The Human Brain : From Neurone to Nervous System

GLIAL CONNECTIONS: ELECTRICAL SYNAPSES


  1. Electrical synapses are uncommon in normal mammalian neurones, where chemical transmission is the main form of communication between cells. Electrical synapses however do occur between astrocytes and allow them to coordinate their activities.

  2. Electrical synapses occur where the cell membranes of two cells come into very close contact, and are joined together by proteins called connexins, which form gap junctions. Ions can pass through gap junctions in either direction and electrical events in one cell are quickly mimicked by the adjacent cell.

  3. The intercalated disc between cardiac myocytes is a site where gap junctions are found, and the transmission of the cardiac action potential between adjacent myocytes occurs because of these junctions.

  4. Key Words : electrical synapses, connexins




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