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Energy-efficient action potentials in hippocampal mossy fibers.

Science (New York, N.Y.) | Sep 11, 2009

Action potentials in nonmyelinated axons are considered to contribute substantially to activity-dependent brain metabolism. Here we show that fast Na+ current decay and delayed K+ current onset during action potentials in nonmyelinated mossy fibers of the rat hippocampus minimize the overlap of their respective ion fluxes. This results in total Na+ influx and associated energy demand per action potential of only 1.3 times the theoretical minimum, in contrast to the factor of 4 used in previous energy budget calculations for neural activity. Analysis of ionic conductance parameters revealed that the properties of Na+ and K+ channels are matched to make axonal action potentials energy-efficient, minimizing their contribution to activity-dependent metabolism.

Pubmed ID: 19745156 RIS Download

Mesh terms: Action Potentials | Animals | Axons | Energy Metabolism | Mossy Fibers, Hippocampal | Patch-Clamp Techniques | Potassium | Potassium Channels | Presynaptic Terminals | Rats | Rats, Wistar | Sodium | Sodium Channels | Sodium-Potassium-Exchanging ATPase | Synaptic Transmission