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2nd Lecture, 18th October, 2008

INTRODUCTION & GENERAL


FEATURES OF NERVOUS SYSTEM

Prof. Dr. Muhammad Abdul


Azeem
Department of Physiology,
Ummal Qura University,
Makkah, Saudi Arabia

Updated October, 2008


Electrotonic Potential

l It is the passive flow of current without the


generation of Action Potential.
l It decays with distance traveled by the
potential along the membrane.
PASSIVE
CURRENT

It decays with
distance due
to the
resistances
(longitudinal &
transverse) in
the membrane
Ionic Conductance & Potential

l Movement of ions across the neuronal


membrane is ionic conductance.
l Development of charge across the
neuronal membrane is ionic current.
l Conductance of ions represented by “g”
is responsible for membrane potential “E”.
l For example K conductance is gk and
potential it will produce is Ek.
Single Ion Conductance & Potential
Membrane
Permeability

Versus
Membrane
Potential
Ionic conductance and ionic current
across neuronal membrane
Generation of Action Potential
Phases in Action Potential Generation

l Resting Membrane Potential (In-active Membrane)


l Stimulation (Must be Threshold Stimulus)
l Threshold Level (-60mV)
l Opening of Fast Sodium Channels
(Voltage Or Ligand Gated Channels)
l Tremendous Sodium influx (Inward Current)
l Rapid Depolarization (Reversal & Spike Potential)
l Potassium Eflux (Outward Current)
l Rapid Repolarization
(Restoration towards Resting Membrane Potential)
l Hyperpolarization (+ve After Potential)
l Restoration of Resting Membrane Potential (Na+/K+ Pump)
Threshold

∆ = Change
P = Permeability
K= Potassium
V= Voltage
Na = Sodium
Negative feed back Threshold
prevent generation of
Action potential
Positive feed back
generates Action
potential
Propagation of Action Potential

l Cyclic regeneration of Action potential along the


whole length of axonal or nerve fiber membrane.
l This process resembles the burning of cigarette.
l The membrane potential travels a distance and
decay due to resistances in the membrane.
l During decay the potential initiates ionic
permeability.
l This permeability generates potential that again
travels a distance.
l And this cycle continues till the Action Potential
reach the end of axon terminal.
Cyclic Generation Of Action Potential

A A
Repeatedly
Continues
B C
∆V1 - - ∆P- - ∆V2
B C
∆V3 - - ∆P- - ∆V4
∆V

Fig. 2.4 The three components of action potential porpagation. A depolarization ∆V at one point of the fibre
results, through local current flow (A), in a smaller depolarization ∆V1 some way down the axon. This triggers
off (B) a permeability change ∆P in the membrane which in turn (C) produces a voltage ∆V2 which is larger than
∆V1. The whole sequence is repeated indefinitely ∆V3, ∆V4, etc.The process A and C are common to all cells.
But the conversion of voltage to permeability changes is found only in the nerve & muscle.
This diagram belongs to the book Neurophysiology by Carpenter.
SYNAPSE

@from neurophysiology by Carpenter

1. Electron microscopic 2. Model with Channels


structural view for ionic movements & current
SYNAPSE & Phases of Synaptic
Transmission
l A junction between two neurons.
l Arrival of impulse
l Opening of Ca++ Channels at presynaptic
membrane
l Vesicular exocytosis
l Transmitter release in synaptic cleft.
l Destroyed by choline-estrase, diffused in
vicinity
l Interact with postsynaptic membrane receptors
Why Chemical transmission is required?
Where Electrical transmission can occur?

What are Voltage gated & ligand gated


Channels?
Synaptic Transmitters
l More than 40 important transmitter substances have
been discovered thus far.
l Some of the best known are:
– Acetylcholine,
– Norepinephrine,
– Epinephrine,
– Histamine,
– Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA),
– Glycine ,
– Serotonin, and
– Glutamate.
Central Nervous System Synapses &
synaptic Functions
l Succession of neurons, one after another in CNS
transmits impulses.
l However, in addition, each impulse;
– (1) may be blocked in its transmission from one neuron to
the next
– (2) may be changed from a single impulse into repetitive
impulses
– (3) may be integrated with impulses from other neurons to
cause highly intricate patterns of impulses in successive
neurons.
l All these functions can be classified as synaptic
functions of neurons.
Excitatory Post Synaptic Potentials
(EPSP)
l Release of excitatory neurotransmitter
l Responsible for depolarization & repolarization of post
synaptic membrane, due to ionic flux of Sodium followed
by potassium.
l Excitatory Post Synaptic Potential may occur either of the
following three ways.
l Opening of sodium channels
l Depressed conduction through chloride
or potassium channels, or both.
l Various changes in the internal
metabolism of the postsynaptic neuron
– to excite cell activity
– to increase the number of excitatory membrane receptors
– decrease the number of inhibitory membrane receptors.
EPSP
Inhibitory Post Synaptic Potentials
(IPSP)
l Release of inhibitory neurotransmitter
l Hyper-polarization of the membrane due to ionic
flux of K and then restoration at resting potential.
l Inhibitory Post Snaptic Potential may occur either
of the following three ways.
l Opening of chloride ion channels through the
postsynaptic neuronal membrane.
l Increase in conductance of potassium ions out of
the neuron.
l Activation of receptor enzymes
– increase the number of inhibitory synaptic receptors or
– decrease the number of excitatory receptors.
IPSP
"Second Messenger" System in the
Postsynaptic Neuron
l The process of memory-require prolonged changes in neurons
for seconds to months after the initial transmitter substance is
gone.
l The ion channels are not suitable for causing prolonged
postsynaptic neuronal changes because these channels close
within milliseconds after the transmitter substance is no longer
present.
l However, in many instances, prolonged postsynaptic neuronal
excitation or inhibition is achieved by activating a "second
messenger" chemical system inside the postsynaptic neuronal
cell itself, and then it is the second messenger that causes the
prolonged effect. There are several types of second messenger
systems.
l One of the most common types uses a group of proteins called
G-proteins.
"Second messenger" system by which a transmitter substance from an initial neuron can
activate a second neuron by first releasing a "G-protein" into the second neuron's
cytoplasm. Four subsequent possible effects of the G-protein are shown, including 1,
opening an ion channel in the membrane of the second neuron; 2, activating an enzyme
system in the neuron's membrane; 3, activating an intracellular enzyme system; and/or 4,
causing gene transcription in the second neuron
Feed back Inhibition

Action
Discharge
--!!!!!!!

Excitation
Inhibition

Excitation

Efferent --!!!!!!!
Inhibition
Discharge
PRESYNAPTIC INHIBITION
l Presynaptic inhibition is caused by release of an inhibitory
substance at the presynaptic nerve fibrils.
l In most instances, the inhibitory transmitter substance is GABA
(gamma-aminobutyric acid).
l Large numbers of chloride ions diffuse into the terminal fibril.
l The synaptic transmission inhibits because they cancel much of
the excitatory effect of the positively charged sodium ions that
also enter the terminal fibrils when an action potential arrives.
l Presynaptic inhibition occurs in many of the sensory pathways
in the nervous system.
Small Presynaptic Inhibitory terminal
Excitation of
Presynaptic Terminal Release of Inhibitory transmitter
Gaba Cl- influx in
Presynaptic Terminal Post synaptic neuron
Cl-Inhibition at

Sodium influx in post synaptic neuron


Na+ Post Synaptic Neuron
POST SYNAPTIC POTENTIALS

l Time course and summation of postsynaptic


potentials
– Time Course of Postsynaptic Potentials
l Spatial summation in neurons – The
Threshold for firing
l Temporal Summation
– Simultaneous summation of Inhibitory and
Excitatory Postsynaptic Potentials
l Facilitation of Neurons
Spatial Summation
Activation of multiple presynaptic terminals for the
Summation of post synaptic potentials on widely
spaced areas of the neuronal membrane is called
Spatial summation.

Temporal Summation

Activation of a single presynaptic terminal for successive


& rapid discharges that "summate." to excite a post
synaptic neuron is called Temporal summation.

Facilitation
Often the summated postsynaptic potential is excitatory
but has not risen high enough to reach the threshold for
firing by the postsynaptic neuron.
When this happens, the neuron is said to be Facilitated.
l Relation of State of Excitation of the
Neuron to the Rate of Firing

Excitatory State
What is the mechanism for translating increased
excitatory state into increased firing rate of a
neuron?

The rate of firing of a neuron is determined by


how much its excitatory state is above
threshold
SOME SPECIAL CHARACTERISTICS OF
SYNAPTIC TRANSMISSION

Fatigue of synaptic transmission


Post tetanic facilitation
Effect of acidosis and alkalosis
Effect of hypoxia
Effect of drugs
Synaptic delay
CHEMICAL SUBSTANCES THAT
FUNCTION AS SYNAPTIC
TRANSMITTERS

Small-molecule, rapidly acting transmitters


Recycling of the small-molecule types of vesicles.
Characteristics of some of the more important small-molecule
transmitters
Neuro-peptides
Usually only a single type of small molecule transmitter is
released by each type of neuron
After a transmitter substance is released at a synapse, it
must be removed
Electrical Events During Neuronal excitation
Thanks
THREE ADVICES FROM YOUR TEACHER:
1. ALWAYS READ BOOKS
2. COMBINE THE CONCEPT YOU GET FROM LECTURE &
BOOKS FOR A TOPIC
3. WRITE THIS CONCEPT IN YOUR OWN WORDS

BOOKS RECOMMENDED:
1. TEXT BOOK OF MEDICAL PHYSIOLOGY BY GUYTON
2. MEDICAL PHYSIOLOGY BY GANONG
3. Neurophysiology by Carpenter