3 years ago

Collision of two action potentials in a single excitable cell

Collision of two action potentials in a single excitable cell
It is a common incident in nature, that two waves or pulses run into each other head-on. The outcome of such an event is of special interest, because it allows conclusions about the underlying physical nature of the pulses. The present experimental study dealt with the head-on meeting of two action potentials (AP) in a single excitable plant cell (Chara braunii internode). Methods The membrane potential was monitored with multiple sensors along a single excitable cell. In control experiments, an AP was excited electrically at either end of the cell cylinder. Subsequently, stimuli were applied simultaneously at both ends of the cell in order to generate two APs that met each other head-on. Results When two action potentials propagated into each other, the pulses did not penetrate but annihilated (N=26 experiments in n=10 cells). Conclusions APs in excitable plant cells did not penetrate upon meeting head-on. In the classical electrical model, this behavior is specifically attributed to relaxation of ion channel proteins. From an acoustic point of view, annihilation can be viewed as a result of nonlinear material properties (e.g. a phase change). General significance The present results suggest that APs in excitable animal and plant cells belong to a similar class of nonlinear phenomena. Intriguingly, other excitation waves in biology (intracellular waves, cortical spreading depression, etc.) also annihilate upon collision and are thus expected to follow the same underlying principles as the observed action potentials.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0304416517303203

You might also like
Never Miss Important Research

Researcher is an app designed by academics, for academics. Create a personalised feed in two minutes.
Choose from over 15,000 academics journals covering ten research areas then let Researcher deliver you papers tailored to your interests each day.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.