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Synaptic Transmission

An action potential arriving at the axon terminal depolarizes the terminal region and initiates an influx of Ca++ ions into the region. As a result, small vesicles containing neurotransmitter fuse with the membrane at the synapse and release this transmitter into the synaptic cleft, the space between the presynaptic and postsynaptic neuronal membranes. Crossing the cleft by diffusion, the transmitter arrives at the postsynaptic membrane and binds and interact with the receptor molecules embedded in the membrane. ../figures/synapse.gif

Ruye Wang