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Dev Neurobiol. 2017 May;77(5):610-624. doi: 10.1002/dneu.22493. Epub 2017 Mar 14.

Synchrony and so much more: Diverse roles for electrical synapses in neural circuits.

Author information

1
Department of Neuroscience, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island.

Abstract

Electrical synapses are neuronal gap junctions that are ubiquitous across brain regions and species. The biophysical properties of most electrical synapses are relatively simple-transcellular channels allow nearly ohmic, bidirectional flow of ionic current. Yet these connections can play remarkably diverse roles in different neural circuit contexts. Recent findings illustrate how electrical synapses may excite or inhibit, synchronize or desynchronize, augment or diminish rhythms, phase-shift, detect coincidences, enhance signals relative to noise, adapt, and interact with nonlinear membrane and transmitter-release mechanisms. Most of these functions are likely to be widespread in central nervous systems.

KEYWORDS:

Cx36; electrical synapses; gap junctions; rhythms; synchrony

PMID:
28245529
PMCID:
PMC5395344
DOI:
10.1002/dneu.22493
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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