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ecstasy


            
             Experiment 1 Synaptic transmission (In Vitro methods).
             The isolated chick biventer-cervicis muscle- The mechanism of action of depolarising and non depolarising blockers.
             Introduction.
             This experiment was an investigation into the mechanism by which depolarising and non depolarising blockers have their effect on the nicotinic receptors of the neuromuscular junction. The nicotinic receptor of the neuromuscular junction is an ionotropic, ligand gated receptor which when stimulated by acetylcholine (or another agonist e.g. Nicotine) opens and allows the passage of sodium ions through the channel into the intracellular environment whilst potassium ions are simultaneously passing through the channel to the extracellular environment. This causes a depolarisation leading to an action potential. This via the influx of calcium from voltage gated calcium channels causes muscle contraction. .
             This experiment is concerned with the blocking of the nicotinic receptor, and therefore decreasing muscle contractility, by the mechanisms of depolarising and non depolarising blockers and investigating the results to allow us to distinguish between these two kinds of blockers.
             The basic action of these (without going into too much detail) is that a depolarising blocker basically works by stimulating the nicotinic receptor so much that the receptor becomes desensitized to any agonist action. This mechanism differs from the action of non depolarising blockers greatly. They have their effect by competing with acetylcholine for receptor sites. They are antagonists, so they have no effect on the receptor other that to deprive the active site to an agonist. The experiment is to see if there is a difference in the results from both that would allow the nature of the drugs used to be used.
             Method.
             Without proceeding into too much detail the procedure for the experiment is as follows: The biventer-cervicis muscles of a 2-12 day year old chick were taken and set up in an organ bath by methods discussed in the practical procedure guide.


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