What is it about?

In the brain, information is conveyed in the form of spikes through axons. We find that the diameter and myelin sheath of axons affect their reliability of propagating spikes, linked by the process of spike-caused quick sodium influx, but slow sodium efflux.

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Why is it important?

We build the link between axonal physical properties and their spiking capacity, which suggests a new constraint of axonal development and provides a new mechanism of central fatigue.


I hope this article can remind people of the ignored sodium ions behind spiking. When neurons fire fast, spike caused sodium (also including calcium) accumulation will change neuronal excitability and consequently change the way how neurons process information.

Yunliang Zang
Brandeis University

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This page is a summary of: Interactions among diameter, myelination, and the Na/K pump affect axonal resilience to high-frequency spiking, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, August 2021, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2105795118.
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