I've been trying to find a comprehensive explanation concerning the nature of the 'delay' in neurons' delayed rectifier potassium channels. As it's written in my intro to neuroscience textbook, these channels are voltage gated and become activated when the typical neuronal membrane reaches an electrical potential of approx. -40mV. While the channel is activated at this point, it only opens up after a delayed period of approx 1ms.

I'm mostly trying to clarify that this isn't an confusion in wording and that delayed rectifiers aren't actually activated when the inner membrane reaches a charge of approx +40mV which would be correlated (at least in textbook examples) with the '1ms delay', but caused by the actually typical charge observed at approx 1 ms of delay during an action potential.

Thanks so much. Let me know if I can clarify something. I know this wasn't necessarily so well asked


1 Answer 1


These channels are slow to respond. After depolarization they are activated, but only after a relatively long time. Their closing kinetics are also relatively slow. A definition is give here.


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