Excitable domains of myelinated nerves: Axon initial segments and nodes of ranvier

Kae Jiun Chang, Matthew N. Rasband

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Neurons are highly polarized cells. They can be subdivided into at least two structurally and functionally distinct domains: somatodendritic and axonal domains. The somatodendritic domain receives and integrates upstream input signals, and the axonal domain generates and relays outputs in the form of action potentials to the downstream target. Demand for quick response to the harsh surroundings prompted evolution to equip vertebrates' neurons with a remarkable glia-derived structure called myelin. Not only Insulating the axon, myelinating glia also rearrange the axonal components and elaborate functional subdomains along the axon. Proper functioning of all theses domains and subdomains is vital for a normal, efficient nervous system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCurrent Topics in Membranes
PublisherAcademic Press Inc.
Number of pages34
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameCurrent Topics in Membranes
ISSN (Print)1063-5823


  • Axon
  • Cell adhesion molecule
  • Cytoskeleton
  • Extracellular matrix
  • Ion channel
  • Myelin
  • Polarity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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