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Annu Rev Neurosci. 2012;35:249-65. doi: 10.1146/annurev-neuro-062111-150339. Epub 2012 Mar 20.

The physiology of the axon initial segment.

Author information

1
Oregon Hearing Research Center and Vollum Institute, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, Oregon 97239, USA. kbender@gallo.ucsf.edu

Abstract

The action potential generally begins in the axon initial segment (AIS), a principle confirmed by 60 years of research; however, the most recent advances have shown that a very rich biology underlies this simple observation. The AIS has a remarkably complex molecular composition, with a wide variety of ion channels and attendant mechanisms for channel localization, and may feature membrane domains each with distinct roles in excitation. Its function may be regulated in the short term through the action of neurotransmitters, in the long term through activity- and Ca(2+)-dependent processes. Thus, the AIS is not merely the beginning of the axon, but rather a key site in the control of neuronal excitability.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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