To systematically address the contribution of AIS, dendritic and somatic compartments to shaping the two-component action potentials (APs), we modeled APs of male mouse and rat dopaminergic neurons. A parsimonious two-domain model, with high (AIS) and lower (dendro-somatic) Na+ conductance, reproduced the notch in the temporal derivatives, but not in the extracellular APs, regardless of morphology. The notch was only revealed when somatic active currents were reduced, constraining the model to three domains. Thus, an initial AIS spike is followed by an actively generated spike by the axon-bearing dendrite (ABD), in turn followed mostly passively by the soma. Larger AISs and thinner ABD (but not soma-to-AIS distance) accentuate the AIS component.
López-Jury L, Meza RC, Brown MTC, Henny P, Canavier CC (2018) Morphological and biophysical determinants of the intracellular and extracellular waveforms in nigral dopaminergic neurons: A computational study. J Neurosci [PubMed]