A signal travels down a neuron via an action potential. This can be thought of like a series of dominoes. All along the neuron's membrane are pumps, these pumps push sodium out of the neuron in exchange for potassium using an energy source called ATP. In the body, most of the fluid is high in sodium, so these pumps work very hard to keep the sodium out. On the other hand, as a rule, there isn't much potassium floating around the body (there is some, but not nearly as much as the sodium). As a result, there is a big imbalance. There is a lot of sodium outside the side, but not much inside the cell (because of the pumps), on the other hand, there are lots of potassium in the neuron and not much outside th...
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... neuron membrane and to empty the acetylcholine into the neuromuscular junction. The neurotransmitters cross the gap and bind to the nicotinic receptors, these receptors are also a sodium and potassium channel. These are called “ligand gated channels.” This causes the the muscle cell membrane (the muscle end plate) at that point to depolarize... this is called a miniature end plate potential (miniature because it only occurs at that one small spot, and end plate potential. This end plate potential is not an action potential, but just the depolarization of the end plate at that small spot. Eventually, with enough signals from the neuron, the whole muscle membrane will depolarize causing an action potential which will travel into the muscle tissue. The action potential travels into the T tubules and down to the sarcoplasmic reticulum where it releases calcium.
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