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 #S4# unit of the voltage-gated #Na^+# channel moves outward as a result of the #-40mV# membrane potential. This rapidly depolarizes the membrane, where #lim_(V_m to E_(Na))V_m#.

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

mutagenetix.utsouthwestern.edu

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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