need to depolarize the membrane. a. this allows Na+ to rush in which makes the inside of the cells less negative. b. cells depolarize to +30mV (when Na+ is at equilibrium with itself, there is still an excess of K+)

7 D. How do we “repolarize” our cell membranes?
1. NOT through the Sodium Potassium Pump…would take too long a. it keeps membrane charged continually 2. Potassium channels open briefly Resting Na+ channel open Na+ closed, K+ open Resting “polarized” “depolarized” “repolarization” “polarized”

8 E. This “depolarization” (opening Sodium gates) and
E. This “depolarization” (opening Sodium gates) and “repolarization (opening Potassium gates) is called an action potential. 1. What signals a cell to depolarize? a. a receptor (lock) on a cell membrane binds to its ligand (key) causing the receptor to change shape -- change involves the opening of the sodium channel b. the receptor is called a neurotransmitter receptor and the ligand is called the neurotransmitter -- Acetylcholine is the neurotransmitter in skeletal muscle cells.

9 c. A chemically gated sodium channel opens. Na+ flow in
2. How does an Action Potential work? a. Begins in a location where chemically gated sodium channels are present. These locations are called “postsynaptic membranes” in neurons and “motor endplates” in muscle cells. b. Neurotransmitter (ligand) binds to a neurotransmitter receptor. The receptor changes shape. c. A chemically gated sodium channel opens. Na+ flow in d. Once one Na+ channel opens, the others follow due to the change in electrical conditions. This point is called “threshold” e. K+ channels open slowly so that when the Na channels close, the K+ channels are fully open (repolarization). System resets when K+ channels close. f. this causes a moving wave of depolarization and repolarization within the cell


11 Post-synaptic membranes or Motor Endplates 
Neurotransmitter binds to Neurotransmitter receptor  Neurotransmitter receptor changes shape  Sodium Channel opens  Sodium flows in  Other Sodium Channels open = “Threshold”  Potassium Channels open slowly  Sodium Channels close  Potassium Channels close. Resting Na+ channel open Na+ closed, K+ open Resting “polarized” “depolarized” “repolarization” “polarized”

12 F. Action potential is how information is carried along a
F. Action potential is how information is carried along a neuron, and how an entire muscle contraction is stimulated through one muscle cell. 1. Neuron to neuron communication occurs between structures called synapses. 2. Neurons communicate with other cells (effector cells) and muscle cells in structures called neuroeffector junctions a. the term synapse is used for both even though it is incorrect

13 G. How this communication takes place:
1. Action potential moves down the neuron through the axon, then through the axon terminals (“telodendria”), and finally through the synaptic end bulbs. a. Synaptic end bulbs contain vesicles of neurotransmitter 2. Voltage-gated calcium channels in the membrane of the end bulb open. 3. Calcium diffuses in. 4. Calcium’s presence causes the synaptic vesicles to fuse with the cell membrane to release neurotransmitter (exocytosis) into the synaptic cleft. 5. Neurotransmitters diffuse across the synaptic cleft and bind to neurotransmitter receptors on the membrane on the opposite side of the cleft. 6. Neurotransmitters are broken down by enzymes in the synaptic cleft.

14 A Chemical Synapse Action Potential  axon  axon terminals 
Synaptic end bulbs  Calcium Channels open  Calcium diffuses in  Synaptic vesicles leave via exocytosis  Neurotransmitters diffuse across synaptic cleft  Neurotransmitters bind to neurotransmitter receptors  Action potential triggered in next cell.

15 Toilet Flushing H. The All-or-None Principle
1. If stimulus is too small….no action potential 2. If stimulus is “threshold”…action potential 3. If stimulus is larger than threshold…same sized action potential as above I. The Absolute Refractory Period 1. A brief period of time after a stimulus in which an additional stimulus will not produce an additional action potential J. The Relative Refractory Period 1. A certain time period after a stimulus during which a second stimulus will produce a second action potential, but only if it is a larger stimulus than usual.


17 Neurotransmitters Acetylcholine
transmit signal to skeletal muscle Epinephrine (adrenaline) & norepinephrine fight-or-flight response Dopamine widespread in brain affects sleep, mood, attention & learning lack of dopamine in brain associated with Parkinson’s disease excessive dopamine linked to schizophrenia Serotonin Nerves communicate with one another and with muscle cells by using neurotransmitters. These are small molecules that are released from the nerve cell and rapidly diffuse to neighboring cells, stimulating a response once they arrive. Many different neurotransmitters are used for different jobs: glutamate excites nerves into action; GABA inhibits the passing of information; dopamine and serotonin are involved in the subtle messages of thought and cognition. The main job of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine is to carry the signal from nerve cells to muscle cells. When a motor nerve cell gets the proper signal from the nervous system, it releases acetylcholine into its synapses with muscle cells. There, acetylcholine opens receptors on the muscle cells, triggering the process of contraction. Of course, once the message is passed, the neurotransmitter must be destroyed, otherwise later signals would get mixed up in a jumble of obsolete neurotransmitter molecules. The cleanup of old acetylcholine is the job of the enzyme acetylcholinesterase.

18 Neurotransmitters Weak point of nervous system
any substance that affects neurotransmitters or mimics them affects nerve function gases: nitrous oxide, carbon monoxide mood altering drugs: stimulants amphetamines, caffeine, nicotine depressants quaaludes, barbiturates hallucinogenic drugs: LSD, peyote SSRIs: Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil poisons Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor

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