Neurons, Synapses, and Signaling

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1 Chapter 48 Neurons, Synapses, and Signaling PowerPoint Lecture Presentations for Biology Eighth Edition Neil Campbell and Jane Reece Lectures by Chris Romero, updated by Erin Barley with contributions from Joan Sharp

2 Divisions of nervous system The main function of nervous system is to control homeostasis Many animals have a complex nervous system which consists of: A central nervous system (CNS) where integration takes place; this includes the brain and a nerve cord A peripheral nervous system (PNS), which brings information into and out of the CNS

3 Peripheral nervous system Sensors detect external stimuli and internal conditions and transmit information along sensory neurons to CNS Sensory information is sent to the brain or ganglia, where interneurons integrate the information Motor output leaves the brain or ganglia via motor neurons, which carry nerve impulses away from CNS and trigger muscle or gland activity

4 Fig Summary of information processing Sensory input Sensor Integration Motor output Effector Peripheral nervous system (PNS) Central nervous system (CNS)

5 Overview: Lines of Communication 5/17 Neurons are nerve cells that transfer information within the body Processing of information takes place in simple clusters of neurons called ganglia or a more complex organization of neurons called a brain

6 Neuron Structure and Function Most of a neuron s organelles are in the cell body Most neurons have dendrites, highly branched extensions that receive signals from other neurons or stimuli The axon is typically a much longer extension that transmits signals to other cells at synapses

7 Fig Neuron structure and organization Dendrites Stimulus Nucleus Cell body Axon hillock Presynaptic cell Axon A synapse is a junction between an axon and another cell Synapse Synaptic terminals Neurotransmitter Postsynaptic cell

8 Neuron Structure and Function Synapse: where neuron interacts with another cell to transmit a nerve impulse Most neurons are nourished or insulated by cells called glia Schwann cells of glia produce mielin sheath, which increases speed of transmission. Nodes of Ranvier: are gaps in myelin sheath

9 Fig Schwann cell Depolarized region (node of Ranvier) Cell body Myelin sheath Axon

10 Concept 48.2: Ion pumps and ion channels maintain the resting potential of a neuron 10/17 Every neuron has a voltage (difference in electrical charge) across its plasma membrane called a membrane potential (action potential) Flow of ions produces electric currents in body: move across membrane through channels down electrochemical gradient

11 Inside of membrane is more negative compared to the outside of the membrane Sodium-potassium pumps maintain K + and Na + gradients across the plasma membrane

12 Conduction Speed The speed of an action potential increases with the axon s diameter In vertebrates, axons are insulated by a myelin sheath, which causes an action potential s speed to increase Myelin sheaths are made by glia oligodendrocytes in the CNS and Schwann cells in the PNS

13 Fig a Myelinated axon (cross section) Node of Ranvier Layers of myelin Axon Axon Myelin sheath Schwann cell Nodes of Ranvier Schwann cell Nucleus of Schwann cell Action potentials are formed only at nodes of Ranvier, gaps in the myelin sheath where voltage-gated Na+ channels are found

14 Synapses Junctions between 2 neurons and or neuron and affector Presynaptic neuron: conducts impulse toward synapse The synaptic (axonal) terminal of presynaptic neuron passes information across the synapse in the form of chemical messengers called neurotransmitters Neurotransmitters are located in synaptic vesicles The neurotransmitter diffuses across the synaptic cleft and is received by the postsynaptic cell

15 Synaptic terminals on the cell body of a postsynaptic neuron (colorized SEM) 15/17 Fig µm Postsynaptic neuron Synaptic (axonal) terminals of presynaptic neurons

16 Fig A chemical synapse Synaptic vesicles containing neurotransmitter Presynaptic membrane Voltage-gated Ca 2+ channel 1 Ca Postsynaptic membrane synaptic cleft: separates membranes of 2 neurons Synaptic cleft 3 Ligand-gated ion channels Postsynaptic neuron: conducts impulse away from synapse Receptor region: where neurotransmitters bind to receptors

17 Impulse transmission at synapse Nerve impulse reaches axonal terminal, causes synaptic vesicles to release neurotransmitter Neurotransmitter diffuses across cleft and binds to receptors on postsynaptic membrane May produce action potential if threshold reached

18

19 Thank you for your attention and participation!

20 You should now be able to: 1. Distinguish among the following sets of terms: sensory neurons, interneurons, and motor neurons; and action potential 2. Explain the importance of the sodiumpotassium pump 3. Describe the events that lead to the release of neurotransmitters into the synaptic cleft

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