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

Mark E.J. Sheffield, Tyler K. Best, Brett D. Mensh, William L. Kath, Nelson Spruston*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)200-209
Number of pages10
JournalNature neuroscience
Volume14
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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