Dec 18, 2013

Sharpness of spike initiation in neurons explained by compartmentalization

PLoS Computational Biology
Romain Brette

Abstract

In cortical neurons, spikes are initiated in the axon initial segment. Seen at the soma, they appear surprisingly sharp. A standard explanation is that the current coming from the axon becomes sharp as the spike is actively backpropagated to the soma. However, sharp initiation of spikes is also seen in the input-output properties of neurons, and not only in the somatic shape of spikes; for example, cortical neurons can transmit high frequency signals. An alternative hypothesis is that Na channels cooperate, but it is not currently supported by direct experimental evidence. I propose a simple explanation based on the compartmentalization of spike initiation. When Na channels are placed in the axon, the soma acts as a current sink for the Na current. I show that there is a critical distance to the soma above which an instability occurs, so that Na channels open abruptly rather than gradually as a function of somatic voltage.

Mentioned in this Paper

Initial Segment of Axon
Calcium
Resting Potentials
Neurons
Action Potentials
Anatomic Bifurcation
Transcription Initiation
PDZK1 gene
Signal Transmission
SCN2A gene

Trending Feeds

COVID-19

Coronaviruses encompass a large family of viruses that cause the common cold as well as more serious diseases, such as the ongoing outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19; formally known as 2019-nCoV). Coronaviruses can spread from animals to humans; symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties; in more severe cases, infection can lead to death. This feed covers recent research on COVID-19.

Bone Marrow Neoplasms

Bone Marrow Neoplasms are cancers that occur in the bone marrow. Discover the latest research on Bone Marrow Neoplasms here.

IGA Glomerulonephritis

IgA glomerulonephritis is a chronic form of glomerulonephritis characterized by deposits of predominantly Iimmunoglobin A in the mesangial area. Discover the latest research on IgA glomerulonephritis here.

Cryogenic Electron Microscopy

Cryogenic electron microscopy (Cryo-EM) allows the determination of biological macromolecules and their assemblies at a near-atomic resolution. Here is the latest research.

STING Receptor Agonists

Stimulator of IFN genes (STING) are a group of transmembrane proteins that are involved in the induction of type I interferon that is important in the innate immune response. The stimulation of STING has been an active area of research in the treatment of cancer and infectious diseases. Here is the latest research on STING receptor agonists.

LRRK2 & Immunity During Infection

Mutations in the LRRK2 gene are a risk-factor for developing Parkinson’s disease. However, LRRK2 has been shown to function as a central regulator of vesicular trafficking, infection, immunity, and inflammation. Here is the latest research on the role of this kinase on immunity during infection.

Antiphospholipid Syndrome

Antiphospholipid syndrome or antiphospholipid antibody syndrome (APS or APLS), is an autoimmune, hypercoagulable state caused by the presence of antibodies directed against phospholipids.

Meningococcal Myelitis

Meningococcal myelitis is characterized by inflammation and myelin damage to the meninges and spinal cord. Discover the latest research on meningococcal myelitis here.

Alzheimer's Disease: MS4A

Variants within membrane-spanning 4-domains subfamily A (MS4A) gene cluster have recently been implicated in Alzheimer's disease by recent genome-wide association studies. Here is the latest research.