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FSU / Physics / PHY 4701 / What is the substructure of the neuron in human physiology?

What is the substructure of the neuron in human physiology?

What is the substructure of the neuron in human physiology?


School: Florida State University
Department: Physics
Course: Human Physiology
Professor: Debra fadool
Term: Fall 2016
Tags: Human and Physiology
Cost: 50
Name: Study Guide For first Exam (9/27/16)
Description: answers all questions that teacher submitted on blackboard for what we need to know
Uploaded: 09/24/2016
11 Pages 6 Views 26 Unlocks

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Have a test coming soon, saved a lot of time!

 Human Physiology Exam 1 Study Guide: 

What is the substructure of the neuron in human physiology?


1. What is the major organizational plan of the body? And what  are the four primary tissues?

Cells tissueorgansorgan system





2. Delineate between the 3 types of muscle (skeletal, cardiac, and  smooth)?

Smooth: they are elongated and spindle shaped, and they are commonly  involved with involuntary movement (walls of blood vessels, bladder,  digestion)

Skeletal: they are made up of cylindrical fibers and are attached to the  muscles in the body, they are involved with voluntary movement Cardiac: these cells are quadrangular in shape and form a network of fibers.  These muscles are involuntary and are found in the heart

3. What is the substructure of the neuron (functional unit of the  nervous system)?

Cell body: holds the nucleus and most of the organelles

What is Organelle structure and function?

Dendrites: extensions of the neuron which receives signals from other cells Axon: part of cell that extends from cell body and uses action potential to  send signals

Axon terminals: where the neuron sends neurotransmitters into the synapse  into another neighboring cell  If you want to learn more check out What is the meaning of Bond energy?
If you want to learn more check out What are Metabolic Pathways?

4. Anatomical classifications of epithelial tissue and 2 primary  functions?




1. secrete and absorb mucus and enzymes  

2. protect against abrasion  

5. Four types of connective tissue?  

-connective tissue proper (covers skin)




6. Distinguish between ICF, ECF, plasma, and interstitial fluid? ICF: fluid inside the cells themselves  Don't forget about the age old question of Who discovered the electrical force equation was very similar to the force equation?

Plasma: greyish-yellow protein containing fluid portion of the blood where  rbc’s and platelets are suspended (surrounds ISF)

How is the structure of the phospholipid bilayer important to physiological functions?

ISF: fluid that bathes most tissues, not including the fluid in the lymph and  blood vessels

ECF: ISF + plasma  

7. Organelle structure and function?

Nucleus: contains the cells genetic material and is where ribosome  production takes place, the inside is a dense structure called the nucleolus  that is surrounded by a nuclear envelope

Endoplasmic Reticulum: It is composed of the smooth ER and the rough ER, it transports the proteins that are synthesized by the ribosomes, and the  smooth ER synthesizes lipids Don't forget about the age old question of what are the Main effects and interactions?

Golgi Apparatus: it is a stack of membrane bound flattened stacks and it  modifies the proteins it receives from the ER; it puts them in vesicles so they  may be transferred around the cell We also discuss several other topics like Components of Globalization

Mitochondria: they are round and membrane bound and they perform  aerobic respiration, they are the source of ATP production in the cell Lysosomes: they are membrane sacks that contain digestive enzymes to  break down materials

Ribosomes: small organelles composed of two subunits that synthesize  proteins and translate genetic material into mRNA  

8. How is the structure of the phospholipid bilayer important to  physiological


∙ Selectively permeable so it can choose what it wants to allow into the  cell

∙ 100x the volume of the cell passes through every second so it must be  very selective about what it lets in

∙ Barrier for water soluble molecules  

∙ Has proteins in a sea of fat that allow cell-cell communication, allow  facilitated diffusion, and also important to extracellular molecule  recognition

∙ Maintains the cell’s cytoplasmic concentrations, osmolality, and pH  

9. Identity and functions of specialized proteins in the latticework? Membrane receptor: protein that relays signals between a cells internal and  external environment  

Transport protein: moves ions and molecules across the membrane Cell adhesion molecule: allows cells to recognize and interact with one  another

Membrane enzymes: performs various activities such as transferase and  hydrolase  Don't forget about the age old question of What makes humans unique from other species?

10. Review of GENERAL principles of glycolysis, TCA, electron  transport chain?

Glycolysis: a metabolic pathway that converts glucose into pyruvate giving  off ATP and NADH, first process of cellular respiration (produces 2 ATP) TCA: a serious of chemical reactions that generates energy by oxidizing  Acetyl-CoA, second process of cellular respiration (produces 2 ATP) Electron Transport Chain: there is a series of electron acceptors in donors  where the transfer of electrons creates energy, this is called oxidative  phosphorylation. It is the final stage of cellular respiration and creates the  most ATP (produces 34 ATP)

11. Cellular activities that require energy expenditure?  -folding of proteins

-pumping protons and ions across the cell membrane

-constricting muscles motor proteins

-forming vesicles to transport materials across the cell

-protein and nucleic acid synthesis  

12. How does the Chemiosmotic Hypothesis demonstrate several  classic

physiological principles?

It is simply ions moving down their concentration gradient, and it more  specifically relates to the generation of ATP synthesis. It states that  molecules such as glucose are metabolized into energy rich intermediates  like Acetyl-CoA. After this protons flow into the mitochondrial matrix which  provides enough energy via the Proton Motive Force to turn ADP into ATP.  This process successfully demonstrates diffusion by the transferring of  molecules from a high gradient to a low one, and also electrostatic force as  protons diffuse down the electric potential  

13. How are organic molecules classified?

They are classified based on which functional group they belong too

14. What is the structure of proteins?

Primary: linear arrangement of amino acids

Secondary: there is folding and coiling caused by hydrogen bonding, there  are alpha helixes and beta sheets

Tertiary: 3D structure of protein which happens from non-covalent  interactions between amino acids

Quaternary: this is a large single protein formed when multiple polypeptide  chains bond (EX: hemoglobin)  

15. What is the major function of nucleic acids?

They make of the genetic information of living things (DNA & RNA)

16. Review the genetic code, transcription, and translation? Genetic code: triplets of DNA and RNA that carry genetic information  (codons)

Transcription: when DNA is copied into mRNA by RNA polymerase Translation: when mRNA is decoded by a ribosome into a specific amino acid  chain

Replication transcription translation

18. How are molecules transported across and through the  membrane?




-fusion of vesicles


-simple diffusion


-protein mediated transport mechanisms  

19. Which types of membrane transport requires energy? requires  proteins?  

requires a gradient? Name physiological mechanisms where  transport is operational?

Endocytosis: requires ATP, requires fusion of vesicles



Exocytosis: requires ATP, requires fusion of vesicles, reverse of endocytosis -secretion of enzymes

-release of neurotransmitters

Simple Diffusion: does not require ATP or proteins, requires a gradient -things like O2 can diffuse right through membrane

Osmosis: does not require ATP or proteins, requires a gradient -allows water to diffuse in and out of cell

Facilitated Diffusion: does not require ATP, requires proteins and a gradient -moving K+ into cell with a channel protein

Primary Active Transport: requires ATP and proteins

-ATPase pump

-ABC transporter

Secondary Active Transport: requires proteins, and an electrochemical  potential difference

-coupled transport

-co-transporters (symport & antiport)

-sodium-potassium pump

-Ca2+ pump

20. How does Einstein's Random Walk Theory relate to synaptic  transmission?

His theory relates to Brownian movement of particles and it says molecules  will move until dynamic equilibrium is reached, a neurotransmitter is  released from a pre-synaptic vesicle and it then diffuses to the post-synaptic  vesicle

21. How do concentration gradients, size of NT, charge, and  temperature

affect the rate of electronic signaling?

Size: as size increases, rate decreases

Charge: as charge increases, rate decreases

Temperature: as temperature increases, rate increases

22. Why are rbcs natural osmometers?

Since they have a semi-permeable membrane they react to what solution  they are in. They will be normal if the solution is isotonic, they will crenate  (shrink) if the solution is hypertonic, and they will lyse if the solution is  hypotonic. Since they react to the environment this way by simply observing  what they look like they are very good osmometers  

23. What are distinct characteristics of only protein-mediated  transport?

∙ Faster transport than diffusion

∙ ATP is required

∙ Proteins have steriospecifity for certain molecules

∙ Saturation kinetics  

24. What does primary active transport have to do with  phosphorylation?

Using ATP to transfer a phosphate to an amino acid causes a conformational  change to the compound being transported

25. What are the generic regions of specialization for a "typical"  nerve cell

and where are the anatomically distinct neuron types located in the  body?

∙ input (dendrites: receive incoming information)

∙ trigger zone (axon hillock: initiates AP)

∙ conducting (axon: conducts AP continuously)

∙ output (axon terminals: releases NT to effector cells)

1. bipolar: PNS & sensory organs

2. pseudounipolar: touch receptors

3. unipolar: CNS

4. multipolar: motor neurons

26. What physiological processes are in common for all neuron  types?

∙ Information is passed along in the form of an action potential ∙ Conduction is unidirectional  

∙ Na/K ATPase pump sequesters K+ inside and shoots Na outside ∙ Charged ions are polar and have poor permeability so they will flow  down the concentration gradient using facilitated diffusion ∙ Pump ions against concentration gradient, then a stimulus opens the  gate of respective ion channels and the ions will flow down the  concentration gradient= action potential!

27. Do all cells that have a negative resting potential have the  capacity to fire an action potential? Why or why not? No, they must have an action potential of at least -50 to -60 mV difference to generate an action potential  

28. In what form is information encoded in the nervous system?  How does

changing the action potential shape change the information? If you  were to block  

certain ionic conductances underlying the action potential with  drugs, how

would various scenarios alter the encoded information?  There are various ions in the neuron (Na,K,Ca,etc.) that cause a voltage  gradient across the membrane, when the voltage changes drastically that  creates an action potential which is a nerve impulse. If you increase the  length constant, then you increase the conduction velocity of the action  potential. If the drugs blocked the Na+ channel, then the action potential  would not fire. If they blocked the K+ channel the width of the action  potential would increase

29. What is absolute and relative refraction; what type of ion  channel blockers

(drug targets) would affect rates of action potential firing? Absolute refraction: when one part of the membrane has just undergone an  action potential and is unable to fire another

Relative refraction: the potential can be re-stimulated by a stronger stimulus, the K+ channels are still open

- TTX (tetrodotoxin) blocks Na+ gates

- Botulinus toxin & procaine inhibit release of neurotransmitters and  Ca2+ channels

- Atropine, curane, TTX, nicotine, and alpha-bungaratoxin destroy  neurotransmitters completely, and block binding of neurotransmitters  by competitive inhibition

- Strychnine, nerve gas, picro toxin, caffeine, theophylline, parathion,  and malthion make it so Ach (acetylcholine) is not able to break down  so the nerve continues to fire

- Cocaine and Adderall inhibit the reuptake of Ach  

30. Why do we clinically want to measure ion channel physiology? -It helps us prevent disease

-open heart surgery  

-helps with cystic fibrosis & seizures  

32. What are the classic principles of the action potential? 1. Rapid change in membrane potential  

2. All-or-none  

3. Threshold is 15% amplitude  

4. Not all cells are electrically excitable to fire AP  

5. Moves unidirectional down axon to the terminal (due to Na channel  rapid inactivation)

6. Non-decremental propagation

33. How are local currents distinct from action potentials? If the  former are  

decrementing, what is their physiological function?

Local currents decay while action potentials do not. Local currents are caused by an influx of Na+ ions, local currents then cause depolarization of the  adjacent membrane in the opposite direction of the action potential. This  causes local currents to trigger an action potential there so they act as a  stimulus  

34. Does the ALL-or-NONE principle contradict the theory of  recruitment?  

In some ways it does, but you still need a stimulus to activate the motor  neuron. The theory of recruitment is the idea that a stronger stimulus will in  turn activate more muscle fibers which leads to a stronger contraction. These deposits fill with fat as we get older which is why we can still fire off the  motor neurons but the overall contraction is weaker because we have less  available motor neurons

35. Do all nerve cells have the same threshold and space constant?  Why or why not?

The threshold and space constant can vary between nerve cells. This can be  caused by changes in the number of ions, the diameter of the axon, and also  the amount of myelin

36. What is a myelinated axon? How does saltatory conduction  velocity assist the  

nervous system in terms of energy, space, and speed? It is an insulating material that increases the resistance of the membrane,  which increases the space constant and therefore the conduction velocity.  Saltatory conduction makes it so action potential can only occur at the nodes of Ranvier. This makes a much stronger electrical force which pushes the  ions at a much faster speed so it requires less space. It also requires less  energy because it requires less ions to increase the speed

37. What is the physiological basis for Multiple Sclerosis?  It damages the myelin which makes it so the nerve fibers fail to conduct. This leads to vision problems, lack of coordination, and muscle weakness

38. Do Schwann cells or Oligodendrocytes assist in regeneration?  Discuss?

Schwann cells proved myelination in the PNS while oligodendrocytes provide  myelination in the CNS. However, there are Schwann cells that do not assist  in myelination and instead provide sustenance and regeneration for the  neurons and are crucial for keeping them alive

39. Compare and contrast electrical synapses with the traditional  chemical synapse.

Chemical synapse:

-happens in pre & post synaptic terminals


-uses action potential  


Electrical synapse:

-uses gap junction proteins


-mostly unregulated  

-happens in smooth & cardiac muscle  

40. Why do scientists know so much about the NMJ and the ACh-R  over that of all other  


We know so much about the NMJ because of the giant squid axon that is 1-2  mm allows us to examine it, and we know more about the ACh-R because  bungaratoxin was extracted from a cobra and it binds to ACh-R receptors  which allowed us to map out the entire system

41. How do microtubules assist in synaptic transmission? They transport neurotransmitters down to the pre-synaptic terminal by the  use of kinesin, and back up by the use of dyelin

42. If you had a drug that blocked

-ligand-gated ion channels

If Na+ was blocked the channel would not fire, if K+ was blocked it would  take longer to slow down

-presynaptic uptake

It would lead to an accumulation of neurotransmitters in the synaptic cleft  which leads to synaptic fatigue


The vesicles would not release so there would be no action potential in the  post synaptic terminal  


It would lead to hyper excitability because AChE would not be broken down  into acetate and choline

-anterograde transport

There would be no neurotransmitter transport down the axon  

How would taking this "prescription" affect the excitability of your  muscle?

43. What are the properties of neuroglia?

Unlike neurons they do not have axons or dendrites and they cannot form  action potentials. They instead have other functions

∙ Surround neurons and hold them in place

∙ Supply nutrients and oxygen to the neurons  

∙ Insulate the neurons from one another

∙ Destroy pathogens and remove dead neurons  

44. What are the four classes of neuroglia?

1. Astrocytes

2. Oligodendrocytes

3. Ependymal cells

4. Microglia  

Which class is important during a stroke (and why?),  Astrocytes because they form neural scar tissue, and they help dampen  excitotoxicity  

Which class is protective again brain damage?  

Ependymal cells, they create cerebral spinal fluid

Which assists to increase the conduction velocity of nerve impulses? Oligodendrocytes  

Which assists in immune responses?


45. Know the structure/functions of the major brain regions

and which common diseases are associated with which brain  regions.

Cerebral Cortex:

-brain damage

-houses language centers

-most evolved center of brain

Basal Nuclei:

-relay station of brain



-thermostat and endocrine center of brain

Cerebellum & Hippocampus:

-learning & memory


Brain stem:

-sleep center

-reception/integration with spinal cord


46. What are some common clinical causes of brain damage?  -being shaken/jarred

-oxygen deprivation

-cerebral vascular accident (stroke)



47. What are the physiological mechanisms underlying a  cerebrovascular accident and what are some new  

treatments to prevent further neuronal cell death? As the cells die they release a lot of intracellular fluid into the brain. This  causes the brain to have an excess number of neurotransmitters and K+.  This causes hyper excitability which causes a lot of damage. If you get the  individual into the hospital within 3 hours of the stroke, then most of the  damage can be reversed without causing too many detrimental results  

48. What are some modern technical devices used  to detect brain tumors and what are  

their principles of operation?

CAT: computerized axial tomography, it uses x-ray absorption MRI: magnetic resonance imaging, it uses the vibration of protons  PET: positron emission tomography, it works by oxygen omitting a positron  and then giving off gamma ray energy  

49. What is plasticity and how is it related to  

use-dependent competition for cortical space?

Plasticity is how easily the brain can be shaped or molded. As you get older  the brain becomes less and less plastic. Certain areas of the brain become  designated for specific tasks and once that happens there is no going back.  However, when you are young there is a lot of open cortical space so it is  much easier for someone to recover properly from brain damage

50. What are some selective language disturbances  that occur due to stroke or genetic defects?  

If the Broca’s area is damaged then a person who has had a stroke will  understand both written and spoken words, but will have a poor word  selection. If there Wernicke’s area was damaged, then they will have perfect  articulation but it will all be nonsense. If their facial area motor cortex is  damaged, then they will have a speech impediment  

51. How does the homunculus cartoon graphically  

represent our perceived input and responsive motor output?  How does it demonstrate the somatotopic map?

1. It is a distorted graphic representation that is indicative to the relative  proportion of input/output

2. It is a somatotopic map because the position of the body parts is important to code information

3. Body is represented “upside down”

52. What cell type does Parkinson's disease target?  Be familiar with clinical symptoms, cellular causes and  mechanisms, putative causes of this disease, and  

present as well as controversial treatments of the disease. How is this disease related to Schizophrenia?

It affects nerve cells in the basal nuclei. It destroys cells that transmit the  neurotransmitter dopamine. It causes tremors, rigidity, and postural  instability. You can take drugs which block glutamate so dopamine increases  but these have side effects of their own. There is also a surgery where you  get a pacemaker like device that helps send electrical signals in your brain.  Schizophrenia also has to do with dopamine except it is the opposite.  Schizophrenia happens when your brain is overstimulated and has too much  dopamine

53. What cell type does Alzheimer's disease target? Be familiar with clinical symptoms, cellular causes and  mechanisms. How is this disease associated with a metal? It attacks cells that transmit the neurotransmitter ACh in the hippocampus. It causes forgetfulness, confusion, memory loss, and dementia. There is a  theory that certain metals (particularly copper) omit amyloid fibers which  give off free radicals that damage neurons

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