Prolonged Intracellular Na+ Dynamics Govern Electrical Activity in Accessory Olfactory Bulb Mitral Cells

Asaph Zylbertal*, Anat Kahan, Yoram Ben-Shaul, Yosef Yarom, Shlomo Wagner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

Persistent activity has been reported in many brain areas and is hypothesized to mediate working memory and emotional brain states and to rely upon network or biophysical feedback. Here, we demonstrate a novel mechanism by which persistent neuronal activity can be generated without feedback, relying instead on the slow removal of Na+ from neurons following bursts of activity. We show that mitral cells in the accessory olfactory bulb (AOB), which plays a major role in mammalian social behavior, may respond to a brief sensory stimulation with persistent firing. By combining electrical recordings, Ca2+ and Na+ imaging, and realistic computational modeling, we explored the mechanisms underlying the persistent activity in AOB mitral cells. We found that the exceptionally slow inward current that underlies this activity is governed by prolonged dynamics of intracellular Na+ ([Na+]i), which affects neuronal electrical activity via several pathways. Specifically, elevated dendritic [Na+]i reverses the Na+-Ca2+ exchanger activity, thus modifying the [Ca2+]i set-point. This process, which relies on ubiquitous membrane mechanisms, is likely to play a role in other neuronal types in various brain regions.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numbere1002319
JournalPLoS Biology
Volume13
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - 16 Dec 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Zylbertal et al.

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