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Axon hillock

"Hillock" redirects here. A hillock is also a small hill.

  The Axon Hillock is the anatomical part of a neuron that connects the cell body (the soma) to the axon. It is attributed as the place where Inhibitory Postsynaptic Potentials (IPSPs) and Excitatory Postsynaptic Potentials (EPSPs) from numerous synaptic inputs on the dendrites or cell body summate.

It is electrophysiologically equivalent to the 'initial segment where the summated membrane potential reaches the triggering threshold, an action potential propagates through the rest of the axon (and "backwards" towards the dendrites as seen in Neural backpropagation). The triggering is due to positive feedback between highly crowded voltage gated sodium channels, which are present at the critical density at the axon hillock (and nodes of ranvier) but not in the soma.

Cell biologically it is the neuronal equivalent of tight junction as it acts as a barrier for lateral diffusion of transmembrane proteins (and GPI anchored proteins like thy1 across it.)

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Axon_hillock". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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