How are neurons capable of producing nerve impulses? By the way, what is a nerve impulse? What is it that supports it? Let’s see how this happens. The secret of the activity of neurons lies in their cell membrane. This is excitable, that is, a nerve impulse can be triggered by electrical, chemical or mechanical stimulation.

The cell membrane acts as a microscopic electrical circuit. First, it acts as a capacitor that can be charged electrically on both sides since it has a large surface and is made of lipids (fat) very impermeable to electrical charges (an insulating dielectric). Moreover, as in electron, the cell membrane obeys the Ohm law (U = RxI) where the voltage (U) is the product of the resistance (R) and the intensity of the electric current (I). Voltage, or voltage, is formed by the difference between the distribution of electrical charges on either side of the cell membrane. The source of this difference in the distribution of electrical charges comes from the ion exchange pumps. Electric current and resistance, I should rather say electric currents and resistances, are provided by special proteins present in the membrane which are called ion channels. They are the main actors of nerve impulses.

Being excitable involves being in a state ready to be excited. Neurons work actively to create this excitable state by using mechanisms common to all cells. Like other cells in the body, neurons generate a difference in the concentration of ions between the inside and outside of the cell, using proteins inserted into the cell membrane known as “exchange pumps” ion. ” Ion exchange pumps can be considered as the electrical chargers of cell membranes. The sodium-potassium ion exchange pump, the Na + / K + pump , is the most famous of all. With the quiet constancy of the needy, It exits sodium ions (Na + ) and introduces potassium (K + ) ions by burning the ATP, the cellular fuel. Thus, sodium ions (Na + ) are concentrated in the external environment of the neuron, while potassium (K + ) ions are concentrated inside the cells. Similarly, calcium (Ca ++ ) ions are concentrated out of the cells. For each type of ions, there is therefore a concentration gradient that is created: one side of the membrane is much more concentrated than the other side. Inside the cells. Similarly, calcium (Ca ++ ) ions are concentrated out of the cells. For each type of ions, there is therefore a concentration gradient that is created: one side of the membrane is much more concentrated than the other side. Inside the cells. Similarly, calcium (Ca ++ ) ions are concentrated out of the cells. For each type of ions, there is therefore a concentration gradient that is created: one side of the membrane is much more concentrated than the other side.

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Last Modified: July 18, 2017