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Neural firing usually occurs in the form of spike series. Several action potentials are happening in a quick succession. Whereas Na/K pumps (and other pumps) restore ion gradients to allow processes that take place during an action potential.

Now my question is, what would happen if we completely blocked these pumps and immediately after, we started exciting a neuron? Would the neuron be able to fire a few times before losing the gradients? Or, would one single spike completely diminish the gradients and without restoration by pumps, a second AP would be impossible?

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  • $\begingroup$ For those who might wonder about the same problem, I've found an answer to my question. During a single AP in the soma, transmembrane currents are so brief in time that only small fractions of the ion gradients are being used up. Theoretically, the cell should be able to exhibit numerous APs before exhausting its ion gradients to the point where it can no longer fire. $\endgroup$ – CanisLupusOccidentalis May 15 '20 at 15:25

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