Nervous System

Neuron Function

How do leak channels differ from voltage-gated channels?

Leak channels, also called passive channels, are always open, allowing the passage of sodium ions (Na ) and potassium ions (K ) across the membrane to maintain the resting membrane potential of –70 millivolts. Voltage-gated ion channels open and close in response to specific changes in the membrane potential. They may be chemically regulated, voltage regulated, or mechanically regulated. Most gated channels are closed at the resting potential.


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