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From Molecules to Networks - 3rd Edition - ISBN: 9780123971791, 9780123982674

From Molecules to Networks

3rd Edition

An Introduction to Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

Editors: John Byrne Ruth Heidelberger M. Waxham
eBook ISBN: 9780123982674
Hardcover ISBN: 9780123971791
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 23rd May 2014
Page Count: 694
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An understanding of the nervous system at virtually any level of analysis requires an understanding of its basic building block, the neuron. The third edition of From Molecules to Networks provides the solid foundation of the morphological, biochemical, and biophysical properties of nerve cells. In keeping with previous editions, the unique content focus on cellular and molecular neurobiology and related computational neuroscience is maintained and enhanced.

All chapters have been thoroughly revised for this third edition to reflect the significant advances of the past five years. The new edition expands on the network aspects of cellular neurobiology by adding new coverage of specific research methods (e.g., patch-clamp electrophysiology, including applications for ion channel function and transmitter release; ligand binding; structural methods such as x-ray crystallography).

Written and edited by leading experts in the field, the third edition completely and comprehensively updates all chapters of this unique textbook and insures that all references to primary research represent the latest results.

Key Features

  • The first treatment of cellular and molecular neuroscience that includes an introduction to mathematical modeling and simulation approaches
  • 80% updated and new content
  • New Chapter on "Biophysics of Voltage-Gated Ion Channels"
  • New Chapter on "Synaptic Plasticity"
  • Includes a chapter on the Neurobiology of Disease
  • Highly referenced, comprehensive and quantitative
  • Full color, professional graphics throughout
  • All graphics are available in electronic version for teaching purposes


Graduate and upper undergraduate students Neuroscience, Physiology, Cellular and Molecular Biology, Pharmacology, Psychology, Biochemistry

Table of Contents

  • Preface to the Third Edition
  • Preface to the Second Edition
  • Preface to the First Edition
  • List of Contributors
  • Section I: Cellular and Molecular
    • Chapter 1. Cellular Components of Nervous Tissue
      • Neurons
      • Neuroglia
      • Cerebral Vasculature
      • References
      • Suggested Reading
    • Chapter 2. Subcellular Organization of the Nervous System: Organelles and Their Functions
      • Axons and Dendrites: Unique Structural Components of Neurons
      • Protein Synthesis in Nervous Tissue
      • Cytoskeletons of Neurons and Glial Cells
      • Molecular Motors in the Nervous System
      • Building and Maintaining Nervous System Cells
      • References
    • Chapter 3. Energy Metabolism in the Brain
      • Major Pathways of Brain Energy Metabolism
      • Substrates, Enzymes, Pathway Fluxes, and Compartmentation
      • Imaging of Functional Metabolic Activity in Living Brain and in Vivo Assays of Pathway Fluxes
      • Pathophysiological Conditions Disrupt Energy Metabolism
      • Roles of Nutrients and Metabolites in Regulation of Specific Functions and Overall Metabolic Economy
      • Metabolomics, Transcriptomics, and Proteomics
      • Metabolic Scaling Across Species
      • Summary
      • References
      • Further References
    • Chapter 4. Intracellular Signaling
      • Signaling Through G-Protein-Linked Receptors
      • Modulation of Neuronal Function by Protein Kinases and Phosphatases
      • References
    • Chapter 5. Regulation of Neuronal Gene Expression and Protein Synthesis
      • The Dogma
      • DNA Structure and Functions
      • RNA Structure and Function
      • Transcription
      • Chromatin and Epigenetic Regulation
      • Control of Gene Expression and Examples in the Nervous System
      • Transcription Factors in Learning and Memory
      • Translational Control
      • Modes of Translational Control Underlying Synaptic Plasticity and Memory
      • References
    • Chapter 6. Modeling and Analysis of Intracellular Signaling Pathways
      • Intracellular Transport is Modeled at Several Levels of Detail
      • Standard Equations Simplify Modeling of Enzymatic Reactions and Feedback Loops
      • Positive and Negative Feedback Can Support Complex Dynamics of Signaling Pathways
      • Crosstalk Between Signaling Pathways shapes stimulus responses
      • Parameter Estimation
      • Dynamics Should Usually be Robust to Parameter Variation
      • Parameter Uncertainties Imply the Majority of Models are Qualitative, Not Quantitative
      • Separation of Fast and Slow Processes is an Important Method to Simplify Models
      • Analyzing Flux Control Helps Understand and Predict Dynamics of Metabolism
      • Special Modeling Techniques are Required for Macromolecular Complexes
      • Stochastic Fluctuations Strongly Affect Reaction Dynamics
      • Genes are Often Organized into Networks Activated by Signaling Pathways
      • Gene Networks can be Modeled at Very Different Levels
      • Gene Network Models Illustrate ways in Which Feedback Generates Complex Dynamics
      • Fluctuations in Molecule Numbers Strongly Influence Genetic Regulation
      • Summary
      • References
      • Specific References
    • Chapter 7. Pharmacology and Biochemistry of Synaptic Transmission: Classical Transmitters
      • Diverse Modes of Neuronal Communication
      • Chemical Transmission
      • Classical Neurotransmitters
      • Summary
      • References
    • Chapter 8. Nonclassic Signaling in the Brain
      • Peptide Neurotransmitters
      • Neurotensin as an Example of Peptide Neurotransmitters
      • Unconventional Transmitters
      • Synaptic Transmitters in Perspective
      • References
    • Chapter 9. Connexin and Pannexin Based Channels in the Nervous System: Gap Junctions and More
      • Cell Interactions in the Nervous System—The Larger Picture
      • General Properties and Structure of Gap Junction Channels and Hemichannels
      • Connexins in CNS Ontogeny
      • Connexins in Neurons of the Adult CNS
      • Astroglial Connexins
      • Connexins in Oligodendrocytes
      • Connexins in Microglia
      • Connexins in the Blood-Brain Barrier
      • Connexins in Ependimal Cells and Leptomeningeal Cells
      • Pattern of Pannexin Localization in Brain Cells
      • Gap Junction Channels and Hemichannels in Acquired and Genetic Pathologies of the CNS
      • Summary and Perspective
      • References
      • Further Reading
    • Chapter 10. Neurotransmitter Receptors
      • Ionotropic Receptors
      • G-Protein-Coupled Receptors
      • References
    • Chapter 11. Molecular Properties of Ion Channels
      • Families of Ion Channels
      • Channel Gating
      • Ion Permeation
      • References
  • Section II: Physiology of Ion Channels, Excitable Membranes and Synaptic Transmission
    • Chapter 12. Membrane Potential and Action Potential
      • The Membrane Potential
      • The Action Potential
      • References
    • Chapter 13. Biophysics of Voltage-Gated Ion Channels
      • Principal Features
      • Major Families of Voltage-Gated Ion Channels
      • VGICs are Highly Sensitive to Membrane Voltage but Current Flow Through all Ion Channels is Influenced by Voltage
      • Abnormal Biophysical Properties of VGICs and Human Disease
      • Structural Features Associated with Unique Biophysical Properties of VGICs
      • Regions of VGICs that Regulate Inactivation
      • Biophysical Properties of Voltage-Gated Ion Channels and Neuronal Function
      • Measuring Biophysical Properties of Voltage-Gated Ion Channels
      • Steady-State Current-Voltage Relationships
      • Voltage-Clamp Recording Methods to Study Biophysical Properties of VGICs
      • Single Ion Channel Currents
      • Modulation of Biophysical Properties of Voltage-Gated Ion Channels
      • Local Changes in Chemical Environment by Second Messenger Action
      • Neurotoxins that Disrupt Biophysical Properties of VGICs
      • The Plasma Membrane Lipid PIP2 Modulates VGICs
      • Calcium Inactivates Cav1 Channels
      • Acknowledgements
      • References
    • Chapter 14. Dynamical Properties of Excitable Membranes
      • The Hodgkin-Huxley Model
      • Characterizing the Na+ Conductance
      • A Geometric Analysis of Excitability
      • Summary
      • Acknowledgments
      • References
    • Chapter 15. Release of Neurotransmitters
      • Organization of the Chemical Synapse
      • Excitation–Secretion Coupling
      • The Molecular Mechanisms of Neurotransmitter Release
      • Quantal Analysis
      • References
    • Chapter 16. Postsynaptic Potentials and Synaptic Integration
      • Ionotropic Receptors: Mediators of Fast Excitatory and Inhibitory Synaptic Potentials
      • Metabotropic Receptors: Mediators of Slow Synaptic Potentials
      • Integration of Synaptic Potentials
      • Summary
      • References
      • Further Reading
    • Chapter 17. Cable Properties and Information Processing in Dendrites
      • Basic Tools: Cable Theory and Compartmental Models
      • Spread of Steady-State Signals
      • Spread of Transient Signals
      • Dynamic Properties of the Passive Electrotonic Structure
      • Active Dendritic Properties
      • Backpropagation of Action Potentials into Dendrites
      • Active Dendrites Amplify Synaptic Inputs
      • Active Dendrites Control Neuronal Output
      • Ca2+ Signaling in Dendritic Spines
      • Conclusion
      • References
  • Section III: Integration
    • Chapter 18. Synaptic Plasticity
      • Introduction
      • Short-Term Plasticity
      • Long-Term Plasticity
      • References
    • Chapter 19. Information Processing in Neural Networks
      • Information Processing
      • Neural Representation
      • Encoding and Decoding
      • Iconic Neural Circuits
      • Neuroplasticity and Neuromodulation
      • Example Circuits
      • Summary
      • References
    • Chapter 20. Learning and Memory: Basic Mechanisms
      • Paradigms have been Developed to Study Associative and Nonassociative Learning
      • Invertebrate Studies: Key Insights from Aplysia into Basic Mechanisms of Learning
      • Mechanisms Underlying Associative Learning in Aplysia
      • Classical Conditioning in Vertebrates: Discrete Responses and Fear Reactions as Models of Associative Learning
      • How Does a Change in Synaptic Strength Store a Complex Memory?
      • Summary
      • References
      • Suggested Readings
    • Chapter 21. Molecular Mechanisms of Neurological Disease
      • Introduction
      • Alzheimer’s Disease
      • Parkinson’s Disease
      • Prion Diseases
      • Schizophrenia
      • Phenylketonuria
      • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
      • Trinucleotide Repeat Diseases
      • Fragile X Syndrome
      • Huntington’s Disease
      • Genetic Heterogeneity in a Non-Cns Disease: Charcot-Marie-Tooth
      • Summary and Conclusion
      • References
  • Index


No. of pages:
© Academic Press 2014
23rd May 2014
Academic Press
eBook ISBN:
Hardcover ISBN:

About the Editors

John Byrne

John Byrne

The June and Virgil Waggoner Professor and Chair, Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, University of Texas Medical School at Houston. Dr. Byrne is an internationally acclaimed Neuroscientist. He received his PhD under the direction of Noble Prize winner, Eric Kandel. Dr. Byrne is a prolific author and Editor-in-Chief of Learning and Memory (CSHP).

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Texas Medical School, Houston, TX, USA

Ruth Heidelberger

Professor, Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, University of Texas Medical School at Houston. Dr. Heidelberger is an accomplished cellular neurophysiologist specializing in mechanisms of neurotransmitter release. She received her doctoral training under the guidance of Gary Matthews and her postdoctoral training under the direction of Nobel Laureate Erwin Neher. Dr. Heidelberger is a former president and executive board member of the Biophysical Society's Subgroup on Exocytosis and Endocytosis and serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Neurophysiology. She has directed and taught graduate-level courses in cellular neurophysiology and membrane biophysics for more than a decade.

Affiliations and Expertise

The University of Texas Medical School at Houston, Houston, TX, USA

M. Waxham

The William Wheless III Professor, Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, University of Texas Medical School at Houston. Dr. Waxham’s multi-disciplinary laboratory focuses on the molecular and cellular mechanisms of synaptic function and plasticity. He has developed and directed graduate-level courses in cellular and molecular neurobiology for more than two decades.

Affiliations and Expertise

The University of Texas Medical School at Houston, Houston, TX, USA


"Jack Byrne is unique in neuroscience. He is at once a first class experimentalist, bringing to bear a variety of cellular, molecular and imaging approaches to study the mechanisms of learning and memory storage. Here his work has led to a number of penetrating insights, including the first demonstration of operant conditioning in Aplysia. But in addition, what makes Byrne’s thinking and work so unique, is that it combines these experimental techniques with realistic and creative mathematical modeling to determine the extent to which the observed processes and interactions are sufficient to explain the behavior of systems he studies.

This has led to his finding a series of paradigms for enhancing memory storage that are quite remarkable. The Third Edition of From Molecules to Networks is eloquent testimony to this synthesis, the experimental and theoretical and to Jack Byrne’s extraordinary teaching capability, and to his ability to explain science to both students and scientists for which he was recently awarded the National Neuroscience Educational Award." --Eric R. Kandel, MD, Department of Neuroscience, Columbia University, NY, USA

"Meshing together the diverse elements of neuroscience, from molecules to man, is one of the great challenges of brain science.  Conveying the integrated story to readers coherently is a major task.  This third edition of the now classic From Molecules to Networks text accomplishes all of this with elegance, even better than the preceding two volumes.  It will be of inestimable value to student and professional alike." --Soloman H. Snyder, MD, Department of Neuroscience, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA

"Like the previous two editions, this new edition from Byrne, Heidelberger and Waxham is a joy to read: The volume is beautifully produced, the figures make their points perfectly, and the authors of the various chapters are not only experts in their fields, but also have the knack of explaining things clearly. The two best things about this book, though, are that it is completely up-to-date with an emphasis that matches excitement of the field, and that the book’s structure, from molecules to neural circuits, emphasizes organizational principles rather than the more traditional treatment according to a list of neural systems." --Charles F. Stevens, MD, PhD, Professor, The Salk Institute, San Diego, CA, USA

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