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Nat Rev Neurosci. 2010 Aug;11(8):552-62. doi: 10.1038/nrn2852. Epub 2010 Jul 14.

The axon initial segment and the maintenance of neuronal polarity.

Author information

1
Department of Neuroscience, Baylor College of Medicine, One Baylor Plaza, Houston, Texas 77030, USA. Rasband@bcm.edu

Abstract

Ion channel clustering at the axon initial segment (AIS) and nodes of Ranvier has been suggested to be a key evolutionary innovation that enabled the development of the complex vertebrate nervous system. This innovation epitomizes a signature feature of neurons, namely polarity. The mechanisms that establish neuronal polarity, channel clustering and axon-dendrite identity during development are becoming clearer. However, much less is known about how polarity is maintained throughout life. Here, I review the role of the AIS in the development and maintenance of neuronal polarity and discuss how disrupted polarity may be a common component of many diseases and injuries that affect the nervous system.

PMID:
20631711
DOI:
10.1038/nrn2852
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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