Membrane potential

Definition

The membrane potential of a neuron refers to the relative difference of ionic (electric) charge across a membrane. It is created by differential ion concentrations, maintained by ion channels and ion transporters, and for most neurons, the resting membrane potential is around -70 mV. Changes in membrane potential are associated with depolarization and hyperpolarization.

Latest Research and Reviews

  • Reviews |

    Neuroscience is going nanoscopic, but can it still rely on classical electrophysiology? In this Review, Savtchenko, Poo and Rusakov argue that accurate interpretation of physiological observations on the nanoscale must account for electrodiffusion phenomena arising from local perturbations of ionic concentrations.

    • Leonid P. Savtchenko
    • , Mu Ming Poo
    •  & Dmitri A. Rusakov
  • Research | | open

    ‘Analogue’ modulation by somatic membrane potentials can modify ‘digital’ axonal action potentials. Here, the authors show that analogue modulation can occur in back-propagating dendritic action potentials and calcium signals, leading to signal enhancement or attenuation in a location-dependent manner.

    • János Brunner
    •  & János Szabadics
  • Research |

    Cortical activity can be monitored for 6 months or longer from within the brain vasculature using an endovascular stent-electrode array.

    • Thomas J Oxley
    • , Nicholas L Opie
    • , Sam E John
    • , Gil S Rind
    • , Stephen M Ronayne
    • , Tracey L Wheeler
    • , Jack W Judy
    • , Alan J McDonald
    • , Anthony Dornom
    • , Timothy J H Lovell
    • , Christopher Steward
    • , David J Garrett
    • , Bradford A Moffat
    • , Elaine H Lui
    • , Nawaf Yassi
    • , Bruce C V Campbell
    • , Yan T Wong
    • , Kate E Fox
    • , Ewan S Nurse
    • , Iwan E Bennett
    • , Sébastien H Bauquier
    • , Kishan A Liyanage
    • , Nicole R van der Nagel
    • , Piero Perucca
    • , Arman Ahnood
    • , Katherine P Gill
    • , Bernard Yan
    • , Leonid Churilov
    • , Christopher R French
    • , Patricia M Desmond
    • , Malcolm K Horne
    • , Lynette Kiers
    • , Steven Prawer
    • , Stephen M Davis
    • , Anthony N Burkitt
    • , Peter J Mitchell
    • , David B Grayden
    • , Clive N May
    •  & Terence J O'Brien
    Nature Biotechnology 34, 320–327
  • Research | | open

    A mutation in the sodium channel Nav1.9 has been identified in a family and shown to associate with cold-aggravated pain. Here, the authors characterize the electrophysiological consequences of this mutation and propose a mechanism for the pain that the individuals experience.

    • Enrico Leipold
    • , Andrea Hanson-Kahn
    • , Miya Frick
    • , Ping Gong
    • , Jonathan A. Bernstein
    • , Martin Voigt
    • , Istvan Katona
    • , R. Oliver Goral
    • , Janine Altmüller
    • , Peter Nürnberg
    • , Joachim Weis
    • , Christian A. Hübner
    • , Stefan H. Heinemann
    •  & Ingo Kurth
  • Research | | open

    The dopaminergic system has important roles in a number of cognitive process. Here, the authors use detailed analysis of dopamine transporter trafficking to show its levels at the cell surface are sensitive to changes in membrane potential.

    • Ben D. Richardson
    • , Kaustuv Saha
    • , Danielle Krout
    • , Elizabeth Cabrera
    • , Bruce Felts
    • , L. Keith Henry
    • , Jarod Swant
    • , Mu-Fa Zou
    • , Amy Hauck Newman
    •  & Habibeh Khoshbouei

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