Facilitation of Ca2+ current in excitable cells

Trends Neurosci. 1996 Jan;19(1):35-43. doi: 10.1016/0166-2236(96)81865-0.


Voltage-dependent Ca2+ channels are one of the main routes for the entry of Ca2+ into excitable cells. These channels are unique in cell-signalling terms in that they can transduce an electrical signal (membrane depolarization) via Ca2+ entry into a chemical signal, by virtue of the diverse range of intracellular Ca(2+)-dependent enzymes and processes. In a variety of cell types, currents through voltage-dependent Ca2+ channels can be increased in amplitude by a number of means. Although the term facilitation was originally defined as an increase of Ca2+ current resulting from one or a train of prepulses to depolarizing voltages, there is a great deal of overlap between facilitation by this means and enhancement by other routes, such as phosphorylation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Calcium Channels / physiology*
  • Chromaffin System / physiology*
  • GTP-Binding Proteins / physiology
  • Humans
  • Molecular Structure
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*


  • Calcium Channels
  • GTP-Binding Proteins