A probabilistic model for the establishment of neuron polarity

Kostya Khanin, Raya Khanin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


The main aim of this paper is to present a simple probabilistic model for the early stage of neuron growth: the specification on an axon out of several initially similar neurites. The model is a Markov process with competition between the growing neurites, wherein longer objects have more chances to grow, and parameter a determines the intensity of the competition. For a > 1 the model provides results which are qualitatively similar to the experimental ones, i.e. selection of one rapidly elongating axon out of several neurites while other less successful neurites stop growing at some random time. Rigorous mathematical proofs are given.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-40
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Mathematical Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2001


  • Axon specification
  • Neuron polarity
  • Probabilistic model


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