PS%202 - BIOE 322/BIOS 332 Fundamentals of Systems...

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Page 1 of 2 BIOE 322/BIOS 332 Fundamentals of Systems Physiology Spring 2008 Problem Set #2 DUE : F 2/1/08 1. A neuron has been stimulated and you are recording the membrane potentials at two locations: trigger zone and synaptic terminal. Draw the membrane potentials at these locations as a function of time. Indicate the relative amounts of neurotransmitter released (+, ++, or +++). Assume resting membrane potential of -80mV, threshold potential of -55mV, and peak of action potential at +20mV. 2. Does a prolonged threshold stimulus or a prolonged stronger-than-threshold stimulus of the same duration produce the most action potentials? Explain. 3. Lithium ions reduce the permeability of plasma membranes to Na+. Predict the effect lithium ions in the extracellular fluid would have on the response of a neuron to stimuli. 4. Some smooth muscle has the ability to contract spontaneously – that is, it contracts without any external stimulation. Propose an explanation (involving Na+ channels) for the ability of smooth muscle to contract spontaneously based on what you know about membrane potentials. Assume than an action potential in a
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PS%202 - BIOE 322/BIOS 332 Fundamentals of Systems...

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