1. Under what circumstances would you label your antibody with colloidal gold vs a fluorescent dye?

coloidal gold for electron microscopy, fluorescent dye for standard and confocal fluorescence microscopes

2. A specialized brain imaging technique allowed an alumnus of this course to find, relative to normally-sighted subjects, that people who were blind from an early age were deficient in a tract that went (ANSWER EITHER) (1) from where (2) to where?

thalamus to visual cortex

3. In the knee-jerk reflex, answer either (1) Where is the cell body of the motor neuron? or (2) Where is the cell body of the sensory neuron?

ventral horn in gray matter of spinal cord, in dorsal root ganglion PNS

4. In the 1800's, Broca delineated a brain area critical for speech. How did he do this?

after death, on autopsy, he saw brain damage in a patient with damage to his speech

5. If a thrombus occluded one internal carotid artery, the brain damage might not be immediately devastating because of what anatomical specialization

circle of Willis

6. "Embryologists tell us that the retina is part of the central nervous system." What does this imply about CHOOSE EITHER (1) the optic nerve OR (2) ganglion cells in the retina?

both misnomers since it is a (1) tract AND they are (2) cells in a nucleus

7. In addition to melanin, what famous chemical is produced in the substantia nigra?


8. Something more than the endothelial cell is proposed to be responsible for the blood-brain-barrier that makes the cerebro-spinal-fluid a privileged compartment. What is the additional cell type?

astrocyte (glial cells)

9. For saltatory conduction, in addition to the insulation provided by the multiple membrane layers of myelin, there is a concentration of what type of molecule at the node of Ranvier of the axon?


10. In Halstead's paper about post-polio syndrome, what does he propose happens to the motor unit ANSWER EITHER (1) during recovery OR (2) later in life?

gets (1) bigger (new collaterals mean that surviving motor neurons innervate more muscle cells) or (2) smaller (those new sprouts retract)

11. "Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease." Answer either (1) To what protein? or (2) How can you get immune to a protein that belongs in your body?

myelin basic protein, its sequestration from immune surveillance has been compromised

12. How does dynein deal with an infection with herpes or rabies in the periphery?

it transports the virus up the axon (retrograde transport toward the minus end of the microtubule)

13. Why is there hope that oxytocin might be useful in the treatment of autism?

the "cuddle" ("trust") hormone would promote eye contact for better intensive training

14. Why did Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease patient JH show you his calf?

the motor neuron loss in his peripheral neuropathy would result in a loss of muscle

15. Even when Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease patient JH had high arches and hammer toes from an early age, how is it conceivable that he was not diagnosed until age 62?

doctors only look at feet if the patient is a diabetic

16. When a square wave of current is injected into the cell, the Voltage change is gradual because of (what property of the membrane?).


17. A large enough square wave injection of current depolarizes the axon to the threshold of the action potential. What do you call the voltage response to an injection in the other direction across the membrane?


18. Current flows through (what?) in the patch clamp technique that earned Neher and Sackman the 1991 Nobel Prize.

individual channels

19. In one graph, the peak of the action potential was referred to as ENa (the sodium equilibrium potential). What did this mean?

that is the Voltage that would be calculated by the Nernst equation assuming equilibrium

20. "The 'sodium pump' contributes only a few mV to the resting potential." Why does it even contribute anything?

because of the 3 Na+ to 2 K+ ratio

21. Why would you want to inhibit the sodium pump in heart muscle cells with digitalis?

it would increase contractility by increasing intracellular calcium by altering a Na+ / Ca2+ exchanger

22. Why didn't the efflux of radioactive Na+ go to zero immediately when Hodgkin and Keynes blocked ATP synthesis with DNP (dinitrophenol)?

the pump keeps working until the ATP runs out

23. Variable resistors are in an equivalent circuit model of the Goldman equation. Which resistor is changed, and in what direction, at the start of the action potential?

the sodium resistance is decreased

24. You remove both adrenal glands of a rat and let it recover. Answer either (1) What is different about the animal's specific appetite? Or (2) This is explained by the absence of what hormone?
craves salt (NaCl) b/c of loss of aldosterone

25. What happened to the early current in Hodgkin and Huxley's "I-V curve" when they replaced 460 mM NaCl with choline chloride.

the inward current was abolished

26. The lecture and figures refer to a sodium channel that is about to be depolarized to threshold by an upstream action potential as "closed." Right after the action potential has passed, what term do we use to describe the status of the sodium channel?


27. Why was it useful to obtain conditional mutants (like temperature- or ether-sensitive mutants), rather than ordinary mutants, to isolate genes like shaker and ether-a-go-go in Drosophila?

channelopathy mutants would be lethal

28. What membrane molecule is affected by tetrodotoxin?

the sodium channel

29. We refer to the action potential's sodium channel as "Voltage-gated." What happens, molecularly, when voltage gates the channel?

the charged arginines and lysines down one side of S4 rotate leading to the channel opening

30. The Shaker K+ channel is a tetramer of proteins that each cross the membrane 6 times. Why is the Electrophorus Na+ channel called a pseudotetramer instead?

because one huge molecule has 4 repeated domains each the size of one shaker channel protein

31. Why would pheochromocytoma (PC) cells be a reasonable model for studying neurotransmitter release?

can culture adrenal medulla cancer cells which release catecholamines

32. "Cx36" ANSWER EITHER (1) Such a term would be applied to what kind of channel? OR (2) What does the number, in this case 36, refer to?

one commpoent (connexin) of the gap junction's hexamer (connexon), the molecular weight

33. How did Loewi show that a chemical from the vagus nerve slowed the heart?

transfer fluid from near the stimulated vagus terminal to another heart

34. "The spinal motor neuron is the final common pathway in the integrative action of the nervous system." Why is the spinal motor neuron (as opposed to the muscle cell) the final place where integration of signals can take place?

there is excitation, no inhibition, on the muscle cell

35. What kind of technique would be needed to determine the reversal potentials for the IPSP and the EPSP?

voltage clamp

36. Katz studied the end plate potential. What is the end plate?

the "post-synaptic membrane" of the muscle cell

37. The shibire mutant of Drosophila ANSWER EITHER (1) What protein is altered? (2) Why was it a temperature sensitive mutant that was studied? (3) What is the behavioral phenotype? OR (4) What cellular process is altered?

dynamin, paralysis would be lethal, paralysis, conversion of coated pit to coated vesicle

38. The toxin from Clostridium botulinum (BoTX) cleaves an important protein. Precisely where is this protein localized?

on the vesicle

39. What is meant by "target membrane," the place that the v-SNARE latches onto?

presynaptic membrane

40. To study what type of neurotransmitter did several neuroscience course alumni use pheochromocytoma (PC) cells?


41. Ritalin is given for ADHD which stands for what?

attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

42. What is meant by the term "putative neurotransmitter?"

it is probably a neurotransmitter but it is not proven to everyone's satisfaction

43. "Vasoactive intestinal peptide might be found in the brain." What the heck?

even though it might have nervous system function, it retains the name based on its original characterization

44. Fast axon transport of entire vesicles is used for what type of transmitter?


45. Blocking the muscarinic cholinergic receptor on the heart with atropine would save your life if you were poisoned with what class of molecules?

acetylcholinesterase inhibitors

46. One portion is called cranio-sacral. What is the equivalent name for the other portion (of the autonomic nervous system)?


47. You were introduced to the function of the small G protein ras.in vesicle release. In contrast, how is the larger, heterotrimeric G protein involved in neurotransmission?

metabotropic receptors like the muscarinic acetylcholine receptor are 7 transmembrane spanning G protein linked receptors that signal to this G protein.

48. Nitric oxide (NO) had previously been called "endothelial derived relaxation factor." What was relaxed?

smooth muscle in arterioles of the corpus cavernosum

49. Why are erectile dysfunction medications contraindicated if you are taking nitrates for chest pain?

there would be an unsafe drop in blood pressure

50. While administering Prozac to a patient with depression, the doctor needs to closely monitor (what?).

any suicidal thoughts or actions

51. I heard on a TV talk show "an enzyme in turkey makes you sleepy." Correct that incorrect statement, at least with respect to the conventional wisdom.

an amino acid, tryptophan, not an enzyme

52. Melatonin... (answer either) (1) ...is synthesized from what transmitter? Or (2) ...is synthesized in what part of the brain?

(1) tryptophan (2) pineal

53. In order to produce hamsters with large vs small testes, what did the lab prep technician need to do ahead of time?

put some on cycles of 8 hrs lights on vs 16 off and vice versa for the others

54. In presenting the synthesis of glutamate, what cell is the source of the precursor, glutamine?


55. "A lesion of the lateral hypothalamus (LH) makes a thin rat, so the LH must be a hunger center." What is an alternative explanation involving the medial forebrain bundle?

the dopamine tract from the substantia nigra to the striatum is destroyed causing a general loss in motivational systems and affect

56. What would happen to most of the l-DOPA given to a Parkinson's patient?

it would get decarboxylated before it crossed the blood brain barrier

57. Most forms of Parkinson's disease are sporadic or environmental. What kind of information was derived from the other forms, the ones that do run in families?

isolating the genes and their products, alpha-synuclein, parkin and DJ-1

58. Before the currently accepted explanation of schizophrenia (overstimulation by dopamine) pick one of the previously hypothesized neurotransmitters involved and, for the transmitter you select, say why it was plausible to consider.

serotonin because LSD affects serotonergic transmission and causes hallucinations, norepinephrine because amphetamines affect adrenergic transmission and induce psychosis

59. "Tritiated naloxone binds to places in the brain and is displaced by (what?) in parallel with their strength."


60. Pick either phosphatidylethanolamine orphosphatidylinositol and relate it to marajuana.

both phospholipids are precursors of the endogenous cannabinoid, anandamine or 2-AG respectively

61. Relate the prey capture of the venomous snake, the banded krait Bungarus multicinctus, to neurotransmission.

alpha bungarotoxin binds nicotinic receptors paralyzing the prey

62. Why might a patient be given low doses of neostigmine?

increase the amount of ACh to stimulate the diminished number of nicotinic receptors in myasthenia gravis

63. Why was the electric ray Torpedo useful in understanding synaptic transmission?

plentiful nicotinic receptor channels allowed cloning

64. How many different glutamate gated channels are possible?

a staggering number

65. What receptor binds barbiturates? State what the natural transmitter is and whether it is ionotropic or metabotropic.

a GABA channel

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Last updated 2/7/2014