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Sharmaine Margaret Ang-Sun-Cruz Lee 2012

Chapter 8: The Nervous System CNS- consists of brain and spinal cord. PNS-consists of nerves and ganglia. 2 subdivisions of the PNS: (1) Afferent Division/Sensory Division (2) Efferent Division/Motor Division Afferent- conducts action potentials from sensory receptors to the CNS through sensory neurons Efferent- conducts action potentials from the CNS to muscles and glands through motor neurons. 2 subdivisions of the Efferent Division: (1) Somatic/Somatomotor Nervous System (2) Autonomic Nervous system Somatic- transmits action from CNS to skeletal muscles Autonomic- transmits action from CNS to cardiac muscles, smooth muscles, and glands. 2 subdivisions of the Autonomic Nervous System: (1) Sympathetic (2) Parasympathetic Enteric Nervous System- has both sensory and motor neurons contained wholly in the digestive tract. - Can function w/o input from the CNS or other parts of the PNS. 2 types of cells that make-up the Nervous System: (1) Neurons/Nerve Cells (2) Neuroglia/Glial Cells Neurons- receive stimuli, conduct action potentials, and transmit signals to other neurons or effector organs. 3 parts of a neuron:, (1) Cell body (2) Dendrites and (3) axon [2 processes of the Nervous System] Cell body- contains a single nucleus. Dendrites- short, highly branching cytoplasmic extensions that are tapered from their bases at the neuron cell body to their tips. The Nervous System, SharmaineLee Receive information from other neurons or from sensory receptors and transmit the information toward the neuron cell body. Axon- is a long process extending from the neuron cell body. Axon hillock- the area where the axon leaves the neuron cell body. Collateral axons- An axon may remain unbranched or may branch to form this. Myelin sheath- axons can be surrounded by a highly specialized insulating layer of cells called this. 3 types of neurons: (1) Multipolar neurons (2) Bipolar neurons (3) Pseudo-unipolar neurons Multipolar neurons- these neurons have many dendrites and a single axon. (most neurons and motor neurons) Bipolar neurons- these have two processes: one dendrite, one axon. (some sensory neurons such as the retina of the eye and in the nasal cavity) Pseudounipolar neurons- have a single process extending from the cell body. This process divides into two processes a short distance from the cell body. One process extends to the periphery, and the other extends to the CNS. Both function as a single axon with dendritelike sensory receptors at the periphery. Neuroglia- these are the non-neuronal cells of the CNS and the PNS, they are more numerous than neurons.

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Sharmaine Margaret Ang-Sun-Cruz Lee 2012

Neurons: Multipolar Bipolar Many dendrites one axon One axon, one dendrite Appears to have a single axon Most motor and most CNS neurons Found in special sense organs Most sensory neurons 5 Types of Neuroglia: (1) Astrocytes (2) Ependymal cells (3) Microglia (4) Oligodendrocytes (5) Schwann Cells Astrocytes- blood-brain barrier - Serve as the major supporting tissue in the CNS. - Astrocytes participate with the blood vessel endothelium to form a permeability barrier called the blood-brain barrier. - They help limit damage to the neural tissue. Ependymal Cells - Line cavities in the CNS - Produce CSF Microglial Cells - Immune cells - Remove bacteria and cell debris Oligodendrocytes (CNS) and Schwann Cells (PNS) - Provide an insulating material that surrounds axons. Unmyelinated axons - Rest in the indentations of oligodendrocytes in the CNS and schwann cells in the PNS. Myelinated axons - Have specialized sheaths called myelin sheaths wrapped around them. - Myelin is an excellent insulator that prevents electrical flow through the cell membrane. Gray matter - Consists of groups of neuron cell bodies and dendrites where there is very little myelin. - Cortex- gray matter on the surface of the brain. - Nuclei- gray matter located deeper within the brain. - Ganglion- in the PNS, a cluster of neuron cell bodies.


Neuroglia: Provide structural support, blood brain barrier, helps in neural tissue repair Line ventricles of brain, circulate CSF Protect CNS from infection, phagocytic in response to inflammation Cell processes form myelin sheaths around axons and surround unmyelinated axons in the CNS Form myelin sheaths around axons or enclose unmyelinated axons in the CNS.






Small, mobile cells


Cells with processes and can surround several axons.

Schwann Cells

Single cells surrounding axons

The Nervous System, SharmaineLee

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Sharmaine Margaret Ang-Sun-Cruz Lee 2012

White Matter - Nerve Tracts- white matter in the CNS form this; conduction pathways - Nerves- in the PNS, bundle of axons and their connective tissue sheaths are called this. Polarized- uneven distribution of charge. Resting Membrane potential - In an unstimulated or resting cell, the uneven distribution of charge. - Positive on the outside and Negative on the inside. - Results from differences in the conc. of ions across the membrane and the permeability characteristics of the membrane. - Is the point of equilibrium at which the tendency of K to move down their conc. gradient out f the cell is balanced by the negative charge within the cell, which tends to attract K back into the cell. RMP can be generated in 3 factors: (1) A higher concentration of K immediately in the cell membrane (2) A higher concentration of Na outside the cell membrane (3) Greater permeability of the cell membrane of K to Na Leak ion channels - Are always open. - K has more leak channels than Na Gated ion channels - Remain closed until opened by specific signals. Chemically Gated Channels - These are opened by neurotransmitters or other chemicals Voltage-gated channels - These are opened by a change in membrane potential. Na-K pump - To compensate for the leakage of ions across the membrane, this is required to maintain the greater concentration of Na outside the cell membrane and K inside. Excitable cells- muscle and nerve cells. The Nervous System, SharmaineLee Local Current - The movement when Na diffuses quickly into the cell. - This causes the cell membrane to become more positive, a change called depolarization. - Depolarization results in a local potential. Threshold Value - If depolarization is large enough, Na enter the cell so that local potential reaches this. - Threshold depolarization causes voltagegated Na channels to open. - Threshold is most often reached at the axon hillock, near the cell body. Action potential - Depolarization and repolarization constitutes this. - If sufficiently strong, local potentials activate voltage-gated channels to initiate an action potential. - Occur in all-or-none fashion. - Conducted more slowly in unmyelinated axons and more rapidly in myelinated axons. - In an unmyelinated axon, it is like a grasshopper walking, in a myelinated axon; it is like a grasshopper jumping. Repolarization - Reversal of charge - This causes the Na channels to close and more K channels to open. Hyperpolarization - At the end of repolarization, the charge in the cell membrane briefly becomes more negative than the resting membrane potential. Continuous conduction - When conduction the action potential is conducted along the entire axon cell membrane, this action potential conduction is called this.

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Sharmaine Margaret Ang-Sun-Cruz Lee 2012

Saltatory conduction - When action potentials jump from one node of Ranvier to the next along the length of the axon. Voltage-gated Ion Channels and the Action potential 1. Resting Membrane Potential - The outside of the plasma membrane is positively charged compared to the inside. - Na channels and most K channels are closed. 2. Depolarization - Depolarization results because the inward movement of Na makes the inside of the membrane more positive. - Na channels open. K channels begin to open. 3. Repolarization - Na channels close and additional K channels are open. Na movement into the cell stops and K movement out of the cell increases, causing repolarization. Autonomic Neurons - Medium-diameter, lightly myelinated axons ( 3-15 m/s) - Large diameter, heavily myelinated axons (15-120 m/s) Synapse - Is a junction where the axon of one neuron interacts with another neuron or with an effector organ, such as a muscle or a gland. Presynaptic terminal - The end of an axon forms this. Postsynaptic membrane - The membrane of the dendrite or effector cell is this. Synaptic Cleft - The space separating the presynaptic terminal and the postsynaptic membrane. Neurotransmitters - Chemical substances that is stored in synaptic vesicles in the presynaptic terminal. When an action potential reaches the presynaptic terminal, voltage gated Ca channels open, and Ca move into the cell. This influx of Ca causes the release of neurotransmitters by exocytosis from the presynaptic terminal. - The neurotransmitters diffuse across the synaptic cleft and bind to specific receptor molecules on the postsynaptic membrane. - The binding of the neurotransmitters to these membrane receptors causes chemically gated channels for Na, K and Cl to open or close in the postsynaptic membrane, depending on the type of neurotransmitter in the presynaptic terminal and the type of receptors on the postsynaptic membrane. Best known neurotransmitters: Acetylcholine (ACh) and norepinephrine Acetylcholinesterase - Breaks down the acetylcholine. Cocaine and amphetamines - They increase the release and block the reuptake of norepinephrine, resulting in overstimulation of postsynaptic neurons and deleterious effects on the body. - Drugs that block serotonin reuptake are particularly effective at treating depression and behavioural disorders. Reflex - This is an involuntary reaction in response to a stimulus applied to a periphery and transmitted to the CNS. Reflex Arc - This is the neuronal pathway by which a reflex occurs. - The basic functional unit of the nervous system because it is the smallest simplest pathway capable of receiving stimulus and yielding a response. 5 components of a reflex arc: (1) Sensory receptor (2) Sensory neuron -

The Nervous System, SharmaineLee

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Sharmaine Margaret Ang-Sun-Cruz Lee 2012

(3) Interneurons (in some, located between and communicating with 2 other neurons) (4) Motor neuron (5) Effector organ 2 simplest pathways: (1) Converging pathway (2) Diverging pathway Converging pathway - Two or more neurons synapse with (converge on) the same neuron - Allows information transmitted in more than one neuronal pathway to converge into a single pathway. Diverging pathway - Axon from one neuron divides (diverges) and synapses with more than one other neuron. - This allows information transmitted in one neuronal pathway to diverge into two or more pathways. Summation - It takes more than a single action potential to have an effect; instead many presynaptic action potentials are needed in a process called this. - Allows integration of multiple sub threshold changes in local potentials. Spatial Summation - Occurs when the local potentials originate from different locations on the postsynaptic neuron. (ex. Converging pathway) Temporal Summation - Occurs when action potentials overlap in time. - This can occur from a single input that fires rapidly , which allows the local potentials to overlap briefly.

The Nervous System, SharmaineLee

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