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When there is a change in voltage in the terminal bouton, voltage-gated calcium channels embedded in the membranes of these boutons become activated.These allow Ca2 ions to diffuse through these channels and bind with synaptic vesicles within the terminal boutons.

Cellular neuroscience examines the various types of neurons, the functions of different neurons, the influence of neurons upon each other, how neurons work together.

An action potential can be divided into several sequential phases: threshold, rising phase, falling phase, undershoot phase, and recovery.

Following several local graded depolarizations of the membrane potential, the threshold of excitation is reached, voltage-gated sodium channels are activated, which leads to an influx of Na ions.

Metabotropic receptors on the other hand activate second messenger cascade systems that result in the opening of ion channel located some place else on the same postsynaptic membrane.

Although slower than ionotropic receptors that function as on-and-off switches, metabotropic receptors have the advantage of changing the cell's responsiveness to ions and other metabolites, examples being gamma amino-butyric acid (inhibitory transmitter), glutamic acid (excitatory transmitter), dopamine, norepinephrine, epinephrine, melanin, serotonin, melatonin, and substance P.

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