NPB 101 Autumn 2009.
Throughout this course
there have been recurring themes and concepts that underlie physiology
in general. Understanding these basic concepts will greatly improve learning and comprehension
of modern physiology. Below is an outline of which basic processes should be studied in depth.
Cell-cell interrelationships, adhesion, gap junctions, tight junctions, blood tissue barriers.
Transport mechanisms, passive diffusion, facilitated diffusion, active transport, carrier proteins
across cell membranes.
Protein synthesis, modification of proteins by glycosylation, phosphorylation etc. Packaging into
secretory granules, constitutive and regulated secretion. Synthesis of non-protein
neurotransmitters, neuromodulators and hormones (e.g. catecholamines, eicanosoids, steroids).
Some of the latter are stored in secretory granules (e.g. catecholamines) some are not (e.g.
Secretion by exocytosis, the opposite is endocytosis. Receptor mediated endocytosis. Autocrine,
paracrine and endocrine secretions.
Membrane potentials, graded and action potentials. Synaptic transmission, presynaptic and
Transport of chemical messengers (e.g. neurophysins, binding proteins in blood). Properties of
carrier proteins in general, as well as cell receptors membrane and internal). These properties are
high affinity (strong binding but reversible), low capacity (few binding sites per receptor
molecule), and high specificity (usually binds only one messenger and no others).
Types of chemical messenger receptor. Membrane: G proteins (inhibitory and stimulatory),
tyrosine kinase types, receptor on ion channels, early and late cell responses. Intracellular types
1, 2 and 3. Gene transcription factors, DNA-binding domain. Co-activators, co-suppressors.