Figure 281

Neuromuscular transmission. Transmitter release at the motor nerve terminal occurs by exocytosis of synaptic vesicles that contain acetylcholine (ACh). The process is enhanced by an action potential that depolarizes the membrane and allows Ca++ entry through channels at the active sites. ACh may be hydrolyzed by acetylcholinesterase (AChE) or bind to receptors (AChRs) located at the peaks of the subsynaptic folds. Simultaneous activation of many AChRs produces an end plate current, which generates an action potential in the adjacent muscle membrane.

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