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  1. Resting Potentials and Action Potentials Lecture 10 PSY391S John Yeomans

  2. Special Properties of Neurons • Excitability--Action Potential in Axons. • Conduction--Action Potential in Axons. • Transmission--Synapses, Electrical & Chemical. • Integration--Postsynaptic Cell. • Plasticity--Presynaptic Terminal and Postsynaptic Membrane.

  3. Resting and Action Potentials

  4. Pumps Exchange Ions • All cells have pumps and resting potentials (-40 to -90 mV). • Pumps use ATP to exchange ions. • Na+/K+ pump: 3 Na+ exchanged for 2 K+. • Ca++ pump: Keeps powerful Ca++ ions out.

  5. Concentration of Ions and State of Channels at Rest -65 mV Concentrations maintained by Na+/K+ and Ca++ pumps.

  6. Potentials • All potentials result from ions moving across membranes. • Two forces on ions: Diffusion (from high to low concentration); Electrical (toward opposite charge and away from like charge). • Each ion that can flow through channels reaches equilibrium between two forces. • Equilibrium potential for each ion determined by Nernst Equation. • K+ make - potentials; Na+ make + potentials.

  7. Nernst Equation • EK+ = +58 mV log10 ([K+] outside/[K+] inside). (+58 mV for room temperature, squid axon). • EK+ = 58 mV log10 1/20 = -75 mV. • ENa+ = 58 mV log10 10/1 = + 58 mV. • ECl- = -58 mV log10 15 = -68 mV. • ECa++ = +58 mV log10 10,000 = +220 mV.

  8. Resting Potential Results from Passive K+ Channels and EK+ • At rest, membrane potential is -60 to -70 mV in most neurons. Why? • K+ is most permeable, due to leak of K+ through passive K+ channels. • Therefore, K+ ions leave, making the inside more negative.

  9. Action Potential Results from Voltage-gated Na+ Channels ENa+ = +58 mV  EK+ = -75 mv  Closed!

  10. Action Potentials • Only neurons and muscles have action potentials (not all neurons). • Due to voltage-gated Na+ channels. • Most in axons, at initial segment (axon hillock) and nodes of Ranvier. A few in big dendrites where depolarizations need a boost. • Channel ionic currents are studied by voltage clamps and patch clamps.

  11. Voltage Clamp • Used to measure ion currents in squid giant axons (Hodgkin & Huxley). • Study single ion by changing ions in axon. • Hold voltage constant by injecting current with large electrode. Measured current I. • Measured Na+ or K+ current during action potential: INa+ = V/R = K/R ~ Na+ conductance. • Measure “channel” permeability changes. • Predicted action potential changes from Nernst Eq and channel permeabilities.

  12. Single Channels Study electrical properties, Ionic properties, Pharmacology (toxins, agonists, antagonists) Molecular biology (mutant channels)

  13. Voltage-gated Na++ Channel: Molecular Structure and Gating

  14. (>1 m/s in mammals) All Na+ channels open in APabsolute refractory period. (No voltage-gated K+ channels in mammalian unmyelinated axons)

  15. (1-120 m/s)

  16. Synapses and Postsynaptic Potentials Lecture 11 PSY391S John Yeomans

  17. Release and Ca++ • Transmitter is synthesized and stored in vesicles. • Action potential opens voltage-gated Ca++ channels near release sites. • Ca++ activates proteins that move vesicles to release sites. • Exocytosisrelease and diffusion of transmitter. • EPSPs, IPSPs (depending on ions) . • Reuptake or enzyme breakdown of transmitter.

  18. Chemical Receptors Nicotinic, AMPA Na+ Muscarinic, Dopamine, GABAB GABAA Cl- Gs, Gi

  19. Ionotropic Receptors

  20. Receptors are now defined by genes

  21. Second Messengers • cAMP and cGMP, IP3, DAG (G-coupled) • Ca++, etc. • Kinases (dozens, e.g. A, CaMK) • Gene transcription (CREB) • Plasticity • Retrograde messengers NO and CO.

  22. Other Receptor Types • Steroid receptors--Lipophilic molecules pass through membrane to act in neurons. • Tyrosine kinase receptors--NGF activates enzymes and kinases. • Slower growth effects.

  23. Summation

  24. PSPs • Excitatory: Na+ or Ca++ entry. • Inhibitory: K+ efflux or Cl- entry. • Also blocking open channels (e.g. rods and cones). • Slow potentials: seconds to hours.

  25. Integration of Potentials Lecture 12 John Yeomans PSY391S

  26. Computation in Single Neurons • Thinking requires complex computation. How? • Neural computation occurs in postsynaptic cells, by integration of PSPs, and by changes in synapses. • We still have no idea how thoughts are represented in neurons or circuits, only rough ideas of which brain regions are important.

  27. Integration in the Cell and Axon PSPs decay with distance. Integration occurs at axon hillock.

  28. Synapses on Soma, Dendrites and Spines Thousands of synapses, of many types, on each output neuron.

  29. Synapse Strength • Strongest near axon, usually inhibitory. • Next strongest on soma and proximal dendrite shafts. • Weakest synapses on spines, usually excitatory. • Larger neurons usually have more synapses, more spines. Why?

  30. Spines • Problem: Too many synapsestoo much ion leakage along dendrites. • Solution: Place synapses on isolated spines. • All spine synapse have equal access to dendrite shafts. • Spine shapes change in minutes: mushrooms less, slivers moreplasticity.

  31. Plasticity • Facilitation and depression of PSPs. • Presynaptic changes: transmitters, vesicles, release, retrograde NO. • Postsynaptic changes: Receptors can be added and subtracted. Channels can be phosphorylated; • Second messengers and kinases can change postsynaptic response; • Spines can grow or shrink; New proteins.

  32. Integration of Brain Potentials • Most recordings are extracellular, or outside brain. Averages across many or millions of neurons. • Electrode size and distance determines how many neurons are measured. • Human studies are mainly from surface of brain. Brain-waves are correlated with thoughts (Dreams, meditation, stimuli).

  33. Human Potentials • Strong potentials in muscles--EMG, ECG (electromyogram and electrocardiogram). • Weaker potentials from brain--EEGs. • Evoked potentials allow study of changes. • Computer averaging allows study of deep brain potentials: Event-related potentials in sensory systems and cognition.

  34. EEG and ERP

  35. Electroencephalogram • Shows widespread activity of brain, mainly from PSPs. • Sleep stages, waking, slow wave, REM. • Most intense in seizures of different types, petit mal, grand mal etc. • Can find lobes that are most active (e.g., occipital for alpha waves, temporal or frontal lobe or for seizures).

  36. Event-Related Potentials • Warning and CNV: Cortex mainly. • I-VI : Brain stem auditory paths. • No-P3 : Cortical processing of auditory stimulus. Primary to association areas. • Temporal resolution better than spatial resolution. • Brain imaging (fMRI) localizes thoughts better, but not to neurons.