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Encyclopedia > Axolemma

The axolemma is the membrane of a neuron's axon. It is responsible for maintaining the cell's membrane potential, and it contains channels through which ions can flow. This changes the voltage inside the axon and can depolarize or hyperpolarize the cell. Adequate depolarization will lead to an action potential, which will travel down the axon in a self-propagating manner, as more ion channels open due to stimulation by the influx of positive ions. Drawing of a cell membrane A component of every biological cell, the selectively permeable cell membrane (or plasma membrane or plasmalemma) is a thin and structured bilayer of phospholipid and protein molecules that envelopes the cell. ... Neurons (also spelled neurones or called nerve cells) are the primary cells of the nervous system. ... An axon, or nerve fibre, is a long slender projection of a nerve cell, or neuron, which conducts electrical impulses away from the neurons cell body or soma. ... Cells in culture, stained for keratin (red) and DNA (green) The cell is the structural and functional unit of all living organisms, and are sometimes called the building blocks of life. ... Membrane potential (or transmembrane potential or transmembrane potential difference or transmembrane potential gradient), is the electrical potential difference (voltage) across a cells plasma membrane. ... Another, unrelated ion channeling process is part of ion implantation. ... ... This article may be too technical for most readers to understand. ... In biology, depolarization is the event a cell undergoes when its membrane potential grows more positive with respect to the extracellular solution. ... Hyperpolarization has several meanings: In biology, hyperpolarization occurs when a cells membrane potential dips below its resting level. ... A. Schematic of an electrophysiological recording of an action potential showing the various phases which occur as the wave passes a point on a cell membrane. ...

If the axolemma is damaged, it becomes unable to perform its vital role of maintaining the concentration gradient of ions on the outside of the cell. When these ions rush down their gradient into the cell, they can cause a number of different cellular processes that lead to cellular damage and sometimes death. An ion gradient is a concentration gradient of ions, it can be called an electrochemical potential gradient of ions across membranes. ...



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