Neural Firing

Daniel Brown dbrown at newssun.med.miami.edu
Tue Jan 19 10:10:55 EST 1993

I have a question concerning the firing of a neuron.  If one were to 
place anions around a neuron (in vitro, say, so that the negative 
charge wasn't rapidly dissipate), would this make the neuron fire?
If these extra anions (also assume that they are unpermeable) were
put around the axon, they would reduce the potential difference across
it (by making the extracellular fluid less positive).  By reducing
the potential difference above the threshold potential difference, the
neuron would fire.  Does this reasoning sound correct?  It seems to
depend on the proximity of the anions to the neuron's membrane and 
the voltage dependence of the Na+ channels (are they dependent on the
potential difference across the membrane, or are there other influences?).

Thanks for the replies in advance,


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