Stochastic geometry and electronic architecture of dendritic arborization of brain stem motoneuron.


We describe how the stochastic geometry of dendritic arborization of a single identified motoneuron of the rat affects the local details of its electrotonic structure. After describing the 3D dendritic geometry at high spatial resolution, we simulate the distribution of voltage gradients along dendritic branches under steady-state and transient conditions. We show that local variations in diameters along branches and asymmetric branchings determine the non-monotonous features of the heterogeneous electrotonic structure. This is defined by the voltage decay expressed as a function of the somatofugal paths in physical distances (voltage gradient). The fan-shaped electrotonic structure demonstrates differences between branches which are preserved when simulations are computed from different values of specific membrane resistivity although the absolute value of their voltages is changed. At given distances from soma and over long paths, some branches display similar voltages resulting in their grouping which is also preserved when specific membrane resistivity is changed. However, the mutual relation between branches inside the group is respecified when different values of specific membrane resistivity are used in the simulations. We find that there are some invariant features of the electrotonic structure which are related to the geometry and not to the electrical parameters, while other features are changed by altering the electrical parameters. Under transient conditions, the somatofugal invasion of the dendritic tree by a somatic action potential shifts membrane potentials (above 10 mV) of dendritic paths for unequal distances from the soma during several milliseconds. Electrotonic reconfigurations and membrane shifts might be a mechanism for postsynaptic plasticity.


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@article{Bras1993StochasticGA, title={Stochastic geometry and electronic architecture of dendritic arborization of brain stem motoneuron.}, author={H{\'e}l{\`e}ne Bras and Sergey M. Korogod and Yves Driencourt and Paul Gogan and Suzanne Ty{\vc}-Dumont}, journal={The European journal of neuroscience}, year={1993}, volume={5 11}, pages={1485-93} }