Axonal Filtering Allows Reliable Output during Dendritic Plateau-Driven Complex Spiking in CA1 Neurons

Neuron. 2016 Feb 17;89(4):770-83. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2015.12.040. Epub 2016 Jan 28.

Abstract

In CA1 pyramidal neurons, correlated inputs trigger dendritic plateau potentials that drive neuronal plasticity and firing rate modulation. Given the strong electrotonic coupling between soma and axon, the >25 mV depolarization associated with the plateau could propagate through the axon to influence action potential initiation, propagation, and neurotransmitter release. We examined this issue in brain slices, awake mice, and a computational model. Despite profoundly inactivating somatic and proximal axon Na(+) channels, plateaus evoked action potentials that recovered to full amplitude in the distal axon (>150 μm) and triggered neurotransmitter release similar to regular spiking. This effect was due to strong attenuation of plateau depolarizations by axonal K(+) channels, allowing full axon repolarization and Na(+) channel deinactivation. High-pass filtering of dendritic plateaus by axonal K(+) channels should thus enable accurate transmission of gain-modulated firing rates, allowing neuronal firing to be efficiently read out by downstream regions as a simple rate code.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / drug effects
  • Action Potentials / genetics
  • Action Potentials / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Axons / drug effects
  • Axons / physiology*
  • Biophysical Phenomena
  • CA1 Region, Hippocampal / cytology*
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Channelrhodopsins
  • Computer Simulation
  • Excitatory Postsynaptic Potentials / drug effects
  • Excitatory Postsynaptic Potentials / physiology
  • Female
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Nerve Net / drug effects
  • Nerve Net / physiology
  • Potassium Channel Blockers / pharmacology
  • Pyramidal Cells / cytology*
  • Pyramidal Cells / physiology*
  • Sodium Channel Blockers / pharmacology
  • Tetrodotoxin / pharmacology
  • Wakefulness

Substances

  • Channelrhodopsins
  • Potassium Channel Blockers
  • Sodium Channel Blockers
  • Tetrodotoxin
  • Calcium