Nerve and Muscle / Edition 3

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An understanding of the physiology and function of nerve and muscle is fundamental to our knowledge of how the human body and the bodies of other animals function. In the third edition of this highly readable and concise introductory textbook, the authors begin with a discussion of the nature of nerve impulses as electrical events. They go on to consider communication between nerve cells via synaptic transmission, and finally discuss the nature of muscular contraction, relating muscle cellular structure to contractile function. This is a subject that continues to generate exciting discoveries and this edition includes new material that reflects this, including some of the experimental evidence. The reader will find up-to-date detail of the molecular structure of ion channels and the molecular basis of muscular contraction. Nerve and Muscle is essential reading for all students taking university courses in neurobiology, physiology, cell biology, and preclinical medicine.

Nerve impulses/synaptic transmission/muscular con- traction/characteristics of single ionic channels/etc.

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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: George Maeda, PhD (Loma Linda University)
Description: This is one of the few books that provide a highly physiological, experimental perspective on the excitation of nerve and muscle. It is abundantly illustrated with figures from the primary literature highlighting the underpinnings of excitable membrane electrophysiology, intercellular communication, and muscle function. The few updates to this edition include voltage-gated channel molecular structure, skeletal muscle dihydropyridine and ryanodine receptors and smooth muscle activation. The previous edition was published in 1991.
Purpose: The stated objective is to give students a sound foundation in the fundamentals of nerve and muscle function from an experimental viewpoint. The authors have done this by following the pathway of discovery as revealed in the literature of the day, especially in the area of membrane electrophysiology.
Audience: The stated audience for this "introductory account" is university students in physiology, cell biology, and preclinical medicine. While a noble effort is made by these veteran researchers to evoke excitement by looking over the shoulders of giants, students without an adequate knowledge of general physics will probably have to stand on tiptoes to appreciate the view.
Features: The major portion of this book deals with membrane electrophysiology, especially the voltage-gated Na+ and K+ channels, from a classical and molecular perspective. The authors weave their way from the resting membrane clear through to synaptic communication including transmitters and receptors. The molecular basis and mechanical events of skeletal muscle contraction are discussed followed by a comparison of the excitation-contraction process in skeletal, cardiac, and smooth muscle. Some color figures would have been nice, but the low cost of the book helps one overlook this.
Assessment: When comparing this with other books, it is important to note that this is a short, concise, introductory, low cost text specifically on nerve and muscle, not a comprehensive text on neuroscience or neurobiology. The topics are well chosen, discussed, and supported by experimental evidence. Other comparable small books include Katz's Nerve, Muscle and Synapse (McGraw-Hill, 1966) and Junge's Nerve and Muscle Excitation (Sinauer Associates, 1976). A comprehensive, highly focused text on ion channels is Hille's Ionic Channels of Excitable Membranes, 2nd edition (Sinauer Associates, 1992).
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521805841
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/2001
  • Series: Studies in Biology
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.43 (d)

Table of Contents

1 Structural organization of the nervous system 1
Nervous systems 1
The anatomy of a neuron 2
Non-myelinated nerve fibres 3
Myelinated nerve fibres 6
2 Resting and action potentials 11
Electrophysiological recording methods 11
Intracellular recording of the membrane potential 14
Extracellular recording of the nervous impulse 15
Excitation 20
3 The ionic permeability of the nerve membrane 26
Structure of the cell membrane 26
Distribution of ions in nerve and muscle 30
The genesis of the resting potential 32
The Donnan equilibrium system in muscle 35
The active transport of ions 35
4 Membrane permeability changes during excitation 43
The impedance change during the spike 43
The sodium hypothesis 44
Voltage-clamp experiments 49
Patch-clamp studies 60
5 The molecular structure and functioning of voltage-gated ionic channels 62
cDNA sequencing studies 62
The primary structure of the sodium channel 63
The sodium gating current 67
Models of the sodium channel 69
Other voltage-gated channels 71
The ionic selectivity of voltage-gated channels 72
6 Cable theory and saltatory conduction 75
The spread of potential changes in a cable system 75
Saltatory conduction in myelinated nerves 78
Factors affecting conduction velocity 83
Factors affecting the threshold for excitation 85
After-potentials 87
7 Neuromuscular transmission 89
The neuromuscular junction 89
Chemical transmission 90
Postsynaptic responses 92
Presynaptic events 102
8 Synaptic transmission in the nervous system 106
Synaptic excitation in motoneurons 107
Inhibition in motoneurons 110
Slow synaptic potentials 115
Electrotonic synapses 120
9 Skeletal muscles 121
Anatomy 121
Mechanical properties 123
Energetics of contraction 131
Muscular exercise 137
10 The mechanism of contraction in skeletal muscle 141
Excitation-contraction coupling 141
The structure of the myofibril 146
The sliding filament theory 149
The molecular basis of contraction 153
11 Non-skeletal muscles 160
Cardiac muscle 160
Smooth muscle 168
References and suggestions for further reading 171
Index 178
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