Presubicular neurons are activated physiologically by a specific preferred head direction. Here we show that firing in these neurones is characterized by action potentials with a large overshoot and a reduced firing frequency adaptation during repetitive firing. We found that a component of the sodium current of presubicular cells was not abolished by tetrodotoxin (TTX, 10 mum) and was activated at more depolarized voltages than TTX-sensitive currents. This inward current was completely abolished by the removal of external sodium, suggesting that sodium is the charge carrier of this TTX-insensitive (TTX-I) current. The channels responsible for the TTX-I sodium current seemed to be expressed at sites distant from the soma, giving rise to a voltage-dependent delay in current activation. The voltage required for half-maximal activation was 21 mV, and 36 mV for inactivation, which is similar to that reported for Na(V)1.8 sodium channels. However, the kinetics were considerably slower, with a time constant of current decay of 1.4 s. The current was not abolished in pyramidal cells from animals lacking either the Na(V)1.8 or the Na(V)1.9 subunit. This, possibly novel, TTX-I sodium current could contribute to the coding functions of presubicular neurons, specifically the maintained firing associated with signalling of a stable head position.