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Introduction to Axons at Rest

  • When axons are not conducting impulses (action potentials or depolarization events), they are said to be “at rest”. Unlike the term implies, resting neurons actually expend a lot of energy (ATP) distributing ions to both sides of the axon membrane.
  • Most of the ions are distributed by image descriptiontransporter and channel proteins embedded in the axon membrane.
An image showing the cell membrane of an axon enlarged
An image showing the cell membrane of an axon enlarged, the membrane contains all types of channels and transporters
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An image showing the cell membrane of an axon enlarged, the membrane contains all types of channels and transporters
An image showing the cell membrane of an axon enlarged, the ICF is labeled, the membrane contains all types of channels and transporters
An image showing the cell membrane of an axon enlarged, the ECF and ICF are labeled, the membrane contains all types of channels and transporters
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  • As long as the polarized state is maintained, axons will not produce an impulse, but they are ready to do so.