Voltage Gated Calcium Channels

Synonyms

VDCC; Voltage-dependent calcium channels Definition

Voltage-gated calcium channels (VDCC) are a group of ion channels that permit the influx of calcium under conditions of changes in voltage (depolarization of the membrane). These channels can be particularly important as the influx of calcium into the presynaptic cell may be required for the release of transmitter substance into the synaptic cleft. Chronic exposure to ► alcohol can cause an increase in the number of these channels (i.e., upregula-tion). Increasing the number of these channels can lead to an increased or prolonged duration of transmitter release, which may in turn lead to an increased hyperexcitability in the neural circuit.

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