Intracellular and extracellular signatures of action potentials initiated in the axon

Abstract : The action potential is considered one of the major signaling events in the brain.Although it has been studied for years, many questions remain unanswered. The present work is dedicated to the study of action potential generation, its impact on extracellular field and local network establishment. We considered three questions: Firstly, (i) we asked why mammalian neurons often have characteristically sharp onset in the somatic recordings of action potentials. We show that the Critical Resistive Coupling Hypothesis is sufficient to explain how the action potential is initiated in the axon initial segment to provide for the ‘kink’ in the soma, while the Back propagation Hypothesis is not sufficient to explain it. Next, (ii)we asked how the placement of the axon initial segment might affect the extracellular field. We show that the impact of the axon initial segment position on the shape and amplitude ofextracellular action potential depends on the distance between the recording site andthe axon and on its position along the soma–axon initial segment axis. Finally, (iii)we inquired if a single action potential might have an effect on the network activity. Weshow that a single action potential from a single pyramidal neuron in the hippocampus can trigger sharp-wave ripple activity consisting of the firing of multiple interneurons.Altogether, our results show that action potentials are complex events shaped by the biochemistry of the neuronal membrane and morphology of the axon. In addition these features strongly modulate the neuron’s impact on the extracellular field and network activity.
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Maria Telenczuk. Intracellular and extracellular signatures of action potentials initiated in the axon. Neurons and Cognition [q-bio.NC]. Université Pierre et Marie Curie - Paris VI, 2016. English. ⟨NNT : 2016PA066211⟩. ⟨tel-01425136⟩

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