Two forms of electrical transmission between neurons

Donald S. Faber, Alberto E. Pereda

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Electrical signaling is a cardinal feature of the nervous system and endows it with the capability of quickly reacting to changes in the environment. Although synaptic communication between nerve cells is perceived to be mainly chemically mediated, electrical synaptic interactions also occur. Two different strategies are responsible for electrical communication between neurons. One is the consequence of low resistance intercellular pathways, called “gap junctions,” for the spread of electrical currents between the interior of two cells. The second occurs in the absence of cell-to-cell contacts and is a consequence of the extracellular electrical fields generated by the electrical activity of neurons. Here, we place present notions about electrical transmission in a historical perspective and contrast the contributions of the two different forms of electrical communication to brain function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number427
JournalFrontiers in Molecular Neuroscience
Volume11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 21 2018

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Keywords

  • Electric field
  • Electrical synapse
  • Ephapsis
  • Gap junction
  • Synaptic communication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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