Dendritic properties control energy efficiency of APs in cortical pyramidal cells (Yi et al 2017)

Neural computation is performed by transforming input signals into sequences of action potentials (APs), which is metabolically expensive and limited by the energy available to the brain. The energy efficiency of single AP has important consequences for the computational power of the cell, which is determined by its biophysical properties and morphologies. Here we adopt biophysically-based two-compartment models to investigate how dendrites affect energy efficiency of APs in cortical pyramidal neurons. We measure the Na+ entry during the spike and examine how it is efficiently used for generating AP depolarization. We show that increasing the proportion of dendritic area or coupling conductance between two chambers decreases Na+ entry efficiency of somatic AP. Activating inward Ca2+ current in dendrites results in dendritic spike, which increases AP efficiency. Activating Ca2+-activated outward K+ current in dendrites, however, decreases Na+ entry efficiency. We demonstrate that the active and passive dendrites take effects by altering the overlap between Na+ influx and internal current flowing from soma to dendrite. We explain a fundamental link between dendritic properties and AP efficiency, which is essential to interpret how neural computation consumes metabolic energy and how the biophysics and morphology contributes to such consumption.

Model Type: Dendrite

Currents: I Sodium; I Potassium; I Calcium

Model Concept(s): Action Potentials; Action Potential Initiation; Active Dendrites; Dendritic Action Potentials

Simulation Environment: MATLAB

Implementer(s): Yi, Guosheng


Yi GS, Wang J, Wei X, Deng B. (2017). Dendritic properties control energy efficiency of action potentials in cortical pyramidal cells. Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience.

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