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NRSC 500

Module Two

Sep. 27

Neurochemistry I: amino acid and peptide synthesis and degradation
Dr. Tim Murphy




Fundamental Neuroscience, 1st Ed., Chapter 8, p. 193-234 Chapter 14, p.389-392, or 2nd Ed. Chapter 7 p. 167-196 and Chapter 13 339-360. In 3rd Edition: Chap. 7 starting pg.133 and Chapter 12 starting pg. 271.

Cooper, Bloom & Roth, The Biochemical Basis of Neuropharmacology, Chaps. 7-13, 6th Ed or Chaps 6-11 7th Ed.

Molecular Biology of the Cell, 4th ed. Chapter 11 or Molecular Biology of the Cell 3rd ed. Chapter 11 p 507-523.

Powerpoint presentation

The readings are for Neurochemistry II also.

  • Metabolic processes neurons share with other cells and organs.
  • Enzyme and receptor binding kinetics basics, competitive and non-competitive inhibition.
  • Metabolic contingencies imposed by the existence of a blood-brain barrier (i.e. glucose utilization).
  • Properties and functions of enzymes and pumps.
  • Synthesis and metabolism of amino acid neurotransmitters
    • glutamate
    • aspartate
    • glycine.
  • Neurotransmitter transporters.
  • Neuropeptide synthesis and the pathway to regulated release.

Sep. 30

Neurochemistry II
Dr. Steve Vincent




Lecture Notes (of 2010)

Cooper, Bloom & Roth, The Biochemical Basis of Neuropharmacology - chapters on amines, acetylcholine, GABA, purines, canabinoids.

Also see readings for Neurochemistry I.

  • Regulation of catecholamine, indoleamine, and acetylcholine metabolism.
  • Synthesis, uptake, release, etc.

Oct. 2
8:30 - 10:30

Ligand-Gated Ion Channels I
Dr. Ann Marie Craig




Lecture notes (2012)

Textbooks: Purves, Chapter 5 pages 107-115, Chapter 6 pages 123-137, Chapter 8 pages 187-201;
Fundamental Neuroscience, Chapter 9 pages 181-193 and Chapter 11 pages 229-239.

(Reading covers Ligand-Gated Ion Channels II lecture also.)

  • Structure specialized for function at two classic synapses
    • neuromuscular junction
    • typical CNS synapse
  • AChR as a model ligand-gated ion channel
    • single channel and macroscopic currents
    • desensitization
    • cloning
    • subunit composition and structure
  • Families of ligand-gated ion channels
  • GABAA receptors
    • structure and modulators
    • inhibitory function in adult
    • developmental switch
    • diversity of subunits
  • GABAergic synapses
    • scaffolding proteins, signaling enzymes, cell adhesion proteins
    • plasticity

Oct. 4

Ligand Gated Ion Channels II
Dr. Ann Marie Craig




Lecture notes (2012)

Readings are listed under
Ligand-Gated Ion Channels I lecture.

  • Glutamate receptors
    • initial cloning
    • AMPA, KA, NMDA classes
    • structure
    • RNA editing
  • Properties of NMDA receptors
    • glycine co-agonist
    • Ca++-permeability
    • voltage-dependent Mg++ block
    • deactivation
  • Glutamatergic postsynaptic density
    • approaches to identify components
    • PDZ domain scaffolding proteins
  • Synaptic plasticity: hippocampal LTP
    • Hebbian properties
    • NMDAR as molecular coincidence detector
    • silent synapses and AMPAR insertion
  • Synaptic plasticity: other forms
    • LTD
    • homeostatic plasticity

Oct. 7

Synaptic transmission I
Dr. Tim Murphy




Fundamental Neuroscience,
1st, 2nd, or 3rd Edition,
Chapters 7 and 8
(for Neurochemistry lecture also).

Molecular Biology of the Cell,
4th Ed. Chapter 13.

H. L. Atwood, S. Karunanithi: Diversification of synaptic strength: presynaptic elements. Nature Reviews Neuroscience 3, 497 -516 (2002). Advanced review; comprehensive.

T. Galli, V. Haucke, N. R. Gough: Synaptic vesicle fusion followed by clathrin-mediated endocytosis.
Sci. STKE 2003, tr3 (2003).
Shockwave animation of synaptic vesicle fusion.

T. C. Südhof: The synaptic vesicle cycle. Annual Review of Neuroscience 2004 Vol. 27: 509-547.

Powerpoint presentation

  • Discovery of chemical transmission.
  • Criteria for transmitter status.
  • Ionic requirements for transmitter release: calcium.
  • Properties of presynaptic calcium channels.
  • Quantal aspects of release.
    • Release and recycling of vesicles
  • Biochemistry of release.
    • Synaptic vesicle protein cycle
    • v- and t-SNAREs, common aspects of all secretion
    • Presynaptic modulation of release.
    • Activity dependent modulation, autoreceptors, neuromodulation, readily releasable pool.
  • Synapses as computational devices.
    • Presynaptic inhibition, facilitation, paired pulse depression, quantal aspects of release etc.

Oct. 9
8:30 - 10:30

Discussion on molecular methods
Dr. Ann Marie Craig





Oct. 11

Synaptic Transmission II
Dr. Tim Murphy




Powerpoint presentation

Oct. 16
8:30 - 10:30

Student Presentations & Review
Dr. Tim Murphy
Dr. Ann Marie Craig






Learn more:

NRSC 500

NRSC 501

CPSC 532
MECH 550)

STAT 540




Also see:








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