Module 6: Figure membrane and cytosolic oscillators
The main features of membrane and cytosolic oscillators.
The fluctuations in membrane potential that characterize membrane oscillators are generated by the periodic opening of K+ channels that cause hyperpolarization and the opening of Na+ or Ca2+ channels responsible for depolarization. By contrast, cytosolic oscillators depend upon the periodic release of Ca2+ from the endoplasmic reticulum by inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (InsP3) receptors. The continuation of this oscillator is critically dependent upon a constant input of Ca2+ entering from the outside (further details of the mechanism are given in Module 6: Figure Ca2+ oscillation model).