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51 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
Nonspiking release
The release of neurotransmitter from a presynaptic neuron without action potentials; typically, graded changes in membrane potential modulate the activation of voltage-gated Ca2+ channels, and changes in the intracellular concentration of free Ca2+ modulate the release of transmitter.
Pertaining to acetylcholine or substances with actions similar to that of ACh.
Adrenergic neurons
Neurons that use norepinephrine (or epinephrine) as transmitters
Muscarinic AChRs
Muscarine, a toxing isolated from some kinds of mushrooms, activates the other type of AChR, which is found in the target cells of parasympathetic neurons in the vertebrate autonomic nervous system. These AChRs are called muscarinic AChRs.
Ionotropic glutamate receptors (iGluRs)
A glutamate receptor that includes an ion channel in the protein complex and produces excitatory neurotransmission. See also metabotropic glutamate receptor.
G Proteins
A GTP-binding protein that plays a crucial role in signal transduction pathways across membranes.
Metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs)
A G protein-linked glutamate receptor that lacks an ion channel in the receptor protein complex. See also ionotropic glutamate receptor.
A change in neuronal function caused by chemical messengers (neuromodulators) that are released from axon terminals but that diffuse more widely than do typical neurotransmitters; neuromodulatory effects can be relatively long-lasting.
Synaptic plasticity
The capacity for long-lasting or permanent changes in synaptic efficacy as a result of experience.
Synaptic summation
The integration of multiple postsynaptic potentials, resulting in a change in Vm in a postsynaptic neuron.
Spatial summation
The integration by a postsynaptic neuron of simultaneous synaptic potentials that arise from the terminals of different presynaptic neurons.
Temporal summation
The summation of postsynaptic membrane potentials that are elicited close to one another in time.
Neuronal plasticity
The capacity for modification of the activity in a neuronal circuit based on experience and changes in input.
Homosynaptic modulation
A change in the efficacy of a synapse that results from activity at the synapse.
Heterosynaptic modulation
A change in the efficacy of synaptic transmission at one synapse that is due to activity at another, separate synapse.
Synaptic facilitation
An increase in synaptic efficacy.
Synaptic depression
A decrease in synaptic efficacy following prolonged, high-frequency stimulation.
Posttetanic potentiation
Increased efficacy of synaptic transmission following presynaptic stimulation at a high frequency; often follows posttetanic depression.
Heterosynaptic facilitation
Increased efficacy of synaptic transmission between two neurons as a result of activity in a third neuron.
Long-term potentiation (LTP)
An increase in synaptic efficacy that develops as a result of sustained synaptic input and that lasts for a relatively long time – even days, weeks, or months.
Long-term depression (LTD)
A decrease in synaptic efficacy that develops as a result of sustained synaptic input and that lasts for a relatively long time – even days, weeks, or months
Endogenous opioids
Neurotransmitter of neuromodulator molecules (e.g., endorphins and enkephalins) whose receptors also bind opioid drugs, such as opium and heroin.
Receptor potential
A change in membrane potential elicited in sensory receptor cells by sensory stimulation, which changes the flow of ionic current across the plasma membrane.
Postsynaptic current (psc)
A change in the rate of ion flow across a postsynaptic membrane in response to a synaptic signal.
Passive electrotonic (decremental) transmission
See decremental transmission. Electrical signal transmission in which signals are conducted, but not regeneratively, so that their amplitude drops with distance traveled.
A chemical messenger that is released by a presynaptic nerve ending and that interacts with receptor molecules in the postsynaptic membrane.
Postsynaptic neuron
neuron that conducts information away from a synapse
Presynaptic neuron
Neuron that conducts action potentials toward a synapse
Postsynaptic potential (psp)
A change in Vm in a postsynaptic neuron in response to a synaptic signal.
Cable properties
The passive electrical properties (resistance and capacitance) of a cell; the physics of transmission through long, narrow cylinders was first worked out for submarine cables, hence the name
Length constant
(ë) The distance along a cell over which a potential change decays in amplitude by (1-1/e), or 63%
Nonspiking neurons
A neuron that receives and transmits information without action potentials
Myelin sheath – a membranous sheath formed by Schwann cells or oligodendrocytes that are wrapped tightly around segments of a vertebrate axon; serves as electrical insulation in salutatory conduction.
Nodes of ranvier
One of the regularly spaced interruptions of the myelin sheath along an axon
Saltatory conduction
Discontinuous conduction of action potentials that takes place at the nodes of Ranvier in myelinated axons.
Electrical synapses
A junction between two cells at which a signal is carried from one cell to the other by the passage of ions through gap junctions.
Chemical synapses
A junction between a neuron and another cell in which the signal from the presynaptic neuron is carried across the synaptic cleft by neurotransmitter molecules.
Synaptic cleft
The thin space separating the cells at a synapse.
Neuromuscular junctions
(motor endplate) the synapse that connects a motor neuron with a skeletal muscle fiber.
Gap junctions
Specialized cell junctions that allow for electrical coupling between cells, in which plasma membranes about 2nm apart are linked by tubular assemblies of proteins that are called connexons in vertebrates.
Fast (direct) chemical synaptic transmission
Synaptic transmission at a chemical synapse mediated by neurotransmitters that bind to receptor protein complexes in the postsynaptic membrane, each of which includes an ion channel. Binding of the transmitter to the receptor complex in sufficient to open (or to close) the channel.
Excitatory postsynaptic potential (epsp)
A change in the membrane potential of a postsynaptic cell that increases the probability of an action potential in that cell
Slow (indirect) chemical synaptic transmission
Synaptic transmission at a chemical synapse mediated by neurotransmitters that bind to receptor molecules in the postsynaptic membrane and activate intracellular second-messenger systems, typically through G proteins.
Endplate potentials (epps)
A postsynaptic potential in a muscle fiber at the neuromuscular junction (or motor endplate)
Inhibitory postsynaptic potential (ipsp)
A change in the transmembrane potential of a post synaptic cell that reduces the probability of an action potential in that cell.
Presynaptic inhibition
Neuronal inhibition resulting from the action of an inhibitory terminal that synapses on the presynaptic terminal of an excitatory synapse, which reduces the amount of transmitter released.
Synaptic efficacy
The effectiveness of a presynaptic impulse in producing a postsynaptic potential change.
Miniature endplate potentials (mepps)
A tiny depolarization (generally 1mV or less) of the postsynaptic membrane at a neuromuscular junction (motor endplate); produced by presynaptic release of a single packet of transmitter.
Quantal release
The release of neurotransmitter in discrete packets that correspond to vesicles containing transmitter molecules.
Synaptic desensitization
The failure of a postsynaptic membrane to respond to neurotransmitter due to the inactivation or loss of postsynaptic receptor molecules.
Nicotinic AChRs
Nicotine, an alkaloid produced by tobacco and some other plants, mimics the action of ACh on the channels found at the vertebrate neuromuscular junction and on postganglionic cells of the vertebrate autonomic nervous system, so these ACh receptors (AChRs) are called nicotinic AChRs.