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Signaling by Neuronal Swelling

Several physical phenomena accompany the firing of electrical impulses by axons. Some of these, such as the microscopic swelling of axons, alter the transmission of light through axons. This produces what are called “intrinsic optical signals” because optical methods can be used to see axons fire without adding voltage-sensitive dyes or using electronic amplifiers. These physical changes allow neurons tocommunicate through nonsynaptic signals to adjacent cells, such as other neurons or glia. Two of the three videos in this Teaching Resource show the optical manifestations of the microscopic swelling of axons that accompanies the firing of action potentials in cultured neurons, and one shows the nonsynaptic release of ATP that occurs through membrane channels that are stimulated by neuronal swelling.

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Resource Type: Bibliography, Image, Video
Audience Level: Undergraduate upper division 15-16, Graduate, Professional (degree program)

Author and Copyright


Authors and Editors: R. Douglas Fields of National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, NIH
Publisher: American Association for the Advancement of Science
Format: Windows Media Audio/Video file, application/pdf, image/gif, image/jpeg, text/html, video/quicktime
Copyright and other restrictions: Yes
Cost: No

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Collection:
STKE/Science Signaling


     
   

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