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Neurotransmitter Release At Cholinergic Synapses

  • Cholinergic synapses are chemical synapses that that use acetylcholine molecules as the neurotransmitter.
  • Synaptic transmission begins when an action potential or electrochemical image descriptionimpulse reaches the synaptic knob of a presynaptic neuron.
  • image descriptionCa2+ channels open in response, and Ca2+ ions diffuse into the synaptic knob. The influx of Ca2+ causes many of the synaptic vesicles to fuse with the presynaptic membrane.

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  • A few of these molecules diffuse across the synaptic cleft and bind to the acetylcholine receptors that are embedded in the membrane of the postsynaptic neuron.