Na+ imaging reveals little difference in action potential–evoked Na+ influx between axon and soma
Fleidervish, Ilya A.
Gutnick, Michael J.
Ross, William N.
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In cortical pyramidal neurons, the axon initial segment (AIS) plays a pivotal role in synaptic integration. It has been asserted that this property reflects a high density of Na+ channels in AIS. However, we here report that AP–associated Na+ flux, as measured by high–speed fluorescence Na+ imaging, is about 3 times larger in the rat AIS than in the soma. Spike evoked Na+ flux in the AIS and the first node of Ranvier is about the same, and in the basal dendrites it is about 8 times lower. At near threshold voltages persistent Na+ conductance is almost entirely axonal. Finally, we report that on a time scale of seconds, passive diffusion and not pumping is responsible for maintaining transmembrane Na+ gradients in thin axons during high frequency AP firing. In computer simulations, these data were consistent with the known features of AP generation in these neurons.
Author Posting. © The Authors, 2010. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of Nature Publishing Group for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Nature Neuroscience 13 (2010): 852-860, doi:10.1038/nn.2574.