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Membrane potential

Membrane potenti

Potential difference across the


membrane

There is an unequal distribution of ions


The membrane is permeable to these
ions

Equilibrium potential
Membrane potential at
which there is no net
movement of given ion
across the membrane
(i.e. influx=efflux)

At equilibrium, forces balance

Concentration of some ions inside &


outside mammalian spinal motor
neurons
Ion
[Intracellular]
[Extracellular]
(mmol/L)
(mmol/L)
Na+

15

150

K+

150

5.5

Forces acting on ions:


For Cl-,
Concentration gradient inward
Electrical gradient outward
For K+,
Concentration gradient outward
Electrical gradient inward

For Na+,
Both gradients inward

Equilibrium potential for given ion:


(Eion
)
Described by Nernst
equation,

where,
Co: concentration outside the
cell
Ci: concentration inside the
ECl = -70 mV
cell
Z: the valence of the ion

EK = -90 mV

ENa = +60 mV

Resting Membrane Potential


(RMP)

The potential difference across the cell


membrane at rest, with inside negative
relative to the outside

In nerve cell:
-70mV
In a muscle cell:
-90mV

Genesis & Ionic basis of RMP:


K+ efflux passively through leaky channels
K+ permeability is more than that of Na+
(Na+ influx does not compensate for the K +
efflux )
Contribution of Na,K ATPase pump
-by maintaining the ionic gradients
-by electrogenic nature

ECF

ICF

Nerve excitablity
Nerve
cells
respond
to
electrical,
chemical, or mechanical stimuli
Physiochemical disturbances:
Local, non-propagated potentials
(graded, synaptic, generator potentials)
Propagated potentials
(Action potentials or nerve impulses)

POLARISED STATE
A net positive charge outside & a net
negative charge inside the membrane
DEPOLARIZATION
Membrane potential becomes less ve
and move towards +ve
HYPERPOLARIZATION
Membrane potential becomes more ve
than RMP

Action potential
Rapid change in the membrane potential in
response to a threshold stimulus, leads to
propagation of impulse in an excitable cell

Development and ionic


basis of nerve action
potential

Phases of the Action Potential

on

Overshoot

Threshold potential (firing level)

-55
-70

Ra p
i
depo d
lariz
ati

io
izat
olar
Rep

Membrane potential (mV)

+30

RMP

Threshold potential
Initial depolarization
Depolarizing stimulus

Time (ms)

Hyperpolarization

RMP

Ionic basis of different


phases of AP
RMP due to continuous K+ leakage during
rest
Initial slow depolarization: initially some of
the voltage-gated Na+ channels open and
Na+ enter the cell
Threshold potential: 15 mV change in
membrane potential in response to a threshold
stimulus. It opens many voltage gated Na+
channels by positive feedback

Ionic basis of different


phases of AP

Rapid depolarization: Rapid sodium


influx through voltage gated Na+ channels
Peak value: Inactivation of voltage-gated
Na+ channels and Na+ influx stops
Repolarization phase: voltage gated K+
channels open and K+ efflux starts
Hyperpolarization: continuous efflux of
K+ due to prolonged opening of K+
channels

Properties of action
potential
Propagation
Refractory period
All or none law

Propagation of AP

Continuous
conduction in
unmyelinated
neurons

Saltatory
conduction in
myelinated neurons

Myelin and saltatory


conduction
Schwann cells in the peripheral
nervous system & Oligodendrocytes
in the CNS
Na+ channels are concentrated in
the nodes of Ranvier
saltatory = "to leap"

Saltatory Conduction
Myelin is an effective insulator, and current
flow through it is negligible
Depolarization in myelinated axons jumps
from one node of Ranvier to the next
This jumping of depolarization from node to
node is called saltatory conduction
It allows myelinated axons to conduct up to
50 times faster than the unmyelinated fibers

Orthodromic & Antidromic


Conduction

Impulses pass from synaptic junctions or receptors along


axons to their termination. Such conduction is called
orthodromic.
Conduction in the opposite direction is called antidromic.
Because synapses permit conduction in one direction only
An antidromic impulse will fail to pass the first synapse
they encounter and die out at that point.

Refractory period

The period during action potential, at


which a second stimulus will not
produce second response
The neuron is refractory to the second
stimulus
Two types:
Absolute refractory period
Relative refractory period

Refractory period
Membrane potential (mV)

+30
1/3 of Repolarization

Threshold

Start of after-depolarization

-55
-70

Time (ms)
Absolute refractory
period

Relative refractory period

Absolute Refractory Period


From
firing
repolarization.

level

to

1/3

of

second stimulus will not excite the


nerve, no matter how strong the
stimulus is.
Voltage gated Na+ channels either
already open or inactivated

Relative Refractory Period


From latter 2/3 of repolarization to start
of after depolarization
Stronger second stimulus can cause
excitation
Some of the Voltage gated Na+
channels but not all have re-opened

All-or-None Principle
A sub-threshold stimulus does not elicit
action potential
A threshold stimulus elicit full-fledged AP
A stimulus more than threshold elicit AP
with same amplitude as that caused by
the threshold stimulus.

Graded potential
Applying sub-threshold stimuli of fixed duration leads
to a localized depolarizing potential called graded
potential
Graded potential rises and decays exponentially with
time.
As the strength of the current is increased, the
response is greater due to the increasing addition of
a local response of the membrane
15 mV of depolarization (potential of 55 mV), the
firing level is reached and an action potential
occurs.

Graded potential

(Depolarizing
graded potential)

(hyperpolarizing graded potential))

GRADED
POTENTIALS
Non propagated
Has no threshold
Depolarization or
hyperpolarization
Does not obey all or
none law
No refractory period
Can summate
Depend on physiochemical changes

ACTION
POTENTIALS
Propagated
Has threshold
Only depolarization
Obey all or none law
Has refractory period
Cannot summate
Depends on voltage
gated channels