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A/ProfLesleyLluka

BIOL1040
NEURONS,SYNAPSES&NERVOUSSYSTEMS
ActionPotentialConduction&
SynapticTransmission
AssociateProfessorLesleyJ.Lluka
SchoolofBiomedicalSciences
TheUniversityofQueensland
L.Lluka@uq.edu.au
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A/ProfLesleyLluka

NEURONS,SYNAPSES&NERVOUS
SYSTEMS
NeuralTransmission Cells&Ions
ActionPotentialConduction&Synaptic
Transmission
Organisation ofNervousSystems
CompulsoryWorkshop:Review&Application
Monday18th April

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A/ProfLesleyLluka

ActionPotentialConduction&Synaptic
Transmission LearningObjectives
Listandexplainthefactorsthataffectactionpotential
conductionspeeds
Explainhowcommunicationoccursatsynapses
Explainthemechanismsinvolvedinchemical
transmissionatsynapsesincludingexocytosis
Distinguishbetweenexcitatoryandinhibitory
postsynapticpotentials
Defineandexplaintemporalandspatialsummationof
postsynapticpotentials
Explainthedifferencesbetweendirectandindirect
synaptictransmission
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A/ProfLesleyLluka

Resourcesrelevanttothislecture
CampbellBiology, 10th edn,2014 Chapter48
Concept483:Actionpotentialsarethesignalsconducted
byaxons
Concept484:Neuronscommunicatewithothercellsat
synapses

Actionpotentialpractical
MasteringBiologyincludingBioflix
HowNeuronsWork
HowSynapsesWork

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DEPOLARISATION
If THRESHOLD is reached:
Lots of Na+ channels open
Lots of Na+ rushes in
REPOLARISATION
A STIMULUS mV
30 K+ channels open
causes a few Na+ K+ rushes out
channels to open 0
Na+ channels inactivated
Na+ rushes in -50 and then start to close
-70

0 Time (ms) 5
RESTING STATE UNDERSHOOT
Voltage-gated ion Small hyperpolarisation
channels are closed
Also need Na+/K+-
ATPase to restore Na+
6 and K+ concentrations
A/ProfLesleyLluka

Refractory
mV period (RP)
30 Closed Open
Open

0
Na+

-50 RRP
ARP Inactivated
-70

Voltage-gated Na+ channels inactivated during repolarisation


During absolute RP (ARP), no AP can be generated
Na+ channels open then inactivated
- During relative RP (RRP), AP only if apply large stimulus
because some Na+ channels closed again
Limitsfiringfrequency
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Theactionpotentialcanonlytravelinonedirection
A/ProfLesleyLluka

PRESYNAPTIC
NEURON

POSTSYNAPTIC
NEURON
Campbell Biology, 10th ed, Fig 48.2

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A/ProfLesleyLluka

Conductionofactionpotentials
Na+ so get sodium ions moving in
Usuallystartsataxon
hillock very first part of the axon that
is joined to the cell body

Travellongdistances
byregeneratingitself
alongtheaxon K+ Na+ potassium moving out

at that point, not possible to get


another action potential in this
part of the neuron, b/c still in
refractory period, so cant get
things moving backwards but
K+ Na+ only moving forward along the
axon

9 Campbell Biology, 10th ed, Fig 48.12


A/ProfLesleyLluka

Howcanwemeasuremagnitudeand
delayoftheactionpotentialinanerve?
Youwilldothisintheactionpotential
practical.

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A/ProfLesleyLluka

Sciatic nerve

Measurevoltage(mV)
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A/ProfLesleyLluka

Axondiameter

Thelargerthediameter,thelessresistance
FASTERconductionspeed
Invertebrates:speedsvaryfromafewcm/s
12
to100m/sinsquidgiantaxon
A/ProfLesleyLluka

Temperature

Anychemicalreactionoccursfasterat
warmertemperatures!

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A/ProfLesleyLluka
by far the most important factor of conduction speed

Degreeofmyelination

insulates in an electrical sense


Myelininsulatestheaxonmembranein
vertebrates FASTERconductionspeed
Conductionspeedisaffectedmoreby
14
myelinationthanbyaxondiameter
A/ProfLesleyLluka

or saltatory action

Saltatoryconduction
white myelin going round and round the axon

Schwanncell

Myelinsheath


+
+
+
+

NodeofRanvier
conduction happening only around nodes of ranvier
120m/sec

15 Campbell Biology, 10th ed, Fig 48.14


A/ProfLesleyLluka

Effectofmyelinationonconductionspeed
Unmyelinatednervefiber
smoothconduction

this slide is animated


Myelinatednervefiber
saltatoryconduction

NodesofRanvier
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A/ProfLesleyLluka
Whathappenswhentheaction
potentialgetstotheendoftheaxon?
another animated slide

pink things are


neurotransmitter
PRESYNAPTIC
s (chemicals)
NEURON

the junction between two neurons is a


synapse, and the space between the two
is called a synaptic cleft

EFFECTORCELL
POSTSYNAPTIC (Example:muscle)
NEURON

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this is a chemical process A/ProfLesleyLluka

this is a very complicated process, not just one junction onto one neuron, get synapses from lots and lots of pre-synaptic neurons,
some neurons would be firing off, some not, and the summation would control what happens at the postsynaptic neuron

18 Campbell Biology, 10th ed, Fig 48.15


A/ProfLesleyLluka

Communicationatsynapses
Electricalsynapses a really close junction between two membranes, and can get electrical
signal across, so electrical along the axon as all of them are, and still
atgapjunctions electrical at the junction

directelectriccurrentsbetweencells
relativelyfewsynapsesofthistype
Chemicalsynapses
involvesreleaseofachemicalneurotransmitter
neurotransmitterreleasedbypresynapticneuron
vastmajorityofsynapses

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A/ProfLesleyLluka

Campbell Biology,
50 10th ed, Fig 6.32
A/ProfLesleyLluka
Neurotransmitterreleaseatachemical
synapse
voltage-gated=channels that respond to depolarisation

but these calcium channels are at the end near where it is


synapsing, and once get depolarising coming down to this part
of the membrane, calcium channels open up when met with
depolarising signal
calcium ions usually present in milliM in
extracellular, and microM inside the cell,
calcium ions are toxic to the cell if present
for long time, however when calcium
channels open, will move inside cell, when
free calcium ions increase inside cell,
vesicles containing the neurotransmitter
(e.g. adrenalin, acetylcholine), depending
on particular nerve, usually nerves are
called adrenergic if release adrenalin,
cholinergic if release acetylcholine, have
these vesicles containing the chemical, the
calcium moves in, free calcium ions cause
these vesicle membranes to bind with the
membrane of the axon (fuse), allowing
chemical to come out, classic process of
exocytosis, and so will have chemical
inside the synaptic cleft, chemical can find
its receptors which are sitting on the other
side of the synaptic cleft

Campbell Biology,
20 10th ed, Fig 48.16
A/ProfLesleyLluka

Exocytosis

....andexocytosisis
themechanismof
neurotransmitter
releasefromneurons
A/ProfLesleyLluka
Ca2+ this is an animated slide

PRESYNAPTICNEURON
vesicles release chemicals (pink), and these chemicals
sometimes get taken back up into the neuron to be used again

Ca2+
POSTSYNAPTICNEURON

if excitatory signal, produces another action potential


along the joining axon, if add up enough of these, send
depolarising signal down the next axon
as seen on electron micrograph, not just
one of these on the postsynaptic cell
body, but loads and loads of them, at EPSP=excitatorypostsynapticpotential
any given time, can influence some that
cause excitatory signal and some ifdepolarisationatpostsynapticmembrane
inhibitory signal, what happens overall
depends on how these things add up
IPSP=inhibitorypostsynapticpotential
ifhyperpolarisationatpostsynapticmembrane
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if hyperpolarise at the membrane, make it less likely to produce stimulation in cell body and action
potential going down neuron, called inhibitory
A/ProfLesleyLluka

Mostpostsynapticpotentialsdeclinebeforethey
reachaxonhillock
what happens at the axon hillock determines if signal goes down the next neuron or not
Temporal most of these postsynaptic
potentials will just peter out, a
summation: little bit of change will happen
around the synapse, and then just
SeveralEPSPs disappear

fromthesame
synapsejust
aftereachother

Canreach
thresholdat
-50mV
axonhillock
actionpotential!
going down that axon one way to get it is just one nerve stimulated rapidly, the other on next slide

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A/ProfLesleyLluka

Spatialsummation:
TwoormoreEPSPsfromdifferentsynapses:

several synapses firing at the same time, and going in the direction of excitation, can add up to a big enough effect to get
action potential along the neuron

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Subthreshold;nosummation

Campbell Biology
25 10th ed, Fig. 48.17
A/ProfLesleyLluka

TemporalsummationofEPSPs

Campbell Biology
26 10th ed, Fig. 48.17
A/ProfLesleyLluka

SpatialsummationofEPSPs

Campbell Biology
27 10th ed, Fig. 48.17
A/ProfLesleyLluka

SpatialsummationofEPSP+IPSP
stop action potential from being propogate

Campbell Biology
28 10th ed, Fig. 48.17
A/ProfLesleyLluka

Whatisthedifferencebetween
apostsynapticpotentialand
anactionpotential?

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Potentials:Postsynapticvs. Action
Postsynapticpotential
excitatory(EPSP)orinhibitory(IPSP)
postsynaptic potentials are the little things that
graded different sizes, localised occur just when you release the transmitter at
the local part of the synapse at the local part of
local the postsynaptic membrane, and then depend on
how they ad dup across the membrane
atthecellbodyordendrites
Actionpotential
depolarisation same size
allornothing
excitatorypostsynapticpotentialscanaddupand
causeanactionpotential
generatedattheaxonhillock
travelsalongtheaxon
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A/ProfLesleyLluka

TypesofChemicalSynapticTransmission
neurotransmitter thats released by

Directsynaptictransmission superfast
exocytosis acts on postsynaptic membrane
receptors and they are ion channel linked
receptors aka ligand-gated ion channels
neurotransmitteropensionchannelsonthe
postsynapticmembrane opening up channel letting ions move
into or out of the cell depending on
gradient
actionvialigandgatedionchannels
Indirectsynaptictransmission slightly slower

neurotransmitterbindstoareceptoronthe
postsynapticmembrane still has release of transmitter but acts
on receptor that comes from a different

activatesasignaltransductionpathway family, from the G-protein coupled


receptor family and involves
production of second messenger
involvesasecondmessenger

ligand=any chemical that binds to something


35 (can be a neurotransmitter), so neurotransmitter
binds onto the ion channel receptors and in
doing so opens it up
Receptortypes forneuronaltransmission
Plasma Membrane Receptors

DIRECT SYNAPTIC TRANSMISSION


Ion channel receptors:
- Na+ channel opened by ligand e.g. nictoninc
receptors fast neurotransmission
INDIRECT SYNAPTIC TRANSMISSION
G protein-coupled receptors: 7 TM-spanning regions
- all aspects of physiology and pharmacology

Tyrosine kinase linked receptors: e.g. insulin receptors


- metabolism, cell growth, cell reproduction

Intracellular receptors
Steroid receptors
A/ProfLesleyLluka

TypesofChemicalSynapticTransmission
Directsynaptictransmission
neurotransmitteropensionchannelsonthe
postsynapticmembrane
actionvialigandgatedionchannels
Indirectsynaptictransmission
neurotransmitterbindstoareceptoronthe
postsynapticmembrane
activatesasignaltransductionpathway
involvesasecondmessenger

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bioflix only talks about direct not indirect
A/ProfLesleyLluka

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A/ProfLesleyLluka
Directsynaptictransmissionatachemical
synapse

Campbell Biology,
10th ed, Fig 48.16

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A/ProfLesleyLluka

DirectSynapticTransmission
Neurotransmitteropensionchannelsonthe produces change in potential bc ions moving across, response size
postsynapticmembrane depends on how many channels opened, so a graded response, unlike
the action potential spike of the same size once threshold is reached,
response happen on cell body or dendrite of postsynaptic neuron
leadstoapostsynapticpotential graded
Excitatorypostsynapticpotentials(EPSPs)
the direction of change of potential can also depend on what kind of ions are going in/out, for
depolarisation example open sodium channels lets sodium in, therefore neutralise some of the negative chart and
it is depolarising the cell, whenever it depolarises the cell called excitatory potential

Inhibitorypostsynapticpotentials(IPSPs)
if instead of opening up sodium channel, open up potassium channel, which
hyperpolarisation goes along its concentration gradient out of the cell, that will make the cell
more negative bc losing positive charge, or alternatively opening chloride
channel, which allows negative charge in since conc. chloride outside> conc.
chloride inside, potential gets more negative, so get hyperpolarisation, from
-70mV to maybe -80mV
called inhibitory b/c less likely to get depolarisation

psp=potentials developing in the postsynaptic neuron

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A/ProfLesleyLluka
direct synaptic transmission

AminoAcidNeurotransmitters

top two in brain and spinal cord (glycine), open up chloride ion channels, let
chloride into cell, so they are inhibitory, cause hyperpolarisation, linking up to
ion channel liked receptor, so direct transmission is superfast
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glutamate and aspartate are important excitatory neurotransmitters, work
Campbell Biology, 10th ed, Table 48.2
to open up sodium channels and produce depolarising signals
A/ProfLesleyLluka

TypesofSynapticTransmission
Directsynaptictransmission
neurotransmitteropensionchannelsonthe
postsynapticmembrane
actionvialigandgatedionchannels
binding happening that produces a second
messenger, depending on type of second
Indirectsynaptictransmission messenger, can produce excitatory signal
again/inhibitory signal
neurotransmitterbindstoareceptoronthe
postsynapticmembrane
activatesasignaltransductionpathway
involvesasecondmessenger
canresultinEPSPsorIPSPsdependingonthe
neurotransmitterandthereceptortype
g-protein coupled receptor that
neurotransmitter is binding to, so get
42 second messenger, takes longer, happens in
seconds rather than milliseconds
A/ProfLesleyLluka
Indirectsynaptictransmissionata
chemicalsynapse

Activationofsignaltransductionpathway
PostsynapticreceptorscoupledtoGproteins

second messengers are the ones that


43 the potential of the cell in one
change
direction or another
these indirect synaptic transmission with g-protein coupled receptors, these amines quite commonly have that type of
receptor, acetylcholine has ion channel linked receptor and g-protein coupled receptor A/ProfLesleyLluka

AmineNeurotransmitters

very important neurotransmitter, in both


central nervous and periphery nervous

=Noradrenaline

dopamine also important neurotransmitter,


particularly in brain, a lack of dopaminergic
neurons causes Parkinsons, dopamine works
to stimulate one of these g-protein coupled
receptors to release second messengers

=5hydroxytryptamine(5HT)
Campbell Biology
44 10th ed, Table 48.2
A/ProfLesleyLluka

AmineNeurotransmitters

both circled are these are g-protein coupled receptors

=Noradrenaline

=5hydroxytryptamine(5HT)
Campbell Biology
45 10th ed, Table 48.2
serotonin has a lot of receptors, something like 14, all but 1 is g-protein coupled receptor type
need chemicals to get removed rapidly from synaptic cleft because we want to keep
dynamic control over whats happening in terms of stimulation of the next neuron, and want
to turn it on or off very dynamically, so need this transmitter to disappear fast A/ProfLesleyLluka

Removalofneurotransmittersfromthe
synapticcleft
Takenupby
astrocytes
Recycledby
selectiveuptake
bytransporters
e.g.NET,SERT

Brokendownbyenzymes
e.g.acetylcholinesterase
transmitter could diffuse away, but that would be too slow
something faster would be being broken also have astrocytes around glial
down by an enzyme, eg acetylcholine by cells that takes up anything
acetylcholinesterase thats very active in leftover and broken down, making
synaptic cleft, so it lasts very short time sure got no transmitter left
before it is broken down into an acetyl all of the other neurotransmitters have a specific protein on the
group and a choline group (just happens presynaptic neuron that allows the uptake of the neurotransmitter, eg
46Diffusion with acetylcholine no other
neurotransmitters)
noradrenaline can be taken up by a noradrenaline transporter, goes back to
the synaptic vesicle, recycling it, choline part of acetylcholine also has a
transporter so it can get retrieved as well
A/ProfLesleyLluka

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