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Role of Calcium

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Submitted By shivamdesai
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Role of calcium in synapse transmission

Calcium is a natural mineral that is supposed to be ingested into the body by human beings in order to have a healthy life.Calcium has a role in maintaining the health of the skin, bones and cartilages, muscle coordination and ultimately the central nervous system (CNS).This means that humans cannot live without calcium (Xu, J et al), but it is only needed in small amounts, to the tune of milligrams.
A synapse is a space between two neurons in which neurotransmitters are released from the presynaptic neurons to exert an effect on the subsequent postsynaptic neuron.An action potential is generated in the pre-synaptic neuron by generating the influx of Na+ through the sodium channels and an efflux of the K+ ions via the Potassium channels.The action potential at the presynaptic terminal, triggers the influx of calcium into the terminal axon. The influx of calcium plays a functional role in the release of neurotransmitters from the presynaptic vesicles into the synaptic cleft. The experiment performed by Katz and Ricardo Melidi showed that presynaptic terminals that are treated with tetrodotoxin( binds sodium) are still capable of generating prolonged action potentials. The current was flowing through calcium channels instead of sodium. Another experiment by rodolfo llinas indicated presence of voltage gated calcium channels in presynaptic terminals. The experiment was carried out by using giant squid axon, confirmed the presence of voltage gated calcium channels in the presynaptic cell.Neurotransmitter releases right after calcium enters the specific voltage-dependent calcium channels,which basically means that calcium channels are involved in neurotransmission. Therefore, presynaptic action potentials results in influx of calcium (Katz and Miledi,1960).
In a presynaptic neuron, Small sacs that are referred to as...

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