Cellular & Molecular Neuroscience 2006
Lecture Topic Who
1 From Brain  to channels

We will review the main components of the nervous system, and explore the importance of channels in the cellular and molecular organisation of the neuron
2 Synapses 

We will explore the mechanism of synaptic action, and review key issues in synaptic physiology, including vesicle release

3 Circuits of neurons 

We will examine how the nervous system uses sensory information to decide which behaviour to execute, how a simple motor sequence is programmed and how it is terminated. We will focus on the crayfish escape response, one of the best understood examples of a simple motor pattern.

4 Hormones controlling behaviour 

We will examine the role of amines, steroid hormones and neuropeptides in the control of behaviour, including their role in insect ecdysis (moulting).

5 The Botulinal Toxins 

The botulinal toxins are nerve specific toxins and have been used to dissect the molecular processes of synaptic exocytosis. The botulinal toxins helped identify SNARE proteins and the role of SNARE proteins in vesicle fusion and traffic will be explored

6 Saxitoxins and Phospholipase A2 toxins 

Saxitoxins block actions potentials and the mechanisms by which they do this will be examined. Snake venom phospholipase A2 toxin blocks synaptic transmission and the mechanism by which it does so has been recently elucidated and will be explored in this lecture.

7 Neuronal Homeostasis 

The efficacy of synaptic transmission can change during the processes of learning and memory. However, changes in synaptic transmission occur only within a given range. How is this synaptic 'homeostasis' regulated and what does this mean for processes of learning and memory

8 Introduction to Neural Degeneration and Disease 

This will outline the major diseases of the nervous system. We will discuss the approaches to their study and prevention. The major example in this lecture will be MS

9 Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease 

In this lecture we will examine the symptoms, cause(s)  and treatments for these two degenerative illnesses, and attempt to relate the molecular cause(s) to symptoms.



Click  for the 2005/06 Assessments and Specimen answers, in pdf format . Note that the course was taught by Chris Elliott, Sean Sweeney & Martin Rumsby, and that the material examined was therefore different.

C. J. H. Elliott, 04 October 2006