Questions for Chapter 6 Section C

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Questions for Chapter 6 Section C Synaptic Physiology

What characteristics of electrical synapses make them well suited for synchronizing activity in many cells?

In humans, where are electrical synapses common?

What types of molecules are released from the presynaptic membrane of chemical synapses?

What is the difference between a neurotransmitter and a neuromodulator and a hormone?

What is the role of SNARE proteins?

What is the role of synaptotagmin?

What is the function of voltage gated Ca++ channels in the presynaptic membrane?

Why are mitochondria abundant in the presynaptic terminal?

Explain how IPSPs involving chloride channels can be “inhibitory” even though there is no change in the membrane potential of the post-synaptic cell.

How does the duration of PSPs compare to the duration of action potentials? How is the relevant to temporal and spatial summation?

Explain how synapses located near the initial segment have a greater influence on the firing of action potentials than do axons on the distal dendrites.

What is the difference between ionotropic and metabotropic receptors?

Explain how the release of synaptic vesicles from the presynaptic membrane is altered at an axon-axonic synapse. How is Ca++ involved?

What can happen to neurotransmitters once they are released into the synaptic cleft?

What is the difference between an agonist and an antagonist with respect to binding and activating ligand-gated receptors?

What is the agonist for a nAChR? An antagonist for that receptor?

What is the antagonist for the mAChR?

What type of AchR is found at the synapse between a motoneuron and a skeletal muscle?

What would be the effect on the skeletal muscles if a drug blocked the activity of acetylcholinesterase?

What is the mechanism of action of Botox?

What is the mechanism of action of curare?

Which neurotransmitter is most closely associated with Alzheimer’s disease?

Which neurotransmitter is most closely associated with mood?

Name all of the biogenic amines.

Name all of the catecholamines.

Why is knowledge of the blood-brain barrier important for designing drugs that act on the brain? How is this related to the treatment of Parkinson’s disease?

What is the cause of Parkinson’s disease? Which neurotransmitter and which cells are implicated?

Compared to all other types of neurotransmitters, what is different about the location of synthesis of the peptide neurotransmitters?

What is the action of monoamine oxidase and what effect do MAO inhibitors have on the levels of catecholamines in the synaptic cleft?

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