Neurotransmitters: Animated Material

The release of transmitters into the synaptic cleft

This animated image illustrates the main events thought to be involved in neurotransmission.
An action potential causes the release of transmitters into the synaptic cleft.
Transmitters diffuse through the aqueous material of the cleft and bind to postsynaptic receptors.
Transmitters effect postsynaptic membrane potential.
Transmitters then become detached from receptors and either:
  • diffuse through extracellular fluid (red transmitter), or
  • undergo reuptake (blue transmitter), or
  • are broken down by enzymes (yellow transmitter)

Here are some enlarged still images from the animation

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