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definitions - depolarization

depolarization (n.)

1.a loss of polarity or polarization

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Merriam Webster

DepolarizationDe*po`lar*i*za"tion (?), n. [Cf. F. dépolarisation.] The act of depriving of polarity, or the result of such action; reduction to an unpolarized condition.

Depolarization of light (Opt.), a change in the plane of polarization of rays, especially by a crystalline medium, such that the light which had been extinguished by the analyzer reappears as if the polarization had been anulled. The word is inappropriate, as the ray does not return to the unpolarized condition.

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synonyms - depolarization

depolarization (n.)

depolarisation

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Wikipedia

Depolarization

                   

In biology, depolarization is a change in a cell's membrane potential, making it more positive, or less negative. In neurons and some other cells, a large enough depolarization may result in an action potential. Hyperpolarization is the opposite of depolarization, and inhibits the rise of an action potential.

Contents

  Mechanism

If, for example, a cell has a resting potential of -70mV, once the membrane potential changes to -50mV, then the cell has been depolarized. Depolarization is often caused by influx of cations, e.g. Na+ through Na+ channels, or Ca2+ through Ca2+ channels. On the other hand, efflux of K+ through K+ channels inhibits depolarization, as does influx of Cl (an anion) through Cl channels. If a cell has K+ or Cl currents at rest, then inhibition of those currents will also result in a depolarization.

Because depolarization is a change in membrane voltage, electrophysiologists measure it using current clamp techniques. In voltage clamp, the membrane currents giving rise to depolarization are either an increase in inward current, or a decrease in outward current.

  Depolarization blockers

There are drugs, called depolarization blocking agents, that inhibit depolarization, e.g. by blocking the channels responsible for depolarization, or by opening K+ channels. Examples include the nicotinic agonists suxamethonium and decamethonium.[1]

  References

  1. ^ Rang, H. P. (2003). Pharmacology. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone. ISBN 0-443-07145-4.  Page 149

  External links

   
               

 

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