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Lecture 3

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University of Guelph
PSYC 3030
Taryn Grieder

Review of Structure and Function of Nervous System Neurotransmitters and Chemical SignalingCells of the Nervous System Embryonic stem cells have ability to become any cell in body can proliferatefreezing the umbilical cord that form the nervous system become two primary cell typesNeuronstransmit information in the form of electrical signaling o Sensory neuronssensitive to environmental stimuli o Interneuronsnerve cells in brain and spinal cord that get information from the sensory neurons o Motor neuronsdirect a biobehavioural response o Somacell body contains nucleus and other organellesPerforms most metabolic functionsContains pairs of chromosomes strands of DNA which have many genes section of chromosome that code for proteinsComplementary mRNA made by transcription factors nuclear proteins that bind to promoter region of DNA which are then translated to proteins by ribosomesDrug use can effect gene expression epigeneticschanges in gene expression without changing the DNA o Dendritesprojections from soma receive informationCovered with short dendritic spines that increase surface areaConstantly modified and shaped in response to changes in synaptic transmission increased activityChange rapidlycan change in number shape and sizeSome say dendritic spines are key to addictionIntegrates vast amount of information from many cells convergence and can send signals to many cells divergence o Axonextension that conducts electrical signals from soma axon hillock to terminal buttonsboutonsFilled with axoplasm axon cytoplasmNeuron usually only has one axon but it may branch to form axon collaterals like a fork in the roadTerminal buttons have synaptic vesicles containing neurotransmitter chemicalsneurons named based on neurotransmitter they release o Like other cells neurons have mitochondria where energy metabolism occursRequire large amounts of ATPRate of ATP synthesis reflects neuron activity used in techniques to visualize brain function o Synapseswhere signal is transmitted Transmission occurs from presynaptic cell to the postsynaptic cellGlial cellsprovide metabolic support protection and insulation of neurons o Makes tight junctions in blood brain barrier o Most axons are wrapped with myelin sheath fatty insulating coating created by layers of glial cellsSchwann cells myelinate PNS nerves that go to muscles organs glands dedicated to a single neuron provide nerve growth factors when neuron is damaged and a pathway for growthOligodendroglia myelinate nerves in CNS brain and spinal cord send out multiple arms to myelinate many cellsWithout myelin action potentials would be much slower because ion pumps need to open and close all the way along the axonThicker the myelin the faster the conductionAlso saves the cell energyreducing effort needed to get cell back to resting stateAstrocytes provide structural support and help maintain environment around neuronsMicroglia act as scavengers to remove dying cells primary resource of immune response in CNSNode of Ranvierbreak in myelin sheath that increases the speed of action potential conduction salutatory conduction to jump requires less energy and is fasterVisualizing the CellsGolgi technique stains only a few sells in their entirety for detailed view of individual neuronsEpigenetics control of gene expression by chromosome modifications that do not affect the DNA codeDNA Methylation attachment of methyl groups to a gene which reduces its expression blocks translation into proteinProlonged stress and drug useChromatin Remodeling chromatin is a complex of spherical histone proteins around which the DNA wraps can add methyl group phosphate group or acetyl group to histone tails to loosen chromatin structure o Activates translation of different proteins that wouldnt normally be translated
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