Send to

Choose Destination
Nat Neurosci. 2011 Feb;14(2):200-7. doi: 10.1038/nn.2728. Epub 2010 Dec 8.

Slow integration leads to persistent action potential firing in distal axons of coupled interneurons.

Author information

Department of Neurobiology & Physiology, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, USA.


The conventional view of neurons is that synaptic inputs are integrated on a timescale of milliseconds to seconds in the dendrites, with action potential initiation occurring in the axon initial segment. We found a much slower form of integration that leads to action potential initiation in the distal axon, well beyond the initial segment. In a subset of rodent hippocampal and neocortical interneurons, hundreds of spikes, evoked over minutes, resulted in persistent firing that lasted for a similar duration. Although axonal action potential firing was required to trigger persistent firing, somatic depolarization was not. In paired recordings, persistent firing was not restricted to the stimulated neuron; it could also be produced in the unstimulated cell. Thus, these interneurons can slowly integrate spiking, share the output across a coupled network of axons and respond with persistent firing even in the absence of input to the soma or dendrites.

Comment in

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center