Cellular Physiology of Nerve and Muscle / Edition 4

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Assuming little knowledge of physics, chemistry or maths, this text offers an introduction to the basic physical and chemical principles underlying electrical activity in nerve and muscle cells.

The book contains black-and-white illustrations.

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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Mailen Kootsey, PhD (Loma Linda University)
Description: This book describes the electrical activities of nerve and muscle cells, including information about the subcellular physical and chemical processes behind the electrical events. The first edition of the book was published in 1986 and the author has revised it every five years, with the most recent revision in 1998. The fourth edition adds new material from recent research, some expansion of explanations, and new figures.
Purpose: The author's goal for this book is "a step-by-step presentation of the physical and chemical principles necessary to understand electrical signaling in cells." The author's explanations are well written and illustrated and include mathematical equations where appropriate. However, the presentation is essentially descriptive, i.e. behaviors of equations are not explored for the reader nor are there exercises to test and build the reader's understanding. The reader of this book can learn the terminologies of membrane processes, but there is modest help for a true understanding of the origins of electrical events. The book also is limited to cellular events and has little reference to electrical behaviors that result from multicellular interactions.
Audience: The author of this book does not spell out his intended audience. From the level of coverage, the book appears to be intended for students — probably at the undergraduate level or possibly as an introduction for some graduate or professional students. The author is a prominent researcher in neurophysiology and has a substantial publication record in the field.
Features: The book begins with cellular electrical processes such as electrochemical potentials and transport mechanisms. Part II covers electrical activity in nerve cells, including synaptic transmission. Finally, Part III covers electrical events in skeletal and cardiac muscle, including excitation-contraction coupling. Molecular events are successfully related to cellular behavior and the new illustrations, while not in color, contribute well to the explanations. Some quantitative concepts are expanded in appendixes. The author and publisher also provide a Web site with supplementary materials including some good color animations.
Assessment: The revisions and new material certainly add to the usefulness of this book. Students who need a description of cellular electrical processes and mechanisms will find this book readable and well illustrated. Advanced students and researchers desiring a thorough and quantitative understanding of these processes will have to look to research and review papers and more advanced texts such as Physiology of Excitable Cells, 4th edition, by Aidley (Cambridge University Press, 1998) and Mathematical Physiology by Keener and Sneyd (Springer-Verlag, 1998).
New edition of an introduction to the basic physical and chemical principles underlying the functioning of neurons and muscle cells. Eleven chapters cover the origin of electrical membrane potential and cellular physiology of nerve and muscle cells. They include expanded coverage of molecular properties of ion channels, neurotransmitter actions mediated via intracellular second messengers, and the actions of the autonomic nervous system. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.

3 Stars from Doody
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405103305
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 12/2/2002
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 4
  • Pages: 248
  • Sales rank: 927,269
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 9.70 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

Part I: Origin of Electrical Membrane Potential.

1. Introduction to Electrical Signaling in the Nervous System.

The Patellar Reflex as a Model for Neural Function.

The Cellular Organization of Neurons.

Electrical Signals in Neurons.

Transmission between Neurons.

2. Composition of Intracellular and Extracellular Fluids.

Intracellular and Extracellular Fluids.

The Structure of the Plasma Membrane.


3. Maintenance of Cell Volume.

Molarity, Molality, and Diffusion of Water.

Osmotic Balance and Cell Volume.

Answers to the Problem of Osmotic Balance.


Time-Course of Volume Changes.


4. Membrane Potential: Ionic Equilibrium.

Diffusion Potential.

Equilibrium Potential.

The Nernst Equation.

The Principle of Electrical Neutrality.

The Cell Membrane as an Electrical Capacitor.

Incorporating Osmotic Balance.

Donnan Equilibrium.

A Model Cell That Looks Like a Real Animal Cell.

The Sodium Pump.


5. Membrane Potential: Ionic Steady State.

Equilibrium Potentials for Sodium, Potassium, and Chloride.

Ion Channels in the Plasma Membrane.

Membrane Potential and Ionic Permeability.

The Goldman Equation.

Ionic Steady State.

The Chloride Pump.

Electrical Current and the Movement of Ions Across Membranes.

Factors Affecting Ion Current Across a Cell Membrane.

Membrane Permeability vs. Membrane Conductance.

Behavior of Single Ion Channels.


Part II: Cellular Physiology of Nerve Cells.

6. Generation of Nerve Action Potential.

The Action Potential.

Ionic Permeability and Membrane Potential.

Measuring the Long-Distance Signal in Neurons.

Characteristics of the Action Potential.

Initiation and Propagation of Action Potentials.

Changes in Relative Sodium Permeability During an Action Potential.

Voltage-Dependent Sodium Channels of the Neuron Membrane.


The Refractory Period.

Propagation of an Action Potential Along a Nerve Fiber.

Factors Affecting the Speed of Action Potential Propagation.

Molecular Properties of the Voltage-Sensitive Sodium Channel.

Molecular Properties of Voltage-Dependent Potassium Channels.

Calcium-Dependent Action Potentials.


7. The Action Potential: Voltage Clamp Experiments.

The Voltage Clamp.

Measuring Changes in Membrane Ionic Conductance Using the Voltage Clamp.

The Squid Giant Axon.

Ionic Currents Across an Axon Membrane Under Voltage Clamp.

The Gated Ion Channel Model.

Membrane Potential and Peak Ionic Conductance.

Kinetics of the Change in Ionic Conductance Following a Step Depolarization.

Sodium Inactivation.

The Temporal Behavior of Sodium and Potassium Conductance.

Gating Currents.


8. Synaptic Transmission at the Neuromuscular Junction.

Chemical and Electrical Synapses.

The Neuromuscular Junction as a Model Chemical Synapse.

Transmission at a Chemical Synapse.

Presynaptic Action Potential and Acetylcholine Release.

Effect of ACh on the Muscle Cell.

Neurotransmitter Release.

The Vesicle Hypothesis of Quantal Transmitter Release.

Mechanism of Vesicle Fusion.

Recycling of Vesicle Membrane.

Inactivation of Released Acetylcholine.

Recording the Electrical Current Flowing Through a Single Acetylcholine-Activated Ion Channel.

Molecular Properties of the Acetylcholine-Activated Channel.


9. Synaptic Transmission in the Central Nervous System.

Excitatory and Inhibitory Synapses.

Excitatory Synaptic Transmission Between Neurons.

Temporal and Spatial Summation of Synaptic Potentials.

Some Possible Excitatory Neurotransmitters.

Conductance-Decrease E.P.S.P.'s.

Inhibitory Synaptic Transmission.

The Synapse Between Sensory Neurons and Antagonist Neurons in the Patellar Reflex.

Characteristics of Inhibitory Synaptic Transmission.

Mechanism of Inhibition in the Postsynaptic Membrane.

Some Possible Inhibitory Neurotransmitters.

The Family of Neurotransmitter-Gated Ion Channels.

Neuronal Integration.

Indirect Actions of Neurotransmitters.

Presynaptic Inhibition and Factilitation.

Synaptic Plasticity.

Short-Term Changes in Synaptic Strength.

Long-Term Changes in Synaptic Strength.


Part III: Cellular Physiology of Muscle Cells.

10. Excitation-Contraction Coupling in Skeletal Muscle.

The Three Types of Muscle.

Structure of Skeletal Muscle.

Changes in Striation Pattern on Contraction.

Molecular Composition of Filaments.

Interaction Between Myosin and Actin.

Regulation of Contraction.

The Sarcoplasmic Reticulum.

The Transverse Tubule System.


11. Neural Control of Muscle Contraction.

The Motor Unit.

The Mechanics of Contraction.

The Relationship Between Isometric Tension and Muscle Length.

Control of Muscle Tension by the Nervous System.

Recruitment of Motor Neurons.

Fast and Slow Muscle Fibers.

Temporal Summation of Contractions Within a Single Motor Unit.

Asynchronous Activation of Motor Units During Maintained Contraction.


12. Cardiac Muscle: The Autonomic Nervous System.

Autonomic Control of the Heart.

The Pattern of Cardiac Contraction.

Coordination of Contraction Across Cardiac Muscle Fibers.

Generation of Rhythmic Contractions.

The Cardiac Action Potential.

The Pacemaker Potential.

Actions of Acetylcholine and Norepinephrine on Cardiac Muscle Cells.


Appendix A: Derivation of the Nernst Equation.

Appendix B: Derivation of the Goldman Equation.

Appendix C: Electrical Properties of Cells.

Suggested Readings

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