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BIO181-06LC, Fall 2016
Anatomy & Physiology I
Prof. Patricio Mujica
EXAM 2 ? EXTRA CREDIT
When you feel thirst, your instinct of self-preservation compels you to hydrate your body by drinking copious
amounts of Coca-Cola. To do this, your brain instructs your muscles to perform a specific set of movements
which involve extending your arm, grabbing the glass, and bringing it close to your mouth to ingest the healthy,
deliciously cold soft drink. The executive order is generated in the motor control centers of your cerebral
cortex, which then relay this information to the motor tracts that travel down your spinal cord to the level of the
cervical vertebrae, where a synapse is established with the motor neurons that innervate your brachialis,
biceps brachii and triceps brachii muscles, which in turn contract or extend in order to perform fine-tuned
movement. This movement involves the action of the arm muscles on your forearm bones across the elbow
joint (for the sake of simplicity we will ignore the hand movements).
? that the synapse between the upper (spinal) motor neuron and the lower (peripheral) motor neuron
requires the neurotransmitter acetylcholine (ACh); and
? that ACh binds its ionotropic receptor AChR,
Explain with all possible detail the following sequence of events:
a) the transmission of the nerve impulse from the upper to the lower (peripheral) motor neuron
b) the generation and propagation of the nerve impulse through the peripheral motor neuron
c) the events that occur at the neuromuscular junctions (NMJs) of all motor units involved in the
d) the events that follow NMJ activity and lead to contraction of muscle fibers at the brachialis, biceps
brachii and triceps brachii muscles; don't forget to point out which of these muscles exert the main
force, and which ones add fine-tuning or opposing forces
e) what are the structures involved in the transmission of tension from the contracting muscles to the
bones in the forearm? Be explicit with the anatomy of muscles, bones and joints and its supporting
structures, including muscle origin and insertions, and proximal and distal articulations
f) what happens in the muscles after you have quenched your thirst and decide to relax your muscles?
Provide evidence of your knowledge about the molecular processes involved, when pertinent. For
example: generation of action potentials, in both neurons and muscle fibers, involves membrane depolarization
due to opening of ion channels. You must specify what type of channels, the effect on channel opening on
membrane potential, how the membrane repolarizes and how the effect is propagated along the membrane,
etc; same thing for neurotransmission at the NMJ, excitation-contraction coupling and all molecular events
involved in the processes outlined above. Use the Amerman textbook as a guide and provide a complete
answer. No credit will be given to partially complete answers.
You must hand-write this assignment. I will not accept typed work. There will be no limit on the number of
pages given the scope of this assignment, but I ask you to be mindful of both your time and mine when it
comes to the length of your submission.
Deadline: Saturday, November 19, 11 AM (immediately after class). You might accrue up to 10 extra points
(equivalent to 10 correct exam questions).
This question was answered on: Sep 18, 2020
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