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Lecture 10

PNB 2264 Lecture Notes - Lecture 10: Nernst Equation, Resting Potential, Electrical Synapse

Physiology and Neurobiology
Course Code
PNB 2264

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Excitable Cells
- excitable in this context has a very specific meaning
ability to generate ionic currents across the cell membrane to carry out a range of
release of cell contents
release of neurotransmitters
control of muscle
control of organs
thought, reasoning talking
What’s required
- A concentration gradient across the cell membrane for specific ions
o Specific for these cells because they act to establish this gradient
- Channels within the membrane filled with water, allowing them to cross the membrane
What does it look like?
- Its possible to use very thin glass electrodes to detect the movement of ions across the
- These changes are small and fast
o Fraction of a millisecond
- Action potential
o Stereotypic, cell goes from a negative charge to a positive charge then back to a
negative charge
o Always looks the same
- Graded potential
o Not stereotypic, cell goes from negative to positive and then back again
o The speed and magnitude of change is not constant
What cells do this?
- Neurons and muscle cells
- They don’t look like anything else in the body
- Structure is unusual
o Doesn’t look like any other cell
- Neurons axon can be up to a meter long
- Cell body protein synthesis, Nissl bodies
- Axon long membrane projection
o Transport to and from the cell body
- Dendrites small membrane projections around cell body
o Collects information form other cells
- Synapse close connection with other cells
o At end of axon
- Receive stimulus (information)
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