# If depolarizing membrane potentials open voltage-gated sodium channels, what closes them?

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Al E. Share
Feb 7, 2018

Actually, EPSP's push the membrane potential to threshold, which initiates an action potential.

The action potential is "created" when the positively-charged $S 4$ unit of the voltage-gated $N {a}^{+}$ channel moves outward as a result of the $- 40 m V$ membrane potential. This rapidly depolarizes the membrane, where ${\lim}_{{V}_{m} \to {E}_{N a}} {V}_{m}$.

Then, they nearly instantaneously inactivate via an inactivation gate closing the channel intracellularly.

Contemporaneously, voltage-gated potassium channels (mainly the delayed rectifiers) open as a result of ${V}_{m} > 0$. These facilitate a large efflux of ${K}^{+}$, where ${\lim}_{{V}_{m} \to {E}_{K}} {V}_{m}$.

I like cellular-molecular neuroscience. :)

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