Axon Hill

The axon mound is part of a nerve cell. A nerve cell, also known as a neuron, has the task of transmitting signals that are sent to it to the next nerve cell or to a muscle.


The nerve cell roughly consists of three sections. The central part is the cell body, the so-called soma. Here lies the nucleus, which contains the genetic information of the cell.

On one side the dendrites lead into the cell body. Here the information, which is supplied by other cells, arrives in the form of electrical impulses. Several cells can transmit their signals to one cell.

So often many dendrites are necessary to receive all signals. They are passed on through the cell body and are passed on to the next cell via the axon, which is often divided into many terminal branches. The axon mound is the origin of the axon. It is also called the cone of origin. It is called a mound because this initial part of the axon is thicker than the rest of the axon.


The axon mound is responsible for the fact that of the many signals arriving at a single nerve cell, only a single collective signal is transmitted via the axon. Excitatory and inhibitory signals arrive, which are referred to as inhibitory (inhibitory) or excitatory (excitatory) postsynaptic potential. At the axon hill these signals are added together.

The inhibitory signals are subtracted from the excitatory ones. The sum of all signals is then passed on. If as many excitatory as inhibitory signals arrive, the signal is extinguished, i.e. nothing is passed on.

The nerve cell at the axon hill is particularly sensitive to receiving signals. If the summation of all incoming signals leads to an excitatory signal, the composition of different tiny particles (ions) changes at the axon mound. This leads to an electrical activity that is passed on through the entire axon to the next cell.