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This article is part of the supplement: Eighteenth Annual Computational Neuroscience Meeting: CNS*2009

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Modeling action potential initiation using voltage-gated ion-channels kinetics from L5 pyramidal neurons of the rat cortex

Meron Gurkiewicz12* and Alon Korngreen12

Author Affiliations

1 The Mina and Everard Goodman Faculty of Life Sciences, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, 52900, Israel

2 Leslie and Susan Gonda Multidisciplinary Brain Research Center, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, 52900, Israel

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BMC Neuroscience 2009, 10(Suppl 1):P36  doi:10.1186/1471-2202-10-S1-P36

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published:13 July 2009

© 2009 Gurkiewicz and Korngreen; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Poster presentation

Trans-membrane protein mechanisms such as ion-channels and their activity are at the essence of neuronal transmission. The most accurate method, so far, for determining ion-channel kinetic mechanisms is single-channel recording and analysis. Nevertheless, single-channel recordings carry several hold-ups and complexities, especially when dealing with voltage-gated channels. We have previously developed a method for fitting cell-attached and whole-cell voltage-clamp data to kinetic models of ion channels using genetic search algorithms (GAs). Several newly conceptualized kinetic schemes for voltage-gated sodium and potassium channels were tested using somatic and dendritic cell-attached and nucleated patch-clamp recordings from layer 5 pyramidal neurons of the rat cortex.

Out of more than a dozen models, the best simplified Markov schemes of both channel types were then combined to simulate a somatic action potential (AP). Adding the dendritic mechanisms, we proceeded to simulate back-propagating action potentials along the apical dendrite of L5 pyramidal neurons. Our results therefore constitute yet another step towards a novel paradigm for AP initiation and propagation in cortical neurons that may be more physiologically relevant than previously suggested kinetic schemes.