Ligand-gated ion channels

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Ligand-gated ion channels act as transmembrane channel that permits ions to enter the cell. They are triggered by the binding of a chemical messenger.

The ligand gated ion channels that are considered to be of the most importance by some are found in the nervous system. The ligands involved are the neurotransmitters that are released across the synaptic cleft. These neurotransmitters (often acetylcholine) then bind to their complementary receptors on the channels, causing them to open and allowing the stimulation of an action potential in the post synaptic neuron.[1]


  1. Purves D, Augustine GJ, Fitzpatrick D (2001). Neuroscience. (Sunderland: Sinauer Associates) in NCBI <> [accessed 27.11.2014]
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