Opinion: an integrated approach to classifying neuronal phenotypes

Nat Rev Neurosci. 2005 Oct;6(10):810-8. doi: 10.1038/nrn1769.


Characterizing the functional phenotypes of neurons is essential for understanding how genotypes can be related to the neural basis of behaviour. Traditional classifications of neurons by single features (such as morphology or firing behaviour) are increasingly inadequate for reflecting functional phenotypes, as they do not integrate functions across different neuronal types. Here, we describe a set of rules for identifying and predicting functional phenotypes that combine morphology, intrinsic ion channel species and their distributions in dendrites, and functional properties. This more comprehensive neuronal classification should be an improvement on traditional classifications for relating genotype to functional phenotype.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Neurons / classification*
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Neurons / ultrastructure*
  • Phenotype