Neuromuscular junction

Each muscle fiber is innervated by a branch of an alpha motor neuron. The synapse between the somatic motor neuron and the muscle fiber is referred to as the neuromuscular junction. Action potentials in the motor neuron cause release of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Binding of acetylcholine to its receptors on the muscle fiber causes an increase in the permeability to Na+ and K+ ions. The ensuing depolarization generates an action potential that travels along the surface of the muscle fiber in either direction that is referred to as a propagated action potential. This action potential elicits the intracellular events that lead to muscle contraction.

Essentials of Human Physiology

Essentials of Human Physiology

This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.

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