Illustration of a nerve synapse

Illustration of a nerve synapse

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Credit: JOHN BAVOSI/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Synapse. Illustration of a synapse, the junction between two nerve cells . Other nerve cell bodies are present (branched, with mauve nuclei). Synapses transmit electrical signals from one nerve cell to the next. When an electrical signal reaches a synapse it triggers the release of chemicals called neurotransmitters (red) from vesicles (pink) in the terminal swelling of the presynaptic cell. The vesicles burst through the membrane, and neurotransmitters cross a microscopic gap called the synaptic cleft, and bind to the receptor nerve cell. The neurotransmitter changes the permeability of the postsynaptic membrane, causing it to propagate an electrical impulse.

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Keywords: anatomy, artwork, cells, communication, exocytosis, fibre, human anatomy, human body, illustration, impulse, journey, journeying, journeys, nerve, nerve cell, nervous, nervous system, neurone, neurotransmitter, site of, synapse, synaptic vesicle, system, travel, travelling, travels

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