Lecture on October 8th: Synapses

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University of Massachusetts Amherst
Psychology & Brain Sciences
Lori Astheimer Best

Behavioral Neuroscience, Lecture on October 8th Synaptic transmissions: Synapses are tiny spaces between neurons. Presynaptic cell - presynaptic membrane - synaptic cleft (space) - postsynaptic membrane - postsynaptic cell. Mitochondria and golgi bodies are found in the terminal button.  Mitochondria supply energy in the form of ATP.  Golgi bodies are responsible for packaging and sorting proteins. Bundles of neurotransmitters are packed within synaptic vesicles. The synapse is released at the release/active zone that meets up with the postsynaptic destiny.  Postsynaptic destiny is dense with neurotransmitters. Release of neurotransmitters: Exocytosis is when neurotransmitters are exiting the terminal button.  once the action potential reaches the terminal button this triggers exocytosis. Positive calcium ions (more outside of the cell).  Can only get into the cell through voltage gated calcium channels.  Depolarization causes the voltage gated calcium channel to change shape- allowing calcium to flow into the cell.  Calcium cells initiate protein cascades that move vesicles down the cell membrane and then connect with docking proteins with which the vesicles bind to.  Once these vesicles break apart then opening forms called a fusion pore.  Neurotransmitters are then released out of the cell and into the synapse. A calcium pump pumps calcium out of the cell. It is on all the time and uses ATP because we are pumping against the concentration gradient. Neurotransmitter receptors: Many neurotransmitter receptors are simply chemically-gated (aka ligand-gated) ion channels. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter.  One type of ACh receptor is a sodium channel. Neurotransmitter receptors cause a small change in the membrane potential. *Opening which of the following will cause an IPSP or EPSP? Sodium - EPSP Potassium - IPSP Chloride - IPSP Calcium - Initiates protein cascades and also activates enzymes produces/downstream effects. Two types of postsynaptic recept
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