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Electrical Synapse – Basic Structure

  • One way in which information is transferred between neighboring neurons is the electrical synapse.
  • Neurons at electrical synapses are joined by image descriptiongap junctions. In these areas, the intercellular space narrows to 2-4 nm and adjacent neurons communicate through interconnecting channel proteins.
An image showing Electrical synapse between 2 neurons (presynaptic neuron and postsynaptic neuron)
An image showing Gap junction of an Electrical synapse between 2 neurons (presynaptic neuron and postsynaptic neuron)
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  • The channels are called image descriptionconnexons, and each is composed of six connexin protein subunits. Pairs of opposing connexons form water-filled pores that bridge the gap between neuron plasma membranes.
An image showing Gap junction of an Electrical synapse between 2 neurons (presynaptic neuron and postsynaptic neuron)
An image showing Connexons of the Gap junction of an Electrical synapse between 2 neurons (presynaptic neuron and postsynaptic neuron)
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  • The channels allow image descriptionionic current (or action potentials) to move quickly from one neuron to the next.
An image showing Gap junction of an Electrical synapse between 2 neurons (presynaptic neuron and postsynaptic neuron)
An image showing ions diffusion through the connexons of the gap junction of an electrical synapse which is between presynaptic and postsynaptic neurons
An image showing ions diffusion through the connexons of the gap junction of an electrical synapse which is between presynaptic and postsynaptic neurons
An image showing ions diffusion through the connexons of the gap junction of an electrical synapse which is between presynaptic and postsynaptic neurons
An image showing ions diffusion through the connexons of the gap junction of an electrical synapse which is between presynaptic and postsynaptic neurons
An image showing ions diffusion through the connexons of the gap junction of an electrical synapse which is between presynaptic and postsynaptic neurons
An image showing ions diffusion through the connexons of the gap junction of an electrical synapse which is between presynaptic and postsynaptic neurons
An image showing ions diffusion through the connexons of the gap junction of an electrical synapse which is between presynaptic and postsynaptic neurons
An image showing ions diffusion through the connexons of the gap junction of an electrical synapse which is between presynaptic and postsynaptic neurons
An image showing ions diffusion through the connexons of the gap junction of an electrical synapse which is between presynaptic and postsynaptic neurons
An image showing ions diffusion through the connexons of the gap junction of an electrical synapse which is between presynaptic and postsynaptic neurons
An image showing ions diffusion through the connexons of the gap junction of an electrical synapse which is between presynaptic and postsynaptic neurons
An image showing ions diffusion through the connexons of the gap junction of an electrical synapse which is between presynaptic and postsynaptic neurons
An image showing ions diffusion through the connexons of the gap junction of an electrical synapse which is between presynaptic and postsynaptic neurons
An image showing ions diffusion through the connexons of the gap junction of an electrical synapse which is between presynaptic and postsynaptic neurons
An image showing ions diffusion through the connexons of the gap junction of an electrical synapse which is between presynaptic and postsynaptic neurons
An image showing ions diffusion through the connexons of the gap junction of an electrical synapse which is between presynaptic and postsynaptic neurons
An image showing ions diffusion through the connexons of the gap junction of an electrical synapse which is between presynaptic and postsynaptic neurons
An image showing ions diffusion through the connexons of the gap junction of an electrical synapse which is between presynaptic and postsynaptic neurons
  • Although the synaptic transmission is rapid, it is not easily modified. Because of this limitation, electrical synapses are relatively uncommon. They most frequently occur in areas of the brain where groups of neurons need to be synchronized (“fire” simultaneously).