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Kv4 potassium channel subunits control action potential repolarization and frequency-dependent broadening in rat hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurones.

Jinhyun Kim, Dong-Sheng Wei, Dax A Hoffman

J. Physiol. (Lond.), 2005 Nov 15 , 569, 41-57

A-type potassium channels regulate neuronal firing frequency and the back-propagation of action potentials (APs) into dendrites of hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurones. Recent molecular cloning studies have found several families of voltage-gated K(+) channel genes expressed in the mammalian brain. At present, information regarding the relationship between the protein products of these genes and the various neuronal functions performed by voltage-gated K(+) channels is lacking. Here we used a combination of molecular, electrophysiological and imaging techniques to show that one such gene, Kv4.2, controls AP half-width, frequency-dependent AP broadening and dendritic action potential propagation. Using a modified Sindbis virus, we expressed either the enhanced green fluorescence protein (EGFP)-tagged Kv4.2 or an EGFP-tagged dominant negative mutant of Kv4.2 (Kv4.2g(W362F)) in CA1 pyramidal neurones of organotypic slice cultures. Neurones expressing Kv4.2g(W362F) displayed broader action potentials with an increase in frequency-dependent AP broadening during a train compared with control neurones. In addition, Ca(2)(+) imaging of Kv4.2g(W362F) expressing dendrites revealed enhanced AP back-propagation compared to control neurones. Conversely, neurones expressing an increased A-type current through overexpression of Kv4.2 displayed narrower APs with less frequency dependent broadening and decreased dendritic propagation. These results point to Kv4.2 as the major contributor to the A-current in hippocampal CA1 neurones and suggest a prominent role for Kv4.2 in regulating AP shape and dendritic signalling. As Ca(2)(+) influx occurs primarily during AP repolarization, Kv4.2 activity can regulate cellular processes involving Ca(2)(+)-dependent second messenger cascades such as gene expression and synaptic plasticity.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16141270