Counting Na+ Channels One by One

Sci. Signal., 18 May 2010
Vol. 3, Issue 122, p. ec154
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.3122ec154

Counting Na+ Channels One by One

  1. Peter R. Stern
  1. Science, AAAS, Cambridge CB2 1LQ, UK

Understanding how nerve cells integrate their synaptic inputs and generate their output signals requires the identification of voltage-dependent ion channels on the axo-somato-dendritic surface of central neurons. Using improved ultrastructural immunocytochemistry techniques, Lorincz and Nusser found that a newly described voltage-gated sodium channel, Nav1.6, was present not only at nodes of Ranvier and axon initial segments but also at much lower, but functionally significant, levels in dendrites of CA1 pyramidal cells. However, other brain Na+ channels were not present in these dendrites, suggesting that dendritic sodium spikes result from somatic activation of this particular type of sodium channel.

A. Lorincz, Z. Nusser, Molecular identity of dendritic voltage-gated sodium channels. Science 328, 906–909 (2010). [Abstract] [Full Text]


P. R. Stern, Counting Na+ Channels One by One. Sci. Signal. 3, ec154 (2010).
Science Signaling. ISSN 1937-9145 (online), 1945-0877 (print). Pre-2008: Science's STKE. ISSN 1525-8882