Chemical and Molecular Basis of Nerve Activity - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780125127578, 9780323151023

Chemical and Molecular Basis of Nerve Activity

1st Edition

Authors: David Nachmansohn
eBook ISBN: 9780323151023
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 1st January 1975
Page Count: 422
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Chemical and Molecular Basis of Nerve Activity contains 16 chapters that discuss the significant advances in the study of the molecular events underlying bioelectricity and nerve excitability. After briefly describing the physiology and mechanisms of the nervous system, this book goes on examining the physiologically significant features and nerve activity roles of acetylcholines and acetylcholinesterase. A chapter highlights the mechanism of acetylcholinerase inhibition by nerve gases and insecticides. Other chapters explore the characteristic properties of choline acetylase enzyme; the relationships between chemical forces and electrical activity; and the effect of acetylcholine and analog compounds on the isolation of receptor protein and on synaptic junctions. The remaining chapters deal with the essential role of acetylcholine in the generation of bioelectric current and the differences between axonal conduction and synaptic transmission. The supplementary texts look into the progress in the biochemistry of excitability and present an integral model of nerve excitability.
This book will be of great benefit to biologists and neurologists.

Table of Contents


Preface to First Edition

Chapter I Physical Events during Nerve Activity

A. Electrical Manifestations

B. The Membrane Theory

C. Ion Movements

D. Heat Production

E. Temperature Coefficient

Chapter II Problems of Mechanisms Underlying Nerve Activity

A. Necessity of Correlating Physical Events with Chemical Reactions

B. Principles and Difficulties of Approach

C. Hypothesis of Neurohumoral Transmission

Chapter III Physiologically Significant Features of Acetylcholinesterase

A. Specificity

B. Occurrence in Conducting Tissues and Concentration

C. Localization

D. Rate of Hydrolysis of Acetylcholine

E. Coincidence of High Enzyme Activity and Beginning of Function during Growth

F. Free Energy Change of Acetylcholine Hydrolysis

Chapter IV Inseparability of Conduction and Activity of Acetylcholinesterase

A. Competitive Inhibitors

B. Action of Competitive Inhibitors on Conduction

Chapter V Sequence of Energy Transformations

A. Electric Fish

B. The Concentration of Acetylcholinesterase in Electric Organs

C. Phosphorylated Compounds as Source of Energy

D. Discovery of Choline Acetylase

E. Occurrence and Concentration of Choline Acetylase

F. Depolarizing (Electrogenic) Action of Acetylcholine

G. Role of Acetylcholine in Sensory Endings

Chapter VI Tentative Picture of the Role of the Acetylcholine System in the Permeability Change

Chapter VII Mechanism of Reactions Catalyzed by Acetylcholinesterase

A. Molecular Forces Acting between Substrates and Enzyme

B. The Hydrolytic Process

Chapter VIII Nerve Gases, Insecticides, and Antidotes

A. Mechanism of Inhibition by Organophosphorus Compounds

B. Efficiency of an Antidote on the Basis of Molecular Complementarity

C. Biochemical and Pharmacological Aspects of PAM Action

Chapter IX Properties of Choline Acetylase

A. Test System

B. Specificity

Chapter X Action of Acetylcholine on the Receptor in Intact Cells

A. Difference between Tertiary and Quaternary Nitrogen Derivatives in Their Reactions with Esterase and Acetylase

B. Evidence for the Existence of a Receptor

C. Receptor Activators and Inhibitors

Chapter XI Isolated Single Electroplax Preparation

A. Method of Separating Two Pools of Fluid by a Single Electroplax

B. Effects of Acetylcholine and Analog Compounds

C. Ion Flux

D. Isolation of the Receptor Protein in Solution

Chapter XII Effects of Lipid-soluble Quaternary Ammonium Ions on Conduction

A. Depolarizing Action on Axons and Electroplax

B. Response of Striated Muscle

Chapter XIII The Complex Nature of the Permeability Change

Chapter XIV Synaptic Transmission

I. Reevaluation of the Original Neurohumoral Transmitter Theory

A. Permeability Barrier Surrounding the Axon

B. Curare

C. The Origin of Acetylcholine Found in Perfusion Fluids

Chapter XV Synaptic Transmission

II. Localization of Cholinesterase at Junctions

A. Chemical Determinations

B. Histochemical Data

Chapter XVI Synaptic Transmission

III. Differences between Axon and Synapse

A. Structure

B. Electrical Signs; the End Plate Potential

C. The Site of Drug Action

D. Ion Movements and Permeability Changes at Junctions

E. Significance of Acetylcholine Appearance in Junctional Perfusates

F. Present State of the Problem

Concluding Remarks


Supplement I Properties and Function of the Proteins of the Acetylcholine Cycle in Excitable Membranes

I. Cell Membranes

A. General Properties

B. Excitable Membranes

II. Role of the AcCh Cycle in Control of Ion Permeability

A. Role of Acetylcholine in the Excitable Membrane; The Acetylcholine Cycle

B. Macromolecular Conformation and Ca2+ Ions

III. Proteins Processing Acetylcholine

A. AcCh-Esterase

B. AcCh-Receptor

C. Choline O-Acetyltransferase (Choline Acetylase)

D. Storage Site

IV. Experimental Basis for the Direct Link of the AcCh Cycle with Electrical Activity

A. Effects of Specific Inhibitors of AcCh-Esterase on Electrical Activity of Axons

B. Problem of Minimum Requirements of AcCh-Esterase Activity for Electrical Activity

C. Effects of Specific Inhibitors on the AcCh-Receptor in Electrical Activity

D. Involvement of Other Proteins in Excitability

E. Parallelism between Chemical Action on the AcCh-Receptor of Isolated Membrane Fragments of the Electroplax of Electrophorus and the Electrical Stimulation of their Intact Membrane

F. Basic Excitation Units

V. Role of the AcCh Cycle at Junctions

A. Observations that Led to the Assumption of AcCh as a Neurohumoral Transmitter

B. Evidence Supporting a Similar Role of AcCh Cycle in Pre- and Postsynaptic Junctional Membranes

C. Alternative Interpretation of the Function of AcCh at Junctions

VI. Concluding Remarks: Concepts and Axioms in Science

Reviews by the Author Since 1959

Supplement II Toward a Molecular Model of Bioelectricity

I. Introduction

II. Biomembrane Electrochemistry

III. Stationary Membrane Potentials

IV. Transient Changes of Membrane Potentials

A. Threshold Behavior

B. Stimulus Characteristics

C. Propagation of Local Activity

D. Refractory Phases

E. Time Constants

V. Proteins Involved in Excitation

VI. Impedance and Heat Changes

A. Impedance Changes

B. Heat Changes

VII. The Cholinergic System and Excitability

A. Localization of the AcCh System

B. The Barrier Problem

C. Electrogenic Aspects of the AcCh System

D. Control Function of AcCh

VIII. The Integral Model

A. Key Processes

B. Basic Excitation Unit

C. Translocation Flux of AcCh

D. Field Dependence of AcCh Storage

E. Relaxation of AcCh Translocation Fluxes

F. The AcCh Control Cycle

IX. Summary

References to Supplements I and II



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Academic Press
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About the Author

David Nachmansohn

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