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Advanced Physiology Laboratory Homework #1 Key
1. Sean Tyred goes to his physician complaining of chronic fatigue. He reports having felt fatigued and listless for about half a year, but he had attributed this to stress. He has lost considerable weight and strangely has a healthy tan, even though he spends long hours at work and rarely ventures outside. His doctor finds very low blood pressure and a rapid, weak pulse. Blood tests show that Sean does not have anemia, but his plasma glucose, cortisol, and Na+ are low and his plasma K+ is high. His doctor orders an ACTH stimulation test, in which Mr. Tyred’s secretion of cortisol is measured after he is given a synthetic form of ACTH. a. What would account for Sean’s low plasma Na+ and high plasma K+? Ans: Low levels of the mineralocorticoid aldosterone which normally reabsorbs Na+ and decreases K+ levels. b. What is the reason for doing an ACTH stimulation test? Ans: If cortisol levels are normal after given the synthetic ACTH, this indicates that ACTH is not being secreted by the anterior pituitary. If cortisol levels are not normal after ACTH is administered, this indicates that adrenal glands are not secreting cortisol. c. What gland is primarily affected if ACTH does not cause a normal elevation of cortisol secretion? What is the abnormality called? Ans: The Adrenal cortex. Addison’s disease. d. What gland is primarily affected if ACTH does cause an elevation of cortisol secretion? Ans: The pituitary gland. 2. Johnny B. Hewdge is a 5-year old boy growing by leaps and bounds; his height is 100% above normal for his age. He has been complaining of headaches and vision problems. A CT scan reveals a large pituitary tumor. a. What is the probable cause of the excessive growth? Ans: Tumor is causing hypersecretion of growth hormone. b. What condition will Johnny exhibit if corrective measures are not taken? Ans: Gigantism, or giantism. c. What is the probable cause of his headaches and visual problems? Ans: Compression caused by the tumor causing pressure on the optic chiasma and/or optic nerves.
3. Students in a veterinary school were given the following hypothetical problem. A dog ingests organophosphate poison, and the students are responsible for saving the animal’s life. Organophosphate poisons bind to and inhibit acetylcholinesterase. Several substances they could inject include the following: acetylcholine, curare (which blocks acetylcholine receptors), and potassium chloride. If you were a student in the class, what would you do to save the animal and why? Ans: Organophosphates inhibit acetylcholinesterase, therby causing an increase in acetylcholine in the synaptic cleft leading to overproduction of action potentials, tetany of muscles, and possible death resulting from respiratory failure. Curare is the BEST antidote because it blocks the effect of acetylcholine and acts to counteract the organophosphate. Too much curare, however, could cause flaccid paralysis of the respiratory muscles. Injecting acetylcholine would make the effect of the organophosphate worse. Potassium chloride causes depolarization of the muscle cell membranes, thereby making them more sensitive to acetylcholine. 4. The solutions in the two arms of the U-Shaped osmometer are separated by a membrane that is permeable to water and glucose but not to sucrose. Side A is filled with a solution of 4.0M sucrose and 2.0M glucose. Side B is filled with 2.0M sucrose and 3.0M glucose. Initially, the liquid levels on both sides are equal. A B
4.0M Sucrose 2.0M Glucose
2.0M Sucrose 3.0M Glucose
a. Initially, in terms of tonicity, the solution in side B with respect to A is a. hypertonic . b. isotonic. c. hypotonic . d. plasmolyzed. e. crenated. b. After the system reaches equilibrium, what changes will be observed? a. The water level is higher in side A than side B. b. The molarity of glucose is higher in side A than side B. c. The water level is higher in side B than side A. d. The molarity of sucrose and glucose are equal on both sides. e. The water level is unchanged.
5. Daniel Angst is about to undergo major surgery for a tumor in his chest. Two hours before the surgery is to begin Mr. Angst experiences “jitters,” an elevated heart rate and blood pressure, increased rate of breathing, cold sweats, and an urge to urinate. Explain why he was experiencing these symptoms with respect to the nervous system. Ans: The patient experienced these symptoms as a result of sympathetic activation. This division of the autonomic nervous system is known to increase cardiac and pulmonary activity, stimulate sweat glands, and induce the muscles of the bladder to contract. 6. On her recent vacation to Tibet, Carol Cawtit visits her physician for some lab tests. The doctor informs Mrs. Cawtit that she caught a central nervous system infection which explained her headaches, nausea, disorientation and sensory perception problems. a. Which type of glial cell would you expect to be present in large numbers in Mrs. Cawtit’s brain tissue? Explain why? Ans: Microglial cells are small phagocytic cells that are found in increased number in damaged and diseased areas of the CNS b. What might account for Mrs. Cawtit’s signs and symptoms? Ans: Infection is causing compression and/or action potential propagation disruption in specific neural tissues involving the somatosensory area of the brain. 7. In the lab, two axons are tested for propagation velocities. One carries action potentials at 10 meters per second, the other at 1 meter per second. a. Which axon is mylelinated? Explain why. Ans: Action potentials are propagated along myelinated axons by saltatory conduction at speeds much higher than those along unmyelinated axons. An axon with a propagation speed of 10m/sec must be myelinated. b. What cell(s) could be added to the unmyelinated axon in order to increase the propagation velocity? Ans: Oligodendrocytes and/or Schwann cells c. What would the addition of the snake venom Curare to the myelinated axon cause to the propagation velocity? Ans: Since Curare blocks nicotinic receptors, the actual propagation of the signal and propagation velocity will be unaffected. 8. While out for a brisk walk, Megan Skaird is suddenly confronted by an angry dog. Which division of the ANS is responsible for the physiological changes that occur as she turns and runs from the animal? Include physiological changes from ALL systems in Ms. Skaird’s body. Ans: The sympathetic division of the autonomic nervous system is responsible for the physiological changes that occur in response to stress and increased activity. Blood pressure, pulse, heart rate and respiration rate all increase. Increased sweating is also seen. Pupil dilation, salivary gland stimulation as well as urinary bladder stimulation is also expected.
9. Anne Bleeder became hypovolemic when she lost 1 liter of blood, and, as her doctor, you need to restore her blood volume quickly while you wait for the blood to arrive from the blood bank for a transfusion. Which solution would be better to administer? A. an iso-osmotic solution of glucose or B. an iso-osmotic solution of NaCl? Defend your choice. Ans: B NaCl solution is better to administer even though both solutions are iso-osmotic to the body. Because blood is lost from the extracellular compartment, the best replacement solution would remain in the extracellular fluid. For this reason, glucose is not as good a choice because it slowly enters cells, taking water with it. 10. The “puffer fish” secretes a very deadly chemical known as tetrodotoxin. On her recent vacation to Japan, Andrea Fisher ordered fugu chiri, (puffer soup), from the menu at a popular restaurant in Tokyo. Andrea was subsequently hospitalized for the consumption of incorrectly prepared puffer soup. What effect might tetrodotoxin have on action potentials? What obvious symptoms could Andrea be experiencing? How might the doctor alleviate these symptoms? Ans: Tetrodotoxin is a toxin that blocks the chemically activated sodium channels from opening. Because of this the neuron would be unable to propagate action potentials. The first symptom of intoxication is a slight numbness of the lips and tongue, appearing between 20 minutes to three hours after eating poisonous pufferfish. The next symptom is increasing paresthesia in the face and extremities, which may be followed by sensations of lightness or floating. Headache, epigastric pain, nausea, diarrhea and/or vomiting may also occur. If ingested, treatment can consist of emptying the stomach, feeding the victim activated charcoal to bind the toxin, and taking standard life-support measures to keep the victim alive until the effect of the poison has worn off. There is no antidote for this toxin.
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