Ion Channels and the Agonist Spectrum

What are the differences between voltage-gated and ligand-ion gated channels? What functions do they have in the brain? Write 2 possible test questions and answers regarding these channels.


The ligand-gated ion and voltage-gated ion channels differ based on the way they open up. For instance, voltage-gated ion channels open up as a result of voltage response. On the other hand, ligand-gated ion channels open up due to ligand response. Ligand-gated ion and voltage-gated ion channels are important for the appropriate stimulation of the post-synaptic neuron.

They work in tandem in the body. They begin their roles in the body by the release of neurotransmitters into a synaptic cleft. The pre-synaptic neuron is responsible for the release of neurotransmitters (Li et al., 2014). The released neurotransmitters attach to the ligand-gated ion channels, resulting in the activation of these channels. The activation makes the ligand-gated ion channels to open to enable sodium influx, which accomplishes the depolarization of the cells.

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