New theoretical model of nerve conduction in unmyelinated nerves

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4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Nerve conduction in unmyelinated fibers has long been described based on the equivalent circuit model and cable theory. However, without the change in ionic concentration gradient across the membrane, there would be no generation or propagation of the action potential. Based on this concept, we employ a new conductive model focusing on the distribution of voltage-gated sodium ion channels and Coulomb force between electrolytes. Based on this new model, the propagation of the nerve conduction was suggested to take place far before the generation of action potential at each channel. We theoretically showed that propagation of action potential, which is enabled by the increasing Coulomb force produced by inflowing sodium ions, from one sodium ion channel to the next sodium channel would be inversely proportionate to the density of sodium channels on the axon membrane. Because the longitudinal number of sodium ion channel would be proportionate to the square root of channel density, the conduction velocity of unmyelinated nerves is theoretically shown to be proportionate to the square root of channel density. Also, from a viewpoint of equilibrium state of channel importation and degeneration, channel density was suggested to be proportionate to axonal diameter. Based on these simple basis, conduction velocity in unmyelinated nerves was theoretically shown to be proportionate to the square root of axonal diameter. This new model would also enable us to acquire more accurate and understandable vision on the phenomena in unmyelinated nerves in addition to the conventional electric circuit model and cable theory.

Original languageEnglish
Article number798
JournalFrontiers in Physiology
Volume8
Issue numberOCT
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Oct 12

Keywords

  • Anions
  • Cations
  • Conduction velocity
  • Electrostatic interactions
  • Sodium channel density
  • Theoretical neuroscience
  • Unmyelinated fibers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)

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