Excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters


Excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters

Neurotransmitters can be excitatory, inhibitory or both.

Excitatory neurotransmitters depolarise the postsynaptic membrane, making it fire an action potential if the threshold is reached. 

Example - Acetylcholine is an excitatory neurotransmitter. It binds to cholinergic receptors to cause an action potential in the postsynaptic membrane. 

Inhibitory neurotransmitters hyperpolarise the postsynaptic membrane, preventing it from firing an action potential. 

Example - GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter. When it binds to its receptors it causes potassium ion channels to open on the postsynaptic membrane, hyperpolarising the neurone. 

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