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Differential effects of two blockers of small conductance Ca2+-activated K+ channels, apamin and lei-Dab7, on learning and memory in rats.

Bedel Mpari, Imed Regaya, Guy Escoffier, Christiane Mourre

J. Integr. Neurosci., 2005 Sep , 4, 381-96

SK channels are responsible for long-lasting hyperpolarization following action potential and contribute to the neuronal integration signal. This study evaluates the involvement of SK channels on learning and memory in rats, by comparing the effects of two SK channel blockers, i.e., apamin which recognizes SK2 and SK3 channels, and lei-Dab7 which binds SK2 channels only. lei-Dab7 totally competes and contests apamin binding on whole brain sections (IC(50): 11.4 nM). Using an olfactory associative task, intracerebroventricular blocker injections were tested on reference memory. Once the task was mastered with one odor pair, it was then tested with a new odor pair. Apamin (0.3 ng), injected before or after the acquisition session, improved new odor pair learning in a retention session 24 hours later, whereas lei-Dab7 (3 ng) did not significantly affect the mnesic processes. These results indicated that the blockage of SK channels by apamin facilitates consolidation on new odor associations; lei-Dab7, containing only SK2 subunits, remains without effect suggesting an involvement of SK3 channels in the modulation of the mnesic processes.