NPB 100 Lecture 7

NPB 100 Lecture 7 - Gap Junctions Firing Pattern of Neurons Changes in Excitability of Neurons Synaptic Neurons Reciprocal Inhibition Lateral

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Gap Junctions Firing Pattern of Neurons Changes in Excitability of Neurons Synaptic Neurons Reciprocal Inhibition Lateral Inhibition -Electrical synapse turns out to be a gap junction (anatomical specialization where two cells that are going to synapse with one another at their membrane) -always a space, “Gap”, between the cell about 2nM in thickness -come close together but remain separate cells -continuous water-filled pores allow movements of small molecules and ions -no ionic selectivitiy -cells connected by gap junctions often show di-coupling -electrical synapses often described as coupling together the membrane potential of the cells -usu very weak but if you have enough gap junctions in parallel, easy for coupled currents to go back and forth and the Em of the cells stay very similar (if one fires, the others will too) -strength of electrical synapses regulated by the number of gap junctions open -gap junctions do not leak to the outside world -as soon as they break, they shut off so that they do not short circuit the membrane -electrical synapses are nonselective and nonrectifying -there are rectifying electrical synapses which on one side, has voltage sensors which look at the potential difference between the two cells and can close off -but is uncommon -synaptic current consists of the conductance of the synapse (which is proportional to the number of gap junctions present) times the difference between the membrane potential of the two cells -these were first described in escape circuits in which speed was important for the animal’s survival -there is no synaptic delay in the electrical synapse
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This note was uploaded on 03/15/2010 for the course NPB NPB taught by Professor Bales during the Winter '09 term at UC Davis.

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NPB 100 Lecture 7 - Gap Junctions Firing Pattern of Neurons Changes in Excitability of Neurons Synaptic Neurons Reciprocal Inhibition Lateral

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