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BMC Neuroscience

Open Access

Ion concentration dynamics: mechanisms for bursting and seizing

BMC Neuroscience20089(Suppl 1):O9

Published: 11 July 2008

The Hodgkin-Huxley equations are of fundamental importance in theoretical neuroscience. However, these equations assume that the intra- and extra-cellular ion concentrations of sodium and potassium are constant. While this is a reasonable assumption for the squid giant axon preparation, its validity in other cases, especially in mammalian brain, is subject to debate. It is therefore surprising that relatively little attention has been paid to the dynamics of ion concentrations in the years since Hodgkin and Huxley's seminal work was published. We develop a conductance-based model neuron that includes intra- and extra-cellular ion concentration dynamics. We further formulate a reduction of this model to identify the bifurcation structure. Using these models, we describe novel mechanisms for bursting and seizing behavior that is strikingly similar to that seen in experimental preparations.

Authors’ Affiliations

Department of Physics & Astronomy and The Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study, George Mason University
Department of Engineering Sciences and Mechanics, The Pennsylvania State University
Department of Biology and Biochemistry, The University of Houston
Departments of Neurosurgery and Physics, The Pennsylvania State University


© Cressman et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2008

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd.