chemical synapse

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A neuron–neuron or nerve–muscle junction where the signal passes from one cell to the other by means of a neurotransmitter substance released from the presynaptic cell that diffuses across the intervening extracellular space and binds to a receptor on the postsynaptic cell, causing that cell to respond (e.g. by opening ion channels and producing an action potential). An important feature is that signals pass in only one direction.

Subjects: Medicine and Health.

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