#2 Action potential and synaptic transmission

In this week we learned about how action potential forms and is conducted in neurons, and how synaptic transmission works. The basic principle of an action potential and synapses were pretty easy to understand, but there is much more detailed information about them to understand than just the basics.

One thing that come to our mind when reading the book, was that there was only little that was said about the sodium-potassium pump. We recall from high school books, that this was of a greater importance in action potential. Many of the other things in the course book were familiar to us already also from high school biology books but still there was a lot of new additional information to this. For example the details of quantal release of neurotransmitters were quite new to us.

Interesting facts about these topic were all the medicines, that can be used to block action potential either in axons or in synapses. For example, we knew in practice that puffer fishes are really poisonous, but we didn’t know it was due to tetrodotoxin. Tetrodotoxin is a poison, that blocks the sodium channels in neurons and prevents action potential to be transmitted by this way.

Posted by Rosa Penttinen

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