Synaptic Signaling

Neurons transmits chemical signal across synapses. The synapse converts the electrical signal of the action potential in the pre synaptic cell into a chemical signal.

When the action potential reaches then nerve terminal it opens voltage-gated calcium channels in the plasma membrane allowing calcium ions to flow into the terminal.


Increased calcium in the nerve terminal stimulates synaptic vesicle to fuse with the plasma membrane releasing the neural transmitter cargo into the synaptic cleft.

Released neuro transmitters diffuse across the synaptic cleft where the bind to and open transmitter gated ion channels in plasma membrane of postsynaptic cell.

Resulting ion flows depolarize the plasma membrane of the postsynaptic cell, thereby converting neurotransmitters chemical signal back into an electrical one that can be propagated as a new action potential.

Enzymes that destroy it or reuptake into nerve terminals or neighboring cells remove neural transmitter quickly from synaptic cleft.

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