Ion-channel-coupled receptor

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The ion-channel-coupled receptors, also called ligand-gated ion channels, are one of the three main cell membrane receptor. They play an important role in the transmission of neuronal signals at the synapses and the neuromuscular junctions (NMJ).

Depending upon which neurotransmitter they bind, these receptors can be classified as excitatory and inhibitory.

Excitatory receptors

They are cation channels that depolarize the membrane towards the action potential.

Nicotinic Acetylcholine receptor (nAChR)

This cholinergic receptor was the first receptor in history to be indentified and named[1]. It binds the excitatory neurotrasmitter acetylcholine (ACh). They can be found in neurons of the CNS and the ANS ganglia, as well as in the muscle cells at the NMJ.

nAChRs are blocked by the snake venom alpha-bungarotoxin and the poisonous extract curare.

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