The axon initial segment in nervous system disease and injury

Eur J Neurosci. 2011 Nov;34(10):1609-19. doi: 10.1111/j.1460-9568.2011.07875.x.


The axon initial segment (AIS), with its dense clusters of voltage-gated ion channels decorating the axonal membrane, regulates action potential initiation and modulation. The AIS also functions as a barrier to maintain axodendritic polarity, and its precise axonal location contributes to the fine-tuning of neuronal excitability. Therefore, it is not surprising that mutations in AIS-related genes, disruption of the molecular organization of the AIS and altered AIS ion channel expression, function, location and/or density are emerging as key players in neurological disorders. Here, we consider the role of the AIS in nervous system disease and injury.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology
  • Aging / physiology
  • Animals
  • Ankyrins / metabolism
  • Axons* / physiology
  • Axons* / ultrastructure
  • Cell Polarity
  • Humans
  • Ion Channels / metabolism
  • Mental Disorders* / pathology
  • Mental Disorders* / physiopathology
  • Nervous System Diseases* / pathology
  • Nervous System Diseases* / physiopathology
  • Nervous System* / pathology
  • Nervous System* / physiopathology
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Neurons / ultrastructure


  • Ankyrins
  • Ion Channels