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[NEUROSCIENCE]-Two Questions about AP Propagation

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[NEUROSCIENCE]-Two Questions about AP Propagation

Postby AbducensNucleus » Sun Aug 05, 2012 4:19 am

1. If the threshold is the membrane potential AT WHICH sufficient number of Na+-voltage gated channels OPEN such that the membrane permability of sodium is greater than potassium, then HOW (in general) does the membrane potential get to the threshold in the first place?

Attempt: a stimulus causes the activation of special ion channels (not the voltage-gated ones) that cause ions that go into the cell which induce depolarization (for instance: the Na+ ion influx). Given that the influx via these special channels reaches threshold, THEN the Na-VG channels open, and as a result, an AP is generated.

2. Why is it that axons with thin diameters need to have more ion channels, while those that are fatter (wider diameters) can have relatively fewer, and yet still sustain AP propagation down the axon?

Attempt: there is not enough space within a thinner axon to withhold the large, brief intake of positive charge?
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Re: [NEUROSCIENCE]-Two Questions about AP Propagation

Postby hymenoptera7 » Sun Aug 05, 2012 5:19 am

I think the second question is referring to thicker axons having nodes of Ranvier and thus can perform saltatory conduction. This would decrease the need for Na+ channels. The answer to the first question sounds pretty reasonable.
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Postby david23 » Tue Aug 07, 2012 10:15 pm

for number 1 you have neurotransmitters that induce the initial opening of channels, and as it builds up to the threshold

number 2 is based on the physics principle and that a current travels faster with large diameter, there should be a math equation in your physiology book that deals with current and areas.
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Re:

Postby AbducensNucleus » Sun Aug 12, 2012 3:28 am

david23 wrote:for number 1 you have neurotransmitters that induce the initial opening of channels, and as it builds up to the threshold

number 2 is based on the physics principle and that a current travels faster with large diameter, there should be a math equation in your physiology book that deals with current and areas.


What about those neurons that are on, say, the skin? How do they get stimulated? I am using those as an example because they would not have their channels opened by the activity of a neurotransmitter.
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Postby JackBean » Sun Aug 12, 2012 8:30 am

You probably mean sensors, right? Which do not work like neurons, do they?
http://www.biolib.cz/en/main/

Cis or trans? That's what matters.
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Re: [NEUROSCIENCE]-Two Questions about AP Propagation

Postby aj415 » Fri Aug 24, 2012 10:59 pm

Tertiary supporting answer for question #1 are the active pumps which assist in the purpose of establishing a voltage, offseting the natural gradients of the ions through the leak channels.
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