from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Situated behind or occurring after a synapse: postsynaptic neurons.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. in a synapse, of or pertaining to the neuron that bears receptors for neurotransmitter released into the synaptic cleft by the presynaptic neuron


post- +‎ synaptic. (Wiktionary)


  • This region is known as the postsynaptic density (PSD).


  • Direct-acting pressors have their action extracellularly at postsynaptic receptors. 4 The evaluation of liver function at initial presentation andfour tosix weeks following recovery is recommended, although the incidence of hepatotoxicity following acute overdose is rare. 5 Caution should be exercised in the use of sedative/hypnotics for CNS excitation because of synergistic depressant effects during overdose.

    Monamine Oxidase Inhibitors

  • The postsynaptic receptors become supersensitive to neurotransmitter effects and may be related to an increase in the number of alpha and beta receptors. 4 This may occur in compensation for chronic cocaine use when norepinephrine becomes depleted. 4

    Cocaine Toxicity

  • Accumulation of the neurotransmitters in the synaptic cleft occurs provoking an increase in the stimulation of postsynaptic receptors. 3

    Cocaine Toxicity

  • The neurotransmitter diffuses across the synaptic junction and binds to receptors on the postsynaptic membrane.


  • Following binding of the neurotransmitter with a receptor, the postsynaptic membrane depolarizes which results in the generation of an impulse on the next neuron or the effector cell, e.g., muscle cell or secretory cell.


  • After the impulse has again been initiated, the neurotransmitter-complex must be inactivated otherwise impulses (above and beyond the original impulse) will continue and can exhaust the postsynaptic event causing muscle paralysis, for example.


  • Generally, neurotoxins affecting neurotransmission act to increase or decrease the release of a neurotransmitter at the presynaptic membrane, block receptors at the postsynaptic membrane, or modify the inactivation process of the neurotransmitter.


  • This starts the process of impulse/action potential generation in the postsynaptic neuron or receptor cell.


  • Strychnine inhibits the neurotransmitter glycine at postsynaptic sites resulting in an increased level of neuronal excitability in the CNS.



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