2-Minute Neuroscience: Neuromuscular Junction
February 5, 2016
In this video I discuss the neuromuscular junction. The term neuromuscular junction refers to a synapse between a motor neuron and muscle fiber; activity here is essential for muscle contraction and movement. At the neuromuscular junction, the synaptic boutons of a motor neuron are situated over a specialized region of muscle called the end plate. The synaptic boutons release acetycholine, which travels across the synaptic cleft and activates acetylcholine receptors on the muscle fiber. This causes excitation of the muscle cell, leading to muscle contraction. Excess acetylcoholine is removed from the synaptic cleft by the enzyme acetylcholinesterase.