Learning Objectives

Physiological Aspects Of
Neuromuscular Transmission
At the end of the lecture, the student should be able
to :
• Explain the functional anatomy of Neuromuscular
• Tell us components of Neuromuscular Junction..
• Defne motor unit.
• Describe the types of synapse.
• Explain excitatory synapse.
• Give details of the inhibitory synapse.
• What are the seuences of events durin! transmission
of impulse at neuromuscular "unction#
• $omparison of synapse % Neuromuscular Junction.
Lecture Outline
Physiological Aspects of Neuromuscular
Neuromuscular (yoneural! "unction:
• The nervous system &communicates& 'ith muscle via
neuromuscular (myoneural) "unction.
• These "unctions 'or* very much li*e a synapse bet'een t'o
• The functional connection bet'een nerve fber and its tar!et cell
is called synapse.
#omponents Of The Neuromuscular "unction$
otor neuron:
• +ynaptic *nob.
• +ynaptic vesicles.
• ,resynaptic membrane.
• +ynaptic cleft.
• Neurotransmitter (acetylcholine).
• -cetyl cholinesterase (an en.yme).
uscle %ber :
• /otor end plate (a part of sarcolemma of muscle fber).
• -cetylcholine receptor.
The Neuromuscular "unction:
• +ite 'here motor neuron meets the muscle fber.
0 +eparated by !ap called the neuromuscular cleft.
otor end plate:
0 ,oc*et formed around motor neuron by sarcolemma.
• Acetylcholine is released from the motor neuron:
0 $auses an end1plate potential (E,,).
• &epolari'ation of muscle %ber
otor (nit:
• +in!le motor neuron % muscle fbers it innervates.
• Eye muscles 0 232 muscle4nerve ratio.
• 5amstrin!s 0 67732 muscle4nerve ratio.
Neuromuscular (yoneural! "unction:
• - synapse is a site 'here information is transmitted from one cell
to another either electrically (electrical synapse) or via a chemical
transmitter (chemical synapse).
• When the second cell is a muscle fber8 the synapse is called a
neuromuscular "unction.
• The structural % functional areas of contact bet'een a neuron
and a tar!et cell( Where the second cell is a muscle fber8 nerve fber
or a !landular cell ) is called +ynapse
• +ynapse is a "unctional re!ion 'here the synaptic *nob of one
neuron come in contact 'ith surface of dendrite8 soma axon8 muscle
fber or !landular cell.
Neuromuscular "unction:
When the synaptic *nob of a neuron terminates on the muscle fber8
is called neuromuscular "unction.
#lassi%cation of )ynapses:
Functional Classification:
• Dependin! upon the basis of transmission of impulses8 the synapse
is classifed into three cate!ories3
• Electrical synapse
• $hemical synapse
Synapse is classified by two method
Between 2 neuron

Depending upon the
basis of transmission
of impulses
Between neuron "
muscle Fiber
Axo-axonic "
#both chemical
" electrical$
• $on"oint (both electrical % chemical) synapse.

#hemical )ynapse:
• 9t is the "unction bet'een a nerve %ber and a muscle %ber or
bet'een t*o nerve %ber throu!h 'hich the si!nal are transmitted
by the release of chemical transmitter$

• 9n the chemical synapse there is no continuity bet*een pre +
postsynaptic neuron because of presence of space called
synaptic cleft bet'een t'o neuron.
#omponents of #hemical )ynapse:
– ,resynaptic terminal.
– +ynaptic cleft.
– ,ostsynaptic membrane.
• Neurotransmitters released by action potentials in presynaptic
– +ynaptic vesicles
– Di:usion
– ,ostsynaptic membrane.
• Neurotransmitter removal.
Types of synapse:
• Neurotransmitter is uite diverse in the action.
• Dependin! on the type of neurotransmitter there are t*o ,ind
of synapse *ith di-erent mode of action:
• ./citatory synapse ('hich transmit the impulses).
• $holiner!ic excitatory synapse
• -drener!ic excitatory synapse
• 0nhibitory synapse ('hich inhibit the transmission of
./citatory Adrenergic )ynapse:
• 9t employs the neurotransmitter nor epinephrine8 other mono
amines % neuropeptides.
• They act throu!h second messen!er system such as cyclic -/,.
• The receptor is not an ion !ate but an inte!ral protein associated
'ith a G1protein.
0nhibitory synapse:
• - neurotransmitter that causes hyper polari.ation of the
postsynaptic membrane is called inhibitory.
• Durin! hyper polari.ation !eneration of action potential is more
di;cult then usual because membrane potential becomes more
ne!ative % thus even farther from threshold then in its restin! sta!e.
• This is called inhibitory post synaptic potential (9,+,).

)e1uence of events during transmission of
impulse at Neuromuscular "unction:
2. -n action potential in a motor neuron is propa!ated to the terminal
<. The presence of an action potential in the terminal button tri!!ers
the openin! of volta!e1!ated $a
channels % the subseuent
entry of $a
in to the terminal button.
6. $a
tri!!ers the release of acetylcholine by exocytosis from a
portion of the vesicles.
>. -cetylcholine di:uses across the space separatin! the nerve and
muscle cells and binds 'ith receptor sites specifc for it on the
motor end plate of the muscle cell membrane.
?. This bindin! brin!s about the openin! of ion channels8 leadin! to a
relatively lar!e movement of Na
into the muscle cell compared to
a smaller movement of @
A. The result is end 1plate potential. Bocal current Co' occurs bet'een
the depolari.ed end plate and ad"acent membrane.
D. This local current Co' opens volta!e1!ated Na
channels in the
ad"acent membrane.
E. The resultant Na
entry reduces the potential to threshold. 9nitiatin!
an action potential8 'hich is propa!ated throu!hout the muscle
F. -cetylcholine is de!raded by acetyl cholinesterase en.yme (-$hE)
to choline and acetate.

27. $holine is ta*en bac* into the presynaptic terminal on an Na=1
$o transporter8 terminatin! the muscle cellGs response.
#omparison of )ynapse and a N":
• Hoth are excitable cells separated by synaptic cleft that prevents
direct transmission of electrical activity bet'een them.
• -xon terminals of both store chemical messen!er.
• 9n both bindin! of NT 'ith the receptors sites on postsynaptic
membrane opens specifc channels and permittin! ion movement that
alter the membrane potential of the cell.
• The resultant chan!e in membrane potential in both cases is a
!raded potential.
• - synapse is a "unction bet'een t'o neurons 'hile a N/J exist
bet'een a motor neuron and a s*eletal muscle fber.
• There is one to one transmission of action potential at a N/J
'hile an action potential in a postsynaptic neuron occurs only 'hen
the summation of E,+,s brin!s the membrane to threshold.
• - N/J is al'ays excitatory (E,,) 'hile a synapse may be either
excitatory (E,+,) or inhibitory (9,+,).
• The inhibition of s*eletal muscle cannot be accomplished at the
N/J3 it can ta*es place only in the $N+ throu!h 9,+,s at the cell body of
the motor neuron.