Reduction of presynaptic action potentials by PAD: model and experimental study

J Comput Neurosci. 1998 May;5(2):141-56. doi: 10.1023/a:1008861815083.


A compartmental model of myelinated nerve fiber was used to show that primary afferent depolarization (PAD), as elicited by axo-axonic synapses, reduces the amplitude of propagating action potentials primarily by interfering with ionic current responsible for the spike regeneration. This reduction adds to the effect of the synaptic shunt, increases with the PAD amplitude, and occurs at significant distances from the synaptic zone. PAD transiently enhances the sodium current activation, which partly accounts for the PAD-induced fiber hyperexcitability, and enhances sodium inactivation on a slower time course, thus reducing the amplitude of action potentials. In vivo, intraaxonal recordings from the intraspinal portion of group I afferent fibers were carried out to verify that depolarizations reduced the amplitude of propagating action potentials as predicted by the model. This article suggests PAD might play a major role in presynaptic inhibition.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology
  • Afferent Pathways / physiology
  • Animals
  • Electrophysiology
  • Humans
  • Models, Neurological*
  • Presynaptic Terminals / physiology*
  • Sodium / physiology


  • Sodium