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There are two families of receptors: ionotropic and metabotropic receptors.
Ionotropic receptors are a combination of a receptor and an ion channel.
After neurotransmitters are synthesized, they are packaged and stored in vesicles.
These vesicles are pooled together in terminal boutons of the presynaptic neuron.
When there is a change in voltage in the terminal bouton, voltage-gated calcium channels embedded in the membranes of these boutons become activated.
These allow Ca2 ions to diffuse through these channels and bind with synaptic vesicles within the terminal boutons.
Neurons are diverse with respect to morphology and function.
Repolarization of the membrane potential continues, resulting in an undershoot phase or absolute refractory period.When ionotropic receptors are activated, certain ion species such as Na to enter the postsynaptic neuron, which depolarizes the postsynaptic membrane.If more of the same type of postsynaptic receptors are activated, then more Na will enter the postsynaptic membrane and depolarize cell.Once bounded with Ca2 , the vesicles dock and fuse with the presynaptic membrane, and release neurotransmitters into the synaptic cleft by a process known as exocytosis.The neurotransmitters then diffuse across the synaptic cleft and bind to postsynaptic receptors embedded on the postsynaptic membrane of another neuron.