Ligand-gated sodium channels

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Ligand-gated Na+ channels are found in the postsynaptic membrane of the neuromuscular junction[1]. After a neurotransmitter (acetylcholine) binds to its receptor the channel opens (undergoes a conformational change) allowing Na+ to enter the motor endplate and K+ to flow out[1][2]. This causes the motor endplate to depolarise. If the end plate potential reaches a high enough potential it will go on to trigger an action potential in the cell[1].


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Alberts, et al. Essential Cell Biology. 4th edition. Abingdon. Garland Science. Page 410-412
  2. Mheducationcom. Animation: Receptors Linked to a Channel Protein. [Accessed 5 December 2017]. Available from:
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