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Graphical

synapseCell junction

Definition

Synapses are the communicating cell-cell junctions that allow signals to pass from a nerve cell to a target cell. In a chemical synapse, the signal is carried by a neurotransmitter which diffuses across a narrow synaptic cleft and activates a receptor on the postsynaptic membrane of the target cell. The target may be a dendrite, cell body, neuronal axon, a specialized region of a muscle or a secretory cell. In an electrical synapse, a direct connection is made between the cytoplasms of two cells via gap junctions.

Synonyms

Category

› Cellular component

Keywords

Synapse

GOi

synapse [ GO:0045202 ]