Neurophysiology: Hodgkin and Huxley model--still standing?

Nature. 2007 Jan 4;445(7123):E1-2; discussion E2-3. doi: 10.1038/nature05523.


Action potentials in cortical neurons show a variable threshold and a sudden rise in membrane potential at initiation. Naundorf et al. fail to explain these features using single- or double-compartment Hodgkin-Huxley-style models, suggesting instead that they could arise from cooperative opening of Na+ channels, although there is no direct biological evidence to support this. Here we show that these so-called unique features are to be expected from Hodgkin-Huxley models if the spatial geometry and spike initiation properties of cortical neurons are taken into account--it is therefore unnecessary to invoke exotic channel-gating properties as an explanation.

Publication types

  • Comment

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials*
  • Axons / metabolism
  • Electrophysiology
  • Models, Neurological*
  • Pyramidal Cells / cytology
  • Pyramidal Cells / metabolism*
  • Sodium Channels / metabolism*


  • Sodium Channels