The Molecular Properties and Evolution of Excitable Cells

The Molecular Properties and Evolution of Excitable Cells

International Series of Monographs in Pure and Applied Biology

1st Edition - January 1, 1967

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  • Author: C. J. Duncan
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483150284

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The Molecular Properties and Evolution of Excitable Cells describes the theoretical aspects in which excitable cells, such as nerves, muscles, and sense organs, operate. This book develops a hypothesis regarding the evolution and characteristics of excitable cells. This monograph focuses on the properties of the bounding membrane and its complex permeability system, which starts the excitation state. Sense organs, as the input component in both vertebrates and invertebrates, are then discussed. The text then briefly describes the ways that the ionic permeability of the excitable membrane can both be modified and controlled. The book points out that since ions pass through standard sizes of the pores in an excitable membrane, their passage is determined by the dimensions of the pore and by the existing charge found on its walls. The book then explains the application of a mechanical stimulus to a mechanoreceptor that will cause deformations in the membrane. This deformation leads to enzyme activity and produces alteration in the rate at which ATP is supplied to the lateral borders of the cell. The text discusses a hypothesis that invokes enzyme activity by propagating action potential along the axon, and other input systems, such as adrenaline, amino acids, and y-amino-butyric acid (GABA). The book also explains the hypothesis that living organisms are composed of an ordered system of protein-enzymes forming on phospholipid-protein membranes. This monograph will benefit microbiologists, biotechnologists, and academicians connected with the biological sciences.

Table of Contents

  • Preface

    Chapter 1. Introduction

    1. The Organization of Excitable Cells

    Chapter 2. A Model for Excitable Cells


    Chapter 3. The Input Component: Sense Organs

    1. Mechanoreceptors

    2. Evidence for the Enzymatic Transducer Mechanism of Sense Organs

    3. Enzyme Systems Involved at Sense Organs


    Chapter 4. The Control of Cation-Permeability at Input Components

    1. Properties of Membrane ATPases

    2. Mechanoenzyme System of the Mitochondrial Membrane

    3. Selective Permeability Systems

    4. Hypothesis for the Control of Membrane Permeability

    5. The Action of Thyroxine


    Chapter 5. The Transducer Mechanisms of Specialized Sensory Receptors

    1. Chemoreceptors

    2. Thermoreceptors

    3. Visual Receptors


    Chapter 6. The Input Component: the Postsynaptic Membrane

    1. Transmission at Cholinergic Synapses

    2. Evidence for the Enzymatic Transducer Mechanism of the Post-Synaptic Membrane

    3. Tetanus Toxin and the Neurotropic Agent of Snake Venom


    Chapter 7. Cholinesterases

    1. Acetylcholine Sensitivity

    2. Properties and Distribution of Cholinesterases

    3. Action of Cholinesterase Inhibitors

    4. Cholinesterase and the Permeability System

    5. The Transducer Mechanism at Cholinergic Membranes


    Chapter 8. Other Input Systems

    1. Adrenaline

    2. Aminoacids

    3. γ-Amino-Butyric Acid (GABA)

    4. Inhibitory Synapses


    Chapter 9. Comparison between the Input and Conductile Components


    Chapter 10. Sodium Permeability and the Excitation of the Conductile Axon

    1. Properties of the Cation-Permeability System of the Axon

    2. Excitation of the Axon

    3. The Erythrocyte as a Model for the Excitable Membrane


    Chapter 11. The Output Component: Release of Synaptic Transmitters

    1. Miniature Endplate Potentials

    2. Relation between Spontaneous and Synchronized Release of Transmitter

    3. The Effect of Temperature and pH

    4. The Effect of Divalent Cations

    5. Release of Adrenergic Transmitters

    6. The Release Mechanism


    Chapter 12. Feedback at Output Components


    Chapter 13. Nissl Substance—and Memory

    1. Nissl Substance and RNA

    2. RNA and Memory

    3. Hypotheses for the Incorporation of a Memory Trace within the RNA Molecule

    4. Phosphoprotein Turnover and Memory


    Chapter 14. Summary and Conclusions



    References for Addendum

    Author Index

    Subject Index

    Other Titles in the Series

Product details

  • No. of pages: 268
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Pergamon 1967
  • Published: January 1, 1967
  • Imprint: Pergamon
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483150284

About the Author

C. J. Duncan

About the Editor

G.A. Kerkut

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Southampton, Southampton, UK

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