JOHN BAVOSI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOHN BAVOSI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Nerve synapse. Artwork of the junction between two nerve cells. The junction between a nerve cell (seen in background) and another cell is called a synapse and this is where chemicals known as neurotransmitters (red spheres) cross the gap to affect the postsynaptic cell. The incoming nerve impulse causes release of the neurotransmitter, which crosses the gap and binds to receptors (green) on the receiving nerve cell. This causes the receptors to open and allow ions (pink spheres) to flow in and out of the cell, causing the outgoing nerve impulse. Drugs can bind to receptors to affect nerves. Mitochondria (green) produce energy within cells.
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