Measuring Action Potential Propagation Velocity in Murine Cortical Axons

Oron Kotler, Yana Khrapunsky, Ilya Fleidervish

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Measuring the action potential (AP) propagation velocity in axons is critical for understanding neuronal computation. This protocol describes the measurement of propagation velocity using a combination of somatic whole cell and axonal loose patch recordings in brain slice preparations. The axons of neurons filled with fluorescent dye via somatic whole-cell pipette can be targeted under direct optical control using the fluorophore-filled pipette. The propagation delays between the soma and 5–7 axonal locations can be obtained by analyzing the ensemble averages of 500–600 sweeps of somatic APs aligned at times of maximal rate-of-rise (dV/dtmax) and axonal action currents from these locations. By plotting the propagation delays against the distance, the location of the AP initiation zone becomes evident as the site exhibiting the greatest delay relative to the soma. Performing linear fitting of the delays obtained from sites both proximal and distal from the trigger zone allows the determination of the velocities of AP backward and forward propagation, respectively.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numbere4876
Issue number21
StatePublished - 5 Nov 2023


  • Action current
  • Action potential
  • Backpropagation
  • Loose patch
  • Neocortex
  • Propagation velocity
  • Pyramidal neuron
  • Trigger zone
  • Whole-cell recording

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Neuroscience
  • Plant Science


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