Ligand-gated ion channels

Definition

Ligand-gated ion channels are ion channels that are opened or closed (gated) by ligands, generally small molecules such as the second messenger cAMP and neurotransmitters. Ligand-gated ion channels lead to depolarization or hyperpolarization of the membrane. When located at synapses, ligand-gated ion channels convert the neurotransmitter signal from the pre-synaptic neuron into post-synaptic electrical signals.

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